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Coaches' Corner



Congratulations on another outstanding season of Piney Creek Swimming!


Thank you to everyone for making this season so special.  This is my 11th year coaching Piney Creek and each year and I believe we continue to get better and better as a team and we continue to do it by doing things the right way.  We have stayed true to keeping this team a community program and keeping it a program that anyone from the Piney Creek community can join.  Our coaches do a remarkable job of building a love for the sport of swimming - this is evident in the growing number of our kids who have dedicated themselves to swimming on club swim teams during the school year and how large of a group of 13-18s we have.   We started this season having almost all of our 6 & Under swimmers swimming with a coach in the water against Cook Creek.  We ended with 9 swimmers in the 6 & Under 25 Free at Championships.  On the flip side, I am proud of the number of kids who continue to come back and swim until the age of 18. All three head coaches yesterday asked me how we are able to get so many 15-18s to swim.  I am able to coach a very close knit swim team at Smoky Hill and that transfers to Piney Creek in the summer, but in most cases that close friendship these kids have in high school started right here in this pool when they were 8 & Unders.  These kids love each other and it is such a joy for me to see them continue to swim with each other in the summer.


We finished 2nd yesterday to a remarkably good Wheatlands team.  We had 156 swimmers swim at Championships yesterday.  Going into the meet we were seeded to finish 913 points behind Wheatlands and just 217 ahead of Highlands Ranch.  We finished yesterday 590 point behind Wheatlands and 1,044 points ahead of 3rd place Highlands Ranch.  We scored 196 more points this season than we did last year and more points than we we won in 2017 and 2015.  Our percentage of year around club swimmers is far smaller than any other teams in our division and we continue to hold true to our community based swim team ideals.  I am proud of what we have accomplished again this season.



Your role is so vital in our success.  Thank you for encouraging your kids to swim and supporting them throughout the season.  We can’t do it without you.  In particular I would like to thank the members of our board.  Mary Saindon does an amazing job as president.  Rob Logan has been so helpful with allowing me to have such a large coaching staff.  Kim Chang, Christina Neely and Lori Popolillo who get all of our parent volunteers in place.  Leslie Newton and Tracy Doyle keep putting together fun events for our kids to enjoy.  Pat Goodrich has been remarkable as our parent rep.  Greg Newton does a fantastic job of running our Meet Manager program during meets and setting up our meet programs.  Emily Ambrosio drives to my house after each meet and puts labels on ribbons and speeding tickets for all swimmers each Sunday.  Thank you to everyone for making my job easier.



Coaching Staff

I am very proud of my coaching staff.  All of them did an amazing job working with our kids.  They run practices, help me put line-ups together, run around and find kids during meets, and most importantly - they serve as fantastic role models for our swimmers.  I would like to thank each one of them for the time and energy they put into coaching this year.


Final 2019 Mountain High Division A1 Team Scores:

Wheatlands Sharks - 4,410

​Piney Creek Heat - 3,819.5

​Highlands Ranch Seahawks - 2,776

Stroh Ranch Anthology Dolphins - 2,541.5

18 Year-olds



I would like to take a few minutes to recognize three amazing individuals who are 18 and will not be able to return to swim next year.  There are only three, so we should still have 214 swimmers next summer. 


Michael Alisky and Kelly Saindon are both recent high school graduates, but both have summer birthdays and can swim again next summer.  They are going to have too to get a towel, but I would like to recognize each.


Michael Aliksy

State Champion in Speech & Debate - 7th in the USA at Speech Nationals this summer in Dallas.

Valedictorian at Smoky Hill.

Will attend Stanford University.


Kelly Saindon 

Team Captain and National Academic All American at Smoky Hill.

Featured currently on the Aurora Sentenal website about her academic success.

Had an amazing meet yesterday, winning her heat of the 100 back and 200 IM.

She will attend Creighton University.


Alex Burkhardt

1st year at Piney Creek.

Team Captain, Team Record Holder in 400 Free Relay and National Academic All American at Smoky Hill.

State Finalist this past year in the 200 Freestyle and 100 Backstroke.

Set two League and team records yesterday.

Won the 100 Backstroke and 200 IM yesterday.

Will swim and study business management at Truman State University in Missouri.


Tylen Phillips

1st Year at Piney Creek

Swim for me at Smoky Hill.  

Colorado High School Swimmer/Scholar of the Year in 2018.  Team Captain.

Smoky Hill Team Record Holder in the 100 Butterfly, 100 Backstroke and 400 Freestyle Relay.

Broke Bobby Patton’s Centennial League Record in the 100 Fly from 1980 as a Senior.

Currently attends Lindenwood University in Missouri were is had a great freshman year swimming.


