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This week's Peak Performer: Sydney Buckley, Cheyenne Mountain swimming
Junior repeats as 100 butterfly champ
Daniel Padrnos, St. Mary's
Padrnos was instrumental in St. Mary's wins over James Irwin and Trinidad last week to run the Pirates' winning streak to seven. Not only did the senior shooting guard score 26 points against James Irwin, but he also hit the game-winning shot from half court. He followed that up with a 27-point performance against Trinidad to move the Pirates to 8-4 in league.
Bailey Haist, The Vanguard School
Haist tied career highs in 3-pointers (seven) and points (26) in a 2A Black Forest League showdown, as Vanguard (15-0, 5-0 league) remained perfect on the season and handed Simla (13-1, 5-1) its first loss on Friday. On Saturday Haist scored 17 points in a 47-41 win over ECA.
Trent Watson and Richard Cote, Coronado
At the Cougar Classic over the weekend Watson and Cote each picked up a total of 18 points for Coronado. Watson (106 pounds) and Cote (170) each scored pin-fall wins against Pueblo West and Douglas County before earning forfeit victories against Doherty.
Ryan Case, Cheyenne Mountain
Case scored four times and had an assist in a 9-5 loss to Palmer, and then had a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Liberty to help the Indians stay in the playoff hunt. Case is the team leader in goals this season with 12.
Cheyenne Mountain girls’ swimming just completed its best season in almost a decade. The Indians were just 18 points short of a 4A team state title, but nonetheless made their mark all over the state meet.
One of the main contributors to this season’s impressive run was junior Sydney Buckley, who enjoyed both personal and team success in Thornton last weekend.
Buckley was one of four girls on the 200-yard, medley-relay team that set the 4A state record with a time of 1 minute, 45.89 seconds. Then she went on to win her second consecutive 100 butterfly title.
“Sydney is a true leader and she loves to do what’s best for the team,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Kate Doane said. “She is one of those key players that we could’ve put anywhere and she would be successful; she works hard and trains as hard as anybody and wants to improve all the time.”
Buckley went through her junior year with a lot of self-induced pressure on her back in her attempt to repeat as the 100 butterfly champion. Taking home the top prize again felt awfully good.
“It was pretty exciting; it’s really hard to repeat and it’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done having the pressure on me all year,” said Buckley, who will attempt to join a select group next season by winning the same event three times.
“My freshman year I didn’t even swim butterfly, and I would’ve said someone was crazy to think I could win one or two state titles in that event. I couldn’t have done it without the great girls around me.”
Those girls around her also did a lot of damage at the state meet. In past years the Indians had been famous for showing up on the second day of competition stronger than the first. But not this time.
“We started with a bang the first day and I’m beyond impressed with how they stepped up and supported each other,” Doane said. “We always swim well on day two, but day one has been a hard day for us. For the first time in my five years here, we did well on the first day.”
On a team loaded with talent, Buckley emerged as one of the leaders, even sitting out of races at times during the season to allow other girls a chance to compete and improve.
Buckley also was pleased that she and the rest of the non-seniors were able to give the senior class a proper going away present.
“It was important to us and it was a thank you-type sendoff because we couldn’t have done it without their leadership,” Buckley said of the seniors. “We had an amazing combination of classes this season. I’m really grateful for my team and everyone who has helped me this year and I’m excited for next year.”