TEMPE, AZ, November 6. ANTICIPATION is high for the second day of the high school championship meet at Arizona State's Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, as it is every year since so many of the top athletes save shaving till day two.
Brophy senior Alex Righi set the bar for the meet already with a new state record in the 100 backstroke at :48.02, breaking the old mark of :49.16 previously held by Matt Ulrickson, Saguaro, who went on to be an Olympic Trials finalist and 2000 NCAA champion for Texas in the event.
Righi also showed good speed in leading off the Brophy medley relay at :22.33 for the 50 backstroke. His final event was the 100 free, where he is defending champion, at :45.35.
Righi’s endeavor getting the most notice is his pursuit of the 50 freestyle record of 2-time Olympic champion in the event, Gary Hall. Hall lead-off the Brophy 4 x 50 freestyle relay at :20.30 in 1992. Righi is taking the same approach, not entering the 50 but leading off Brophy’s relay. He had :20.56 in the Friday preliminaries.
And the word from at least one source on deck yesterday was that he wore his good suit but still has hair to shave! It will be fun today.
Also look for big drops today from Brophy senior David Pursley, back to defend his 200 IM and 500 free crowns from last year. His prelim times were four and seven seconds off his winning times from a year ago, but…they were faster than last year’s prelims.
The top prelim performance for the women was probably the :23.67 50 freestyle from Mesa Mountain View sophomore Aleesha Miller.