Brandon Bender

14th Year at Piney Creek

Recent graduate from Grandview.

Finished his Piney Creek career here yesterday by setting new team and league records in both relays and by winning the 50 Freestyle.

His 25.35 in the 50 Free was almost 2 seconds faster than he swam last season.

Brandon never was a club swimmer and he never even swam for his high school team, but he came back to Piney Creek every summer.

I can still remember Brandon as an 8 & Under racing Maggie Robben and Kelly Saindon every length of the pool with my 8 & Under groups in lanes 7 & 8.  I was so proud to watch him race yesterday for the last time.

Will attend Colorado State University.


New Records


You have to be crazy fast to have your name on that wall.  You have to be even faster to break a League Record.  We had 10 swimmers break records this season.


15-18 Boys:

200 Medley Relay - 1:53.31

Alex Burkhardt

Josh Nieves

Tylen Phillips

Brandon Bender

Old League Record - 1:54.92 - Foxridge - Hayes, Hultgren, DuFauchard, Babbs - 2017

Old Team Record - 1:55.84 - Zac Solis, Steven Holiday, Derek Curry, Alex Kohlman - 2012


200 Freestyle Relay - 1:42.14

Brandon Bender

Isaac Yi

Alex Burkhardt

Tylen Phillips

Old League Record - 1:42.29 - Cook Creek - 2018

Old Team Record - 1:43.14 - Zac Solis, Derek Curry, Alex Kohlman, Steven Holiday - 2012


Tylen Phillips

100 Backstroke - 1:01.68

Old Team Record - 1:03.39 - Sean Zoellner - 2017

Alex Burkhardt also broke Sean’s old record with a 1:03.30 yesterday

100 Butterfly - 57.42

Old League Record - Tylen Phillips - 57.45 - 2018

Old Team Record - Alex Kohlman - 1:00.41 - 2014


13-14 Boys:

200 Medley Relay - 2:04.35

Jacob Baker - Back

Daniel Yi - Breast

Antonio Goris - Fly

Lasandro Pellows - Free

Old League Record - 2:08.07 - Chapparal - 2013

Old Team Record - 2:09.52 - Carlie Patch, Kyle Johnson, Kevin Shaw, Steven Manente - 2002


200 Freestyle Relay - 1:51.10

Antonio Goris

Lasandro Pellows

Jacob Baker

Daniel Yi

Old League Record - 1:52.32 - Chaparral - 2013

Old Team Record - 1:55.42 - Steven Manente, Charlie Patch, Kevin Shaw, Kyle Johnson - 2002


Antonio Goris

100 Butterfly - 1:02.93

Old League Record - 1:03.89 - Tylen Phillips - 2015

Old Team Record - 1:05.33 - Kevin Shaw - 2003


Daniel Yi

200 IM - 2:21.42

Old Team Record - 2:24.18 - Kevin Shaw - 2003


100 Breaststroke - 1:08.07

Old League & Team Record - 1:10.35 - Isaac Yi - 2018


13-14 Girl:

Katie Cohen

100 Breaststroke - 1:15.41

Old League & Team Record - 1:16.54 - Caroline Piehl - 2007

Set new Cherokee Trail High School Pool Record in Prelims - 1:07.94

Katie now has 10 team records, only Caroline Piehl has more - 11




2019 Coaches Award Winners


All members of the coaching staff had an equal vote in selecting the winners.  We are looking for the following from our winners:

  • Positive Participation in practice and meets.
  • Sportsmanship in the pool, on the pool deck, and in the locker room
  • Performance in the pool

This award is not based on age, points scored, or improvement.  It goes to the swimmers who gave the most back to the team both in and out of the pool.  I believe that both of this year’s winners swim at Piney Creek for the same reason - because it is fun, they get to race, they get to hang out with their friends, and because they truly love the sport of swimming.  


Daniel Yi

This kid can flat out race.  Broke four team and two league records this week.  It doesn’t matter if it is 48 degrees at Highlands Ranch or 100 degrees at Piney Creek, he races as hard as he can every time he dives in the pool.  The kid seems to only have one gear and it is straight up FAST.  His league record in the 100 Breaststroke (1:01.32) is three seconds faster than a high school state championship qualifying time - he will start 8th grade next month.  He won the 100 Breaststroke yesterday by 11 seconds and his time would have also won the 15-18 100 Breaststroke.  His most impressive swim of the season in my mind was his anchor leg in the 200 Freestyle Relay.  Daniel was not going to go down without a fight.  He split a 25.35 for the 50 Freestyle - the exact same time that Brandon Bender went to win the 15-18 Boys 50 Freestyle.  In addition to his super speed, he also is a super teammate.  He is constantly at the end of the pool cheering for his 13-14 teammates.  I also noticed yesterday a small herd of 8 & Under boys that decided to follow him around like the rock star that he is.  Congratulations Daniel.



