TEAMS TO WATCH: Brophy boys: The Broncos begin a new era, as Pat O’Neill takes over as coach for Bill Kopas. In addition to winning 26 of the past 27 state titles, O’Neill believes he’s walking into Phoenix Brophy’s most talented team in years.
Swimming World named the Broncos the 2004 national champions, and it is this team’s goal with 17 of 21 state tournament swimmers returning.
Six state qualifiers return from the 2005 team which took third at the 5A-I state meet and second in the region. Among the state meet returnees are three All-Americans (Alex Lundeen, Nolan Ruane and Brae Lezcono) who won a combined 10 state medals.
Desert Mountain girls:
Since they’re now in 5A-II, the Wolves sidestepped 5A-I power Phoenix Xavier and won all 11 swimming events to capture the Division II girls crown. Once again, the Wolves are loaded with state meet winners: Emily Barton (200 IM, 100 breaststroke), Angela Duckworth (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle) and Whitney Lopus (100 freestyle, 200 freestyle).
2005 Swimmer of the Year Danielle Milligan returns for Phoenix Pinnacle; Phoenix Arcadia and Scottsdale Chaparral are perennially state title contenders, and there’s plenty of championships between Milligan, D’Arcy Schmidt (Arcadia), Kelly Forrester and Tamara Lelli (Chaparral), and Rachel Ripley (Tempe McClintock).
Sept. 12: Arcadia at Chaparral (boys/girls)
Sept. 16: Brophy Invitational/ Thunder Wolf Classic
Sept. 30: Chandler Invitational
Oct. 27-28: 4A state championship meet
Nov. 3-4: 5A state championship meet
DID YOU KNOW?
New at Brophy:
Pat O’Neill is the new coach at Brophy, replacing longtime coach Bill Kopas, who left the area for another job. The popular O’Neill led Mesa Mountain View to six second-place finishes (behind Brophy) in nine seasons with the Toros. Ellisha Romo takes over both programs at Tempe