THORNTON – With every stroke and every kick, Pine Creek junior Madison Mintenko was determined to chase down herself. For the last year, she had been starting at the Class 4A records in the 200-yard and 500 freestyle.

She had set those marks as a sophomore which helped propel the Eagles to the first girls swim title in program history.

A student of history in her sport, she’s more than happy to learn it and every bit as motivated to repeat it.

Moments after touching the wall on the final legs of those races, she quickly looked to the scoreboard hanging above the pool at the Veteran’s Memorial Aquatic Center.

In both races, she looked up to see times that no one had ever swam in the 4A races.

“I have been thinking about it the whole season,” she said. “Really just trying to improve year after year after year is the gaol. Being able to do that also with my team is amazing.”

Her mark of 1 minute 44.35 seconds in the 200 was over a second faster than her record time last year. Her 4:44.75 was nearly three seconds better than what she did in 2023.

With that kind of progression, she might be able to put her sights toward the overall state records which are held by Regis Jesuit alum and Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin.

“It’s definitely in the back of my mind,” Mintenko said. “I’m thinking about it 100%, I just have to put in the work.”

But the time for chasing Missy is a tomorrow problem. For today, Mintenko can take a minute to enjoy breaking a couple of records and winning another team title.

With 567 total points, the Eagles flew away from the rest of the field as they captured their second straight team title. Broomfield finished second at 265 with Cheyenne Mountain in third at 243.5.

For at least this two-year stretch, and possibly a third with Mintenko returning for her senior year, Pine Creek can be talked about with some of the great swimming powers of the past like Cheyenne Mountain, Valor Christian and Thompson Valley.

Seniors Isabella Burton and Kamdyn Swanson grabbed other individual titles for the Eagles. Burton won the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.12 while Swanson won the 100 butterfly in 56.89.

The Eagles stuck a feather in their cap in the final event of the night, the 400 freestyle relay. They nearly took down Cheyenne Mountain’s 4A record with a time of 3:27.72. They were about a third of a second shy of that mark, but in the process, the team of Lily Kemmerer, Burton, Swanson and Mintenko were nearly 10 seconds better than second-place Monarch. That win also gave them a clean sweep in the relays.

It was a night that the girls and the coaching staff will remember for a long time.

“The girls worked really hard this season and they knew it going in,” coach Kent Nelson said. “We’re a large team and all season long they stuck together. You can see by their interactions as a team that we really promoted. It’s fun to go back-to-back like that. Not everyone gets to do that.”

Class 4A girls swim champions

  • 200 Medley Relay: Pine Creek (1:45.69)
  • 200 Freestyle: Madison Mintenko (Pine Creek) 1:44.35*
  • 200 Individual Medley: Samantha Synsvoll (Cheyenne Mountain) 2:05.03
  • 50 Freestyle: Eliza Lennox (Monarch) 23.41
  • Diving: Elizabeth Fay (Niwot) 538.30
  • 100 Butterfly: Kamdyn Swanson (Pine Creek) 56.89
  • 100 Freestyle: Eliza Lennox (Monarch) 51.16
  • 500 Freestyle: Madison Mintenko (Pine Creek) 4:44.75*
  • 200 Freestyle Relay: Pine Creek 1:40.54
  • 100 Backstroke: Isabella Burton (Pine Creek) 56.12
  • 100 Breaststroke: Audrey Shambo (Monarch) 1:04.34
  • 400 Freestyle Relay: Pine Creek 3:2 7.72

* – designates a 4A meet record