Veronica Keff

Veronica is a warrior.

Here is what people she:  She takes the lane lines down every morning at 6:45 am, with the help of Korin Mogler.  She made Championship finals in all three of her events this week - finishing 4th in the 200 IM, 6th in the 100 Free and 8th in the 50 Free.  She is a team record holder in multiple 11-12 and 13-14 relays.  Both of her relays finished 3rd yesterday.

Here is what most people didn’t see:  Veronica was so sick this winter that she only swam a few weeks of the high school season.  She took her final exams in the hospital.  She deals with extreme exhaustion and vertigo symptoms on a regular basis.  Multiple times this season she fought through every meter of practice in extreme agony.

Veronica loves the sport of swimming.  The sport was taken away from her this winter, but she battled to be able to love it again this summer.  She is a winner, but swimming is not all about winning.  Veronica’s story is amazing and I am so glad to be able to share it tonight and to give her this massive trophy that she deserves.



Age Group Awards


We are now going to start giving our Age Group awards.  We awarded our Most Valuable Award to the swimmer who scored the most points this season for each age group and a Most Improved Award to the swimmer that the coaching staff believes made the biggest improvement this season.



We won the age group trophy for both the 15-18 Boys and the 15-18 Girls.   The girls won by 257 points and the boys won by 189 points.  Together the 15-18s scored 1,252 points for our team, 446 points more than Wheatland’s 15-18 group scored.  The 15-18 boys won every single event yesterday and the girls won every event except the 100 backstroke.  We had 12 of the top 16 in the 15-18 girls 200 IM. 



MVP - Tylen Phillips & Brandon Bender

Both of this boys won multiple events yesterday.  

Tylen won the 200 Free, 100 Fly and 100 Free.  

Brandon won the 50 Free and was 3rd in the 100 Free.  He also had the best practice attendance of anyone.


Improved - Michael Alisky

Qualified for All Stars in the 100 Breast and 100 Free yesterday.  



MVP - Maggie Robben & Jadyn Phillips

Both of these girls won multiple events yesterday.

Maggie went a perfect 5 for 5 winning both relays, 200 Free, 100 Breast and 200 IM.  She is the league Record holder in the the 100 Breast and 200 IM,

Jadyn won the 50 Free and 100 Free.  She anchored out 200 Medley Relay and lead off our winning 200 Free Relay.

I do want to made everyone aware of our 200 Medley Relay team of 

Kristina Domashevich

Meggie Robben

Annelise Thomas - who won the 100 Butterfly

Jadyn Phillips

missed the team and league record by just 0.13 seconds.  My watch said differently, but that is why I hate the dolphins.  They were chasing a record held by Kelse Johnson, Caroline Piehl, Alex Todd and JJ Smith - all four of those girls swam at the division I level.    


Improved - Annabel Fuina

Annabel continues to grow as a swimmer.  She had an amazing week this week, making Championships in the 50 Free, 100 Fly and 100 Freestyle.  




We won the combined score for 13-14s yesterday.  The boys won the league trophy and the girls finished a very close 3rd, just 28 points out of 1st with just 7 girls who swam yesterday.



MVP: Antonio Goris 

Broke the league record in the 100 Fly, finished 3rd in the 50 Free and 2nd in the 100 Backstroke.  Split a 28.89 in the 50 Fly on our record breaking Medley Relay.


Improved - Sam Baker

Sam came to swim yesterday and it was awesome to watch.  He moved up all day in his events.  He finished 2nd to Daniel in the 100 Breast, 3rd in the 100 Fly, and 3rd in the 200 IM.  He works extremely hard and it was great to see him shine yesterday.



MVP - Katie Cohen 

Katie had an amazing week this week.  League Champion in the 200 Freestyle and 100 Breaststroke.  Her 200 Free time was her best time by 6 seconds and is high school state qual time.  Two of the very best races of the summer were watching Katie race Sophia Mitsuoka in the 200 IM. Katie also took off 6 seconds of her best time in the 200 IM and went faster than the state qual time as well.  She will be representing Team Colorado in a few weeks at Western Zones in Oregon.


Improved - Anna Ambrosio

Anna had an amazing league meet.  She finished 2nd in the 100 Freestyle with a crazy fast 1:08.31, 5th in the 200 Free and 5th in the 50 Free.  It has been awesome to watch her continue to grow as a swimmer.


I also need to mention how awesome it was to watch Tess Durrell and Sophia Smolenski finish 1-2 in the 100 Backstroke yesterday.  Both of those girls have also come a very long way this summer.




