LOVELAND — The state swim meet resembles a convention of the 3 percent of the population for whom Rogaine doesn’t work.
A bald head is almost a requirement, to help swimmers shave
precious hundredths of a second off their times.
But as Matt Schreiner’s high school life flashed before him in a matter of hours Saturday evening, his priorities came into focus.
Instead of taking a razor to his full head of brown hair, the Silver Creek High School senior opted to don a cap — but it wasn’t completely his own decision. His date later that evening had a say in the matter.
“I didn’t want to have a bald head for prom,” said Schreiner, who immediately after his last event at the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Meet headed to his senior prom. “My date really didn’t want me to. It just wouldn’t look right.”
He came into the finals Saturday with something to prove after a disappointing preliminaries the day before. Schreiner, who had hoped to place in the top five in the 200-yard freestyle, swam the worst 200 of his career and didn’t even make it back to the consolations in the event.
“I had literally swam in the relay right before (the 200), and I’ve never felt such pain,” Schreiner said. “I let it affect me for the rest of the day, which I shouldn’t have, and it was just very disappointing.”
He made up for it in the final individual race of his high school career.
Although he didn’t make it back to the finals in the 100-yard freestyle, either, Schreiner came in at 50.68 seconds in the consolations, knocking nearly a second and a half off his prelim time and taking home a ninth-place finish.
“That’s good for him,” Silver Creek co-coach Stephen Beam said. “He had a really rough day (Friday), and it’s really good to see him go out with an effort like that, especially with how much he’s meant to this program.”
Schreiner and his identical twin brother, Mike, were part of the original Silver Creek swim team and are the first and only swimmers to go all four years through the program.
Matt Schreiner, who competes year-round with the Longmont Redtails, said the emotions of leaving high school behind started hitting him all at once Saturday.
“I don’t want this to end,” he said. “I love high school swimming. I really don’t want to even think about it right now.”
Matt Schreiner can be sure of one thing as he embarks on a hopeful Division I swimming career at Washington University in the fall: He’s leaving the Raptors in very good hands.
This weekend at state, two freshmen showed what the future of Silver Creek swimming will look like. Alex Roiniotis took ninth place in the 100-yard backstroke and won medals on two relays. Nick Koerner swam the 100-yard freestyle in 51.60 seconds, which was good enough for 12th place overall.
The leadership of the team, despite losing the co-captain Schreiner brothers to graduation, looks to be in good shape next year as well.
Niwot High School junior Bunta Yamazaki, who also is a year-round swimmer, took home top-16 honors in both the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke. He looks to bring back the same team unity that the Raptors boasted this season despite being in a combined program with Niwot.
“It’s really important to me that that we have the same type of teamwork next season,” Yamazaki said. “There’s a lot of great talent on this team that I know we can do a lot with next season.”
Silver Creek walked away from the Mountain View Aquatic Center with its best showing ever at state, with 96 points and a tie for 11th place. Thompson Valley took home the team title with 280 points.
“I’m so proud of all these guys,” Matt Schreiner said. “I can’t imagine a better group of guys to have spent my last year in high school with, and I’m going to miss them.”
Undoubtedly, they will miss him, too.
Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Meet
Team scores — Thompson Valley 280, Cheyenne Mountain 249, Montrose 213, Pine Creek 209, Pueblo Centennial 189, Greeley West 182, Moffat County 142, Broomfield 138, Mountain View 118.5, Mullen 112.5, Silver Creek 96, Evergreen 96, Ralston Valley 88, Thomas Jefferson 54, Glenwood Springs 39, Greeley Central 23, Pueblo East 13, Pueblo South 12, Pueblo County 9, Pueblo West 8, Liberty 7, Valley 5, Windsor 3, Longmont 2.
200 medley relay — 1. Montrose, 1:39.56; 6. Silver Creek (Alex Roiniotis, Bunta Yamazaki, Matt Schreiner, Nick Koerner), 1:45.98.
200 freestyle — 1. Bell (GW), 1:40.98.
200 IM — Shook (TV), 1:54.09.
50 freestyle — Findorff (CM), 21.20.
Diving — 1. Sichc (MV), 542.90; 20. Kyle Stewart (SC), 191.75 (semifinal score).
100 butterfly — Banker (PC), 50.52*.
100 freestyle — Findorff (CM), 45.95*; 9. Matt Schreiner (SC), 50.68; 12. Koerner (SC), 51.60.
500 freestyle — 1. Brown (RV), 4:44.99; 12. Yamazaki (SC), 5:11.72.
200 freestyle relay — Greeley West, 1:28.00; 7. Silver Creek (Mike Schreiner, Roiniotis, Koerner, Matt Schreiner), 1:33.26; 16. Longmont (Kris Wayman, Kody Emerson, Joe Diefenbach, Kyle Louveau), 1:39.83.
100 backstroke — 1. Banker (PC), 51.58; 9. Roiniotis (SC), 58.13.
100 breaststroke — 1. Shook (TV), 1:00.28; 12. Yamazaki (SC), 1:06.79.
400 freestyle relay — 1. Montrose, 3:13.52; 10. Silver Creek (Koerner, Alex Grant, Kevin Fischer, Yamazaki), 3:35.19.
* — 4A state record