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Refocused Tolerico leads Mountain View contingent to 4A state meet – Loveland Reporter-Herald

Refocused Tolerico leads Mountain View contingent to 4A state meet – Loveland Reporter-Herald

Mountain View senior Tyler Tolerico prepares to dive during the R2J City Meet April 19 at the Mountain View Aquatic Center. Tolerico will compete in the Class 4A state diving competition Thursday at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. He finished second there last year. (Nathan Wright/Loveland Reporter-Herald)

Mountain View senior diver Tyler Tolerico is ready to challenge for a state title again after finally being able to focus on his craft without any distractions.

After an up-and-down regular season, Tolerico recently won the Northern Colorado Athletics Conference championship and enters Thursday’s Class 4A state diving competition with the second-best 11-dive score in the state, as well as the highest degree of difficulty among the 28 qualifiers. divers.

But before he got to where he is today, Tolerico went through a season of uncertainty. In his own words, his head is finally in the right place.

“I feel like I have a lot of things on my mind, just thoughts about college, where I’m going to go, what I’m going to do,” Tolerico said. “Just a lot of stress with school ending and everything like that. I think I just haven’t been in the right place mentally.

Last season at state, Tolerico had a score of 507.75 in 11 dives, behind only then-sophomore Carson Harrington’s 580.85.

Coincidentally, Tolerico’s best score this year, 503.90, is just behind Harrington’s 562.3 among scores from 11 dives submitted to MaxPreps.

Much of what he’s done this year builds on the tough dives he added to his roster last year, and his coach, CT Robinson, has played a big role in getting him there and preparing him for this year’s state competition.

“This year he has strengthened a lot on his dives from last year,” Robinson said. “Last year we spent a lot of the year making bigger dives, and this year we’re locking them in, which gives him a little more confidence in them, so he can build on that that he has, because the list that he has now, when it comes to 1 yard in high school, it doesn’t really get any better than what he has.

In preparation for this year’s competition, he put his college decision aside and said it was a relief to do it and not have to worry about it anymore.

This allowed him to focus on his studies, which allowed him to do the same with his diving practice.

“It definitely relieved a lot of stress knowing where I was going to go, and especially going to the Air Force Academy and not having to worry about scholarships,” Tolerico said. “I was able to relax and just focus on school and that’s when I started to see that things were getting a lot better with diving.”

Over the past few weeks, Tolerico has known what he needs to do to get back on the podium Thursday at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.

He hopes that will be enough to finish his high school career with a state championship. Robinson believes he has this opportunity.

“It’s such a mindset situation,” Robinson said. “At the state level, you just have to keep that mindset, knowing that he can be a state champion, because he’s his own worst enemy in this area.”

Tolerico isn’t the only Mountain View representative who could host a big state meeting. Sophomore sprinter JJ Phillips enters Thursday’s preliminaries with the second-fastest time in the 50-yard freestyle (21.75) and third-fastest time in the 100 freestyle (47.76).

Last season, he was an unknown freshman and finished ninth in the 50 and 10th in the 100. This year, he’s been near the top of those rankings all season.

Mountain View's Kane Willis swims the 200 IM butterfly leg at the R2J City Meet April 19 at the Mountain View Aquatics Center.  Willis is seeded ninth in the 100 backstroke for this weekend's 4A state meet.  (Nathan Wright/Loveland Reporter-Herald)
Mountain View’s Kane Willis swims the butterfly leg of the 200 IM at the R2J City Meet April 19 at the Mountain View Aquatics Center. Willis is seeded ninth in the 100 backstroke for this weekend’s 4A state meet. (Nathan Wright/Loveland Reporter-Herald)

Meanwhile, teammate Kane Willis is the only other swimmer from Mountain View or Thompson Valley to make the top 10 in an event prior to the competition. Willis is ranked ninth in the 100 backstroke. Mountain View is also ranked in the top 15 in all three of its relays.

As a team, the Mountain Lions are looking to improve on their 14th place finish from last year, where they scored 110 points.

Mountain View State Qualifiers (4A)

JJ Phillips: 50 free (2nd), 100 free (3rd)

Kane Willis: 100 back (9th), 200 free (30th),

Ayden Hepp: 50 free (32nd), 100 fly (33rd)

Sawyer Ingraham: 100 breaststroke (39th), 50 freestyle (54th)

Cole Ingraham: 50 free (41st)

Tyler Tolerico: diving to 1 meter

Carter Vining: diving to 1 meter

Relay: 200 freestyle (7th), 200 medley (13th), 400 freestyle (15th)

Thompson Valley State Qualifiers (4A)

Vaughn Higgins: 500 free (27th), 50 free (30th)

John Shier: 200 IM (37th)

Relay: 400 free (24th), 200 medley (25th), 200 free (28th)

Loveland State Qualifiers (5A)

Alex Patricelli: 50 free (27th), 100 back (33rd)

Relay: 200m medley (26th), 400 freestyle (27th), 200 freestyle (31st)