MVP - Charlie Newton

Charlie continues to lead the way for our 11-12 boys group.  He had a great meet yesterday.  I thought he was going to win the 50 Back, but the lane rope jumped out and bit him with about 10 meters to go.  He is the only 11-12 boy to swim in 3 Championship finals yesterday.


Improved - Grier Laughlin

Grier works incredible hard at practice and took stroke classes each week.  All of that paid off this week when he qualified for Championships in all three of his events and swam on the A 200 Freestyle Relay team.  Grier’s father and I swam together grouping up and I see so much of his father in him.  It is such an amazing joy for me to watch him improve as a swimmer and as a person. 



MVP - Morgan Goodrich & Anna Haggerty

These two girls make an awesome 1-2 combination.  Both of our relays finished 2nd to record breaking Wheatlands relays with Morgan and Anna leading the way.  Anna finished a close 2nd in the 50 Butterfly and swim in the Championship Finals of both the 50 back and 100 Free.  Morgan swam in the Championship finals of the 50 Free, 50 Back and 100 Free.  They were both right there with some of the very best 11-12 swimmers in Colorado.  

Improved - Caroline Laughlin

Caroline has turned into an amazing butterfly - finishing 4th yesterday in the 50 Butterfly.   She also won the consolation heat of the 100 IM and swam on the 2nd Place A 200 Freestyle Relay.  Like her bother, she works very hard and it is awesome to she Caroline continue to improve each year. 





MVP - Brock Telkamp

Brock continues to be leader of the 9-10 group.  He is extremely talented and has qualified for All Stars in 4 events.  Championship finals in 2 events yesterday.  I was extremely impressed with Brock yesterday in two ways - one, he stepped up and swam butterfly on our A Medley Relay after other swimmers protested being in that spot.  He stepped up and swam great.  He also didn’t let a DQ in the 50 Fly upset him, he just kept swimming hard and finished his day strong yesterday.


Improved - Mike Wehrle

Wow did this kid have a week.  I don’t believe I have ever seen a swimmer so happy to make All Stars as Mike Wehrle.  Rumor has it that after making All Stars in the 100 IM at prelims he may have even slept with his All Star cap on.  




MVP - Kate McKinnon

Kate is one of the biggest competitors I have ever seen.  She loves to race and she races to win.  Even though she was on the lower half of her age group, Kate still made Championship finals all all three events that she swam yesterday and was the highest placing 9 year old in all 3.  Watch out next year.


Improved - Samantha Rippee

Sam swam with the 11-12s everyday and worked extremely hard.  That all paid off this week with amazing All Star qualifying swims in the 100 Free and 50 Fly.  However, it was an absolutely amazing breaststroke split yesterday that impressed me the most.





MVP - Waylon Day

Waylon loves to race.  It doesn’t matter if it is a 25 freestyle at Championships or across the diving well at practice.  He loves to race.  He made Championship finals and All Stars in 3 events yesterday.   Finished 2nd in the 25 Free, 3rd in the 50 Free and 5th in the 25 fly yesterday.


Improved - Sawyer Bower

Sawyer was the Championships Champion in the 25 breaststroke yesterday.  Watch out Daniel Yi, because Sawyer Bower is coming for your records.  He also was an All Star qualifier and finished 4th in the 100 IM yesterday.  Awesome job Sawyer.




MVP - Emily Gianatasio

Emily qualified for All Stars in the 25 Free and made the finals yesterday in both the 25 Free and 25 Fly.  She was the only 8 & Under on our team to swim a legal 100 IM this season.  Her 50 free won the consolation heat yesterday by 7 seconds.


Improved - Porter Sicheri

Porter saved her best for last.  She qualified for All Stars leading off the 100 Free Relay yesterday in her final chance.  She finished 4th in the 25 Free and 6th in the 50 Free yesterday.  Emily and Porter pushed each other every day in practice and they are both All Stars because of it.



6 & Unders 


MVP - Noel Obot

Noel finished 2nd in both the 6 & Under 25 Free and the 25 Breaststroke yesterday.  He also finished 4th in the 25 Back.  Our only 6 & Under to make Championship finals in all three events he swam.


Improved - Ari Monene

Ari went from needing a coach in the water to making it back to Championships in both the 25 free and the 25 breaststroke.  Awesome job Ari.




MVP - Dara Obot

Just like her brother, Dara had an awesome day yesterday, finishing 3rd in both the 25 Free and 25 Backstroke.  She won her heat in the 25 Breaststroke by 8 seconds


Improved - Arden Willey

Arden also had an amazing day yesterday, finishing 3rd in the 25 Breast, 6th in the 25 Free and won her heat of the 25 back by 3 seconds.


Congratulations to all.  Hope to see everyone back in the Piney Creek Pool next May.


Scott Cohen - Head Coach