Catalina Foothills Boys, Campo Verde Girls Crowned Arizona High School Division II Swimming and Diving Champs

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MESA – The Catalina Foothills High School boys and Campo Verde High School girls swam away with the Arizona High School Division II swimming and diving state titles yesterday morning at the Skyline Aquatic Center. The Catalina Foothills boys picked up five state titles, while the Campo Verde girls won one event and relied on their depth to win the meet.

Division II Boys

Notre Dame Prep got the meet started with a win in the 200 medley relay, as Marcus Liebman, Braxton Bilbrey, Michael Morsch and Ansel Averitte posted a 1:37.47 in a comfortable win over Catalina Foothills’ Matt Lujan, Andy Duffield, Brendan Finn and Jack Hadley (1:39.29). Salpointe Catholic’s Steven Rothe, John Casey, Kevin Balserak and Hunter Grim touched third in 1:41.89.

Catalina Foothills sophomore Brooks Fail demolished the rest of the field with a 1:43.41, just off his prelim time of 1:43.27 but still two and a half seconds in front of Cortez’s Max Montour (1:46.00). Northland Prep’s Caleb Ring separated himself from the pack to finish third in 1:47.53.

Catalina Foothills kept the ball rolling in the 200 IM as senior Matt Lujan put up a 1:56.19 to win a state title in his final high school meet, three seconds in front of Cactus senior Matt Furfie (1:59.27). Sam Mulay gave Catalina Foothills a 1-3 finish with his 2:02.70 for third.

Three boys broke 22 in the 50 free final, led by Gilbert Classical’s Austin Baker – the fifth seed after prelims – in 21.74. Thunderbird’s Daniel Strohmeyer, the top qualifier from prelims at 21.85, dropped .01 but finished second in 21.74. Braxton Bilbrey gave Notre Dame Prep a third place finish with his 21.93.

Derek Bowers of Gilbert Classical topped the boys’ 1-meter diving field with 498.90 points, only five points ahead of Shadow Mountain’s Cody Rankin (493.15). Campo Verde’s Riley Williams came in third with 434.55 points.

Salpointe Catholic’s Steven Rothe and Bourgade Catholic’s Zabric Kline treated the crowd to a thrilling finish in the 100 fly, as Kline just out-touched Rothe at the wall, 52.77 to 52.80. Jaxton Peterson of Prescott got to the wall third in 53.82.

Austin Baker of Gilbert Classical went two-for-two in the sprint freestyles, adding a win in the 100 free to his win in the 50 earlier. Baker stopped the clock in 48.29 to top Thunderbird’s Daniel Strohmeyer (49.01) and Cactus’ David Valdez (49.05), the top two seeds after prelims.

Catalina Foothills’ Brooks Fail, winner of the 200 free earlier, won his second state title of the day in the 500 free. Fail dominated the race from start to finish, touching in 4:33.21 to top teammate Andy Duffield (4:51.12) by almost 18 seconds. Northland Prep’s Mike Heinonen swam a 4:53.40 to round out the top three.

Notre Dame Prep put together the fastest 200 free relay of the day at 1:29.31, led by Ansel Averitte, Marcus Liebman, Michael Morsch and Braxton Bilbrey. Williams Field picked up its first top three finish of the meet with a second place time of 1:30.13, thanks to Bridger Betz, Cash Heath, Ren Porter and Spencer Beaudette. Campo Verde’s Nicholas Elle, Cole Jordan, Brian Naramore and Griffin Roeger rounded out the top three in 1:31.23.

Matt Lujan of Catalina Foothills closed out his high school career with a second individual title as he bested the 100 back field with a 50.79. Max Montour of Cortez finished in 53.01 to take second, while Lake Havasu’s Caden Carver touched third in 54.53.

Grant Sugaski of Casa Grande couldn’t quite match his speed from prelims in the 100 breast, but he still had plenty of cushion to take the title in 58.15, a second in front of Notre Dame Prep’s Braxton Bilbrey (59.15). Shadow Mountain’s Austin Julian also broke 1:00 in the final with a 59.60.

Catalina Foothills wrapped up the state title with a convincing win in the 400 free relay as Matt Lujan, Andy Duffield, Sam Mulay and Brooks Fail stopped the clock in 3:18.13, more than five seconds in front of Williams Field’s Cash Heath, Ren Porter, Spencer Beaudette and Bridger Betz (3:23.56). Queen Creek’s Kadin Keith, Dallin Furner, Hugh Jones and Gavin Turley wrapped up third in 3:23.61.

