Daniel Carr has won before.

At the 2015 4A state meet, he set event records in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 freestyle, while helping set a state record with Cheyenne Mountain's 400 free relay team.

Carr's performance aided the Indians in earning their first state championship since 2002, and Carr qualified for the U.S. Olympic swim trials.

In 2016, Carr opted not to swim with Cheyenne Mountain to focus on those trials. Things didn't go as planned, though. Carr came down with the flu three days before the trials, and failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

With that behind him, Carr's 2017 season was a bit different. He felt like he had something to prove. He certainly did and is The Gazette's boys' swimming Peak Performer of the Year.

"This whole year, (the Olympic trials) has been in the back of my mind," Carr said. "It's been a real motivator in practice, and in meets, to prove to everybody that I am the swimmer that qualified for trials, and I didn't go there because it was chance. I just wanted to prove that I can swim at that level."

Carr proved his worth and then some. In his final season with the Indians, he finished first at the 4A state finals in four events: the 50 free, 500 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Cheyenne Mountain reigned supreme again, earning its third straight state championship.

It's no coincidence that the Indians' dominance coincides with Carr's tenure.

"Swimming has been a part of his genes since he was little," said Cheyenne Mountain coach Kate Doane, who called him the team MVP. "He's got an amazing work ethic about himself. He trains club year-round. It's one small aspect of his swimming career, is high school. He's going to go off to do amazing stuff in college and be a part of the World Junior Championship team. I mean, he's a phenomenal swimmer, and it's been awesome watching him grow as an athlete and as a person over the years."

Doane also credited Cheyenne Mountain's success to its competitiveness in practice, something Carr said came natural to the team.

"The guys on our team, we've been swimming together since we were 8 years old," Carr said. "We've always, kind of, raced each other in practice and in meets. So I think that was already set up. It wasn't our year, it wasn't anybody else's on that team. It's just a lot of competitive guys that don't like to lose. That kind of environment, you love it. That's what makes us Cheyenne."

Carr will leave Cheyenne Mountain to swim at California.

Perhaps what has made his time with the Indians so memorable to others is the success he's had in the pool - he leaves as one of the most prolific swimmers in school history. To him, though the state championships are memorable, the team atmosphere and the relationships he's built are what will stay with him.

"The relationships I've made with the coach and other teammates, I've never really had that before. That's what I'm most proud of," Carr said. "There were nights where we win the Indian Invite, and then we go out and play a two-hour game of Ultimate Frisbee. It's times like those that are just so fun that I will never forget."

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