Local diver delivers state title

Douglas County's Lexie Barker goes from gymnast to a champion in the pool

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Lexie Barker believes she can still do a couple flips but maybe not full-out tumbling.

Barker, the Douglas County High School senior, left gymnastics three years ago and is now one of the best divers in the state.

She won the diving title at the Class 5A State Swimming Championships on Feb. 10 at the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center in Thornton.

“I've definitely improved a lot,” said Barker, who was named Diver of the Year after the meet. “My first year, I was cut after three dives and didn't make it through all 11 dives. Last year I made it all the way to third place.

“It's pretty exciting to win the state championship. I hoped that I would win but I really didn't think it would happen.”

Barker held a 14.6-point lead following the first two diving rounds and went on to win the title with 493.25 points. Franny Cable, a sophomore from Arapahoe, was second with 474.45 points.

“After the prelims and semis and going into the finals, I was actually thinking that wow, maybe I have a shot at actually winning,” said Ohio State-bound Barker.

“I performed pretty well. There were definitely some mistakes I made. I'm not going to be perfect, so I'm pretty happy.”

In the 5A team standings, Arapahoe finished third with 321 behind runner-up Fairview and champion Fossil Ridge.

Rock Canyon was sixth with 125 points. Jaguars sophomore Jessica Beckwith was fourth in the 100 butterfly and Rock Canyon scored points in the championship final of three relay events.

The Douglas County/Castle View co-op team came in 12th with 72 points.

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