Catalina Foothills registered 312 points to take home the boys’ title, while Notre Dame Prep edged Campo Verde for second, 187 points to 177. Salpointe Catholic (143 points) and Williams Field (129 points) rounded out the top five.

Division II Girls

Salpointe Catholic claimed the opening 200 medley relay, with Jiaying Brust, Teagan McGinnis, Julie Turk and Madeline Wallen touching in 1:53.94. The Campo Verde quartet of Katrina Hage, Miler-Anne Latinovich, Mya White and Ellinore Duncan just edged Verrado’s Sieara Kling, Olivia Bender, Victoria Warrum and Shelby Lax for second, 1:55.94 to 1:55.95.

In the 200 free, Catalina Foothills senior Hannah Orbach-Mandel raced to the state title in her final high school state meet, clipping Salpointe Catholic’s Teagan McGinnis, 1:53.51 to 1:53.80. Taylor Steele of Seton Catholic swam a 1:55.70 to finish third.

Shadow Mountain’s Hannah Holman completely dominated the women’s 200 IM final, coming up just short of her prelim effort of 2:01.88 with a time of 2:02.00. She didn’t need the extra tenth, as her nearest competitor, Campo Verde’s Ellinore Duncan, touched in 2:10.69 for second. Caroline Strolic of Notre Dame Prep posted a 2:13.16 to finish third.

Olivia McNally, a freshman at Green Fields Country Day, got her high school state meet career off to a winning start with a 24.41 in the 50 free, good for the Division II state title over Agua Fria’s Ebony McCray (24.73) and Coolidge’s Morgan Cramm (25.07).

In 1-meter diving, Campo Verde’s Baylee Stipp posted the top score of the day with 444.70 points. Shadow Mountain’s Jennifer Cheetham was second (417.70 points), followed by Gilbert Classical’s Megan Bowers with 399.15 points.

Following the diving break, Veritas Prep’s Katie Higgins snuck by top qualifier Taylor Steele of Seton Catholic to win the 100 fly in 57.56. Steele swam a 58.01 to place second, while Verrado’s Sieara Kling came in third at 58.12.

Sabino’s Taylor Nations sprinted to a state title in the 100 free with a 52.21, slightly off her prelim time of 51.56 but still fast enough to beat Catalina Foothills’ Hannah Orbach-Mandel (52.56) and Notre Dame Prep’s Alexa Markl (52.67).

Sunrise Mountain picked up its first top three finish of the day with sophomore Nicole Matheson cruising to an eight second win in the 500 free at 5:07.41. Desert Edge freshman Madison Szeremet dropped two seconds from prelims to take second in 5:15.70, while Coolidge’s Morgan Cramm picked up third in 5:18.76.

Catalina Foothills’ Alexis Hansen, Ali Cox, Samantha Reeves and Hannah Orbach-Mandel put together the fastest 200 free relay of the day at 1:41.19, half a second faster than Verrado’s Shelby Lax, Sieara Kling, Victoria Warrum and Olivia Bender (1:41.69). Jiaying Brust, Lexi Rothe, Haley Mattingly and Madeline Wallen gave Salpointe Catholic a third place showing with their 1:43.57.

Shortly after winning the 100 free, Sabino’s Taylor Nations returned to the pool to pick up a second win in the 100 back. Nations touched the wall in 56.89. Allison Winter of Phoenix Country Day posted a 58.30 to finish second ahead of Notre Dame Prep’s Alexa Markl (58.79).

Shadow Mountain’s Hannah Holman closed out her high school career with a win in the 100 breast at 1:03.83, adding to her win in the 200 IM earlier in the afternoon. Campo Verde’s Ellinore Duncan touched second in 1:06.37, while Lake Havasu’s Alex Johnson placed third in 1:08.48.

Salpointe Catholic closed out the meet the same way they started it, with a relay victory. Julie Turk, Haley Mattingly, Lexi Rothe and Teagan McGinnis swam a 3:41.03 to bring home the state title ahead of Catalina Foothills’ Jenna Vaaler, Ali Cox, Gianna Badillo and Hannah Orbach-Mandel (3:42.48). Sabino’s Brittany Roesly, Margaret Oliver, Megan Birch and Taylor Nations rounded out the top three in 3:44.57.

Campo Verde wrapped up the team title with 257 points, with Salpointe Catholic in second (210 points) and Catalina Foothills in third (207 points). Sunrise Mountain (156 points) and Sabino (138 points) rounded out the top five teams.

Keep an eye out for on-demand race footage from the meet later this week on Swimming World TV.

Results: Arizona High School Division II Swimming and Diving Championships

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