5 Athletes To Watch At Arizona Div. II High School Swimming and Diving Championships

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website Agonswim.com.

Above photo by Catherine Ladd

MESA – This weekend’s Arizona Interscholatic Association’s swimming and diving championships will feature some very exciting racing at the Skyline Aquatic Center, and SwimmingWorld.TV will be a part of the live webcast of the event Saturday in Mesa.

Saturday’s finals for the Division II competition begins at 9:30 am Mountain Standard Time, with the Division I meet scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start. Diving finals will take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday for Division II and 1:30 p.m. Friday for Division I. Tucson’s Catalina Foothills High School is looking for another sweep of the boys’ and girls’ team titles, though several Phoenix-area schools won’t make it easy for the Falcons.

In association with Play On Sports, Swimming World’s Jeff Commings and Tiffany Elias will serve as on-air announcers for the meet. Elias will be calling all the girls’ races, while Commings will do the same for the boys’ meet. Both meets will be streamed on NFHSNetwork.com live. You can also download the NFHS Network app to watch the meet on your smartphone or tablet!

Today, we highlight five athletes to watch at the Division II meet.

Brooks Fail, Catalina Foothills High School

Last year, Fail won the consolation final of the 200 freestyle as a freshman with a 1:50.54 and was fourth in the 500 free with a 4:52.10. What a difference a year makes. Now a sophomore, many are picking Fail to win both events this year, thanks in no small part to his dramatic time drops. He now boasts a lifetime best of 1:45.24 in the 200 free and 4:39.24 in the 500. Both times were done less than two months ago at the beginning of the season, so Fail is on track to challenge for the wins. Max Montour is the top contender in the 200 after placing second last year with a 1:42.34.

Hannah Holman, Shadow Mountain High School

Photo Courtesy: Hannah Holman/Facebook

Photo Courtesy: Hannah Holman/Facebook

Holman won the 200 IM with a 2:06.13 last year and the 100 breast with a 1:05.81. Three months later, she set lifetime bests of 2:02.85 in the 200 IM and 1:03.74 in the 100 breast. How fast will she go this year? She might not need to swim as fast to win both events Saturday, but setting new lifetime bests in her final high school meet would be a fine transition to collegiate swimming at Tennessee.

Matt Lujan, Catalina Foothills High School

Photo Courtesy: Catherine Ladd

Photo Courtesy: Catherine Ladd

Lujan is also looking for the double win Saturday, hoping to repeat as 200 IM and 100 back champion. Lujan holds a lifetime best of 49.84, and will give the crowd a thrill if he can dip under the 50-second barrier this weekend. It won’t come close to Alex Righi’s state record of 48.00, but it will be one of the fastest performances in Arizona high school history, and a great way for Lujan to close out his high school swimming career before moving to the University of Arizona.

Taylor Nations, Sabino High School

Nations won the 100 back last year as a sophomore, and doesn’t look to have any major challengers this year. She’s also the top returner in the 100 freestyle, though sophomore Teagan McGinnis will give her a major race for the top podium spot.

Cody Rankin, Shadow Mountain High School

Photo Courtesy: Matthew Rankin

Photo Courtesy: Matthew Rankin

Rankin scored the most points in 1-meter diving across all divisions last year, winning the Division II competition by 24 points. Rankin has seen action at the junior national championships since last November, and will put on a show Friday.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Natalie Ward will be competing in the championships this weekend.