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Lexie Trietley breaks records 1 stroke at a time

Collegian | Tri Duong
Lexie Trietley, Colorado State University swimmer, walks to the starting line for the 200-yard freestyle event during the Recognition of Seniors ceremony at the 2023 Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium at the University of Houston Feb. 18, 2023.

What does it mean to be a legend?

In her two years and counting for Colorado State swim and dive, records seem to fall at Lexie Trietley‘s feet. In just her first year, Trietley solidified her name in the CSU record book as third in both the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.76 seconds and the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.79 seconds.


But those significant successes do not dampen her fire. Trietley’s lofty goals extend toward the No. 1 spots in both events, held by former Ram and six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken

The two are easily compared. Trietley herself broke the Moby Pool record for 50 free, previously held by Van Dyken, during a meet against Denver in October 2023. Trietley swam a 23.21 time, which beat the 23.32 set in 1994 before Trietley was even born, leading to a call from Van Dyken herself.

“(Breaking that record) means two things,” coach Christopher Woodard said. “Amy Van Dyken was hella fast, and she set some standards that are still really hard to break. So (it) is a really big move forward for Lexie (athletically). And I think it’s (also) a big move in her confidence for her to know, ‘If I can swim like that (at Moby Pool), what happens when I’m suited? Rested? Out of altitude?’”

The ascension to No. 1 depends on Trietley overcoming No. 2 Kristina Friedrichs. The former sprinter set No. 2 records in the 50 and 100 free as a senior in the 2021-22 season. 

CSU senior and freestyle captain Anika Johnson, who swam with Friedrichs, thinks second place in CSU’s record books for Trietley is accessible.

“I think she definitely has the potential to (break Friedrich’s record),” Johnson said. “Lexie is right there. She kind of filled those sprinting shoes in a sense when Kristina left.”

But CSU stardom is not the only thing Trietley plans to push toward. This year, the NCAA championship meet, which will take place in Athens, Georgia, has a strict set of qualifications well within Trietley’s reach.

There are two groups: A and B. Swimmers with an A time or faster automatically qualify. B cuts have a slower time, but they still have the chance to make the highly competitive championships. Trietley is shooting for the 22.67 B cut time in the 50 free, just 0.03 seconds slower than Friedrich’s record.

“She’s absolutely got a legitimate shot at B provisional times,” Woodard said. “Whether she’s able to get into the (NCAA) meet (will) be tough for sure. We’re still working on her transitions and underwaters, … but when it comes to open water, she can pretty much take about anybody.”


Just as she did her first year, Trietley plans to break those records at the Mountain West Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, which starts Feb. 21 in Houston. 

But as fast as Trietley intends to be, she never forgets the team around her. And with teammates like Maya White and Lucy Matheson, multiple swimmers could make the B cut for the NCAA championship.

“(For conference), I’m excited to place better as a team this year because I think we are going to do better than seventh place,” Trietley said. “I’m most excited with what I can individually do to help the team overall.”

In the water and on land, Trietley is focusing inward with her sights set on personal record times that give the team points as well as just events.

With competitors like San Diego State and Nevada, teams that also contain swimmers who make the B cut, the Mountain West Championships will not be easy for CSU. But Trietley’s fire will not be dimmed.

“I think what (the team) likes is her racer mentality,” Woodard said. “She doesn’t let much shake her before a race or behind the block. She kind of approaches it with the attitude that ‘I’m out here to do my best. It doesn’t really matter what everybody else does.’”

The next meet for swim and dive is the Denver First Chance Invitational, their second meet against DU this season. This time, DU has the home advantage over the Rams.

Going into the season’s end, Trietley has many goals, and they reflect how the swim team wishes to finish the season.

“The standards are always there to be broken,” Woodard said. “They’re giving us a target. So Lexie has a target in mind, and I think she’s absolutely capable of taking the second spot.”

Reach Liv Sewell at or on Twitter @liv_sewell22.

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About the Contributor
Tri Duong
Tri Duong, Co-Photo Director
Tri Duong is a fifth-year journalism student with a minor in chemistry and is profoundly intrigued by the art of documenting life one frame at a time. Duong was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where reunification would one day bring about his family move to Loveland, Colorado, in 2007. For 14 years, his family was separated due to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Coming from a different country has given him a deeper insight to life and the way of being. In fifth grade, Duong discovered photography through an after-school class, which led to his journey to becoming a photojournalist today. Whether it is photographing the ordinary walks of daily life or the harsh rambles of the world, Duong will always adhere to a certain philosophy: The product must preserve the liveliness of a worthy moment in the truest and most authentic way possible, or else it is not life. Working for The Collegian, Duong aspires to bring storytellers and journalists to develop their inspiration of visual communication through an ethical scope. Documentation of fragile and vulnerable reality is fascinating evidence for existence; therefore, it is critical to respect the nature of its realness. In his free time, Duong takes an interest in beekeeping, bartending and traveling as a way to explore the vast unknown of this world. Duong hopes to learn more about the storytellers he comes by at work or school. Everyone carries with them a unique tale of experience, and it would be lovely to hear who they are and how they ended up here.

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