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Rampart's path to a third consecutive Class 4A girls' swimming and diving state title won't be an easy one, according to the latest rankings by PrepSwimCo.com. There'll be challengers, including a known foe in Cheyenne Mountain.

Both teams own two state titles, with Cheyenne Mountain's last coming in 2017.

The state swimming championships start this week. But unlike like previous seasons, not all three classifications will be held during the same stretch.

The Class 5A meet is Thursday and Friday, while Class 3A will have its preliminaries Friday morning with finals Saturday. Class 4A, however, will hold its championship Tuesday-Wednesday. All state meets will be held at Thornton's Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center.

The Rampart Rams are again stacked with talent. However, Cheyenne Mountain is ranked first in the state, followed by Rampart, Mullen, Dakota Ridge and Broomfield while Pine Creek sits at No. 11.

According to PrepSwimCo.com 4A rankings, Cheyenne Mountain has 13 swimmers in the top 10 in the nine individual events. Caroline Bricker (100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke) and Frances Hayward (200, 500 freestyles) are each coming off a pair of event victories at the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference championship last weekend.

The Indians' three relays (200 medley, 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle) are ranked in the state's top 10. Their 400 freestyle relay time of 3 minutes, 33.85 seconds is best in the state.

Rampart, on the other hand, has 11 swimmers with top 10 times in the individual events. The Rams have the two fastest times in the 200 medley (1:47.15) and 200 freestyle (1:39.13) relays; Cheyenne Mountain (1:39.94) has the second-fastest time in the latter event.

In 1-meter diving, Rampart's Maggie Buckley looks to defend her state title. The junior is coming off an impressive 500.55-point showing that was more than enough to win the Colorado Springs Metro League title last weekend. Coronado's Lauren Gryboski took second, and she boasts the season's highest-scoring total of 524.3.

The 4A and 3A state psych sheets were not available Wednesday.

Lewis-Palmer's McClelland in position to win 5A state race

Lewis-Palmer's Katelyn McCllelland has a good shot at coming away from the Class 5A championship with an individual title. In the 100 breaststroke, the junior has the fastest seeded time of 1:04.13, according to 5A state psych sheet. That's just ahead of Cherry Creek's Teagan Steinmetz, who boasts a 1:04.78.

McCllelland is listed as a swimmer for the Rangers' 200 medley (1:47.24, eighth) and 400 freestyle (3:35.86, ninth) relays. Top eight is a podium finish.

Teammates Megan DuMond and Dahlia Allen finished first and second in the diving competition at last weekend's PPAC meet.

St. Mary's Cairns boasts standout times

St. Mary's Caitlin Cairns is coming off an impressive performance at last weekend's 3A Tri-Peaks League championship, in which she claimed two titles in the 50 (23.78) and 100 freestyle (52.30) events.

In the 50, Cairns' main competitor appears to be Aspen's Lilly Huggard, who clocked in a 23.55 this season. In the 100, Cairn's 52.30 is the fastest — just ahead of Salida's Elise Mishmash, who has a 54.04.

Reporter

Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.