High School State Championships: Arizona Division 1

MESA, Arizona, November 10. THE Arizona Division 1 High School State Swimming and Diving Championships, held in Mesa Nov. 8-9, had a different look to it on the girls side.

The last time Xavier College Prep lost a state title was 1998. For the last 14 years, the Gators had dominated their competition.

The streak stopped this year with Desert Vista–which had finished in fifth last year–defeating Xavier 278.5-267. Pinnacle claimed the third spot with 243 points, followed by Chaparral (211.5) and Chandler (169).

Desert Vista’s Cecilia Kowalski, a junior, tied with Rincon junior Brianna Leverenz in the 200 free, both stopping the clock at 1:50.48. Desert Vista relied on its depth to pull out the victory, repeating its dual meet triumph over Xavier in September.

Chaparral’s 200 medley relay of freshman Emma Broome, junior Taylor Shewchuk, sophomore Gillian Rieth and freshman Emma Segneri set a state record 1:44.92. Their time erased the 1:35.21 set by Xavier in 2010.

Pinnacle junior Victoria Toris repeated her victories from last year in both the 50 and 100 free (23.12 and 50.55). Sophomore Isabelle Whited also earned her second straight title in the 500 free (4:55.74). Toris and Whited combined with sophomore Zoe Rosin and junior Samantha Fazio for a winning 1:36.05 in the 200 free relay; senior Krista Gill joined with Whited, Fazio and Toris to top the field in the 400 free relay (3:31.64).

Katie Shannahan, a junior at Desert Mountain, improved on her third-place finish in 2012 with her win this year in the 200 IM (2:04.25). She also captured the 100 fly just ahead of Xavier senior Maddy Brandt (56.13 to 56.25).

Gilbert senior Ashley Grijalva closed out her high school career with a win in the 100 breast (1:02.46). She had finished in third place at last year’s championships. Delaney Schnell, representing Tucson Magnet, earned 504.15 points, good for first in the diving competition.

Things went a little more to form in the boys events. The Brophy Prep Broncos earned their 26th consecutive state title with 294 points. Chaparral took second (259), with Desert Vista third (211), Mountain View fourth (190.5) and Red Mountain fifth (110).

Brophy’s depth was key. Brophy swimmers collected only two relay first-place finishes. The 200 free relay of freshman Jake Blake, senior Alex Becker, junior D.J. Brown and senior Brad Dorsey combined for a 1:24.10; senior Colby Palivathuhal and junior Grady Ottomeyer joined Dorsey and Blake on the victorious 400 free relay (3:05.49).

Ryan Hoffer made his initial appearance at the Division 1 championships a memorable one. The Chaparral freshman set a state record of 19.55 in the prelims of the 50 free, and nearly bettered that with a 19.69 finals time, earning him first in the event.

He also swam a leg on Chaparral’s state record-setting 200 medley relay with senior Austin Drummond, junior Marcello Quarante and senior Weston Miller (1:32.01). Miller took charge in the 500 free with his 4:34.41 first-place finish, and Drummond improved from second last year to first in the 100 back via his 51.04.

Mark Jurek, a Chandler sophomore, set a state record in the 200 IM (1:48.31), and claimed another victory in the 100 fly (47.80). Arcadia junior Matt Anderson lowered the state standard in the 100 breast to 55.44.

Desert Mountain senior Nicholas Magana topped the field in both the 100 free and 200 free (44.26 and 1:38.74). Sunnyslope’s Emmott Blitch was the top diver, putting together a score of 459.05 points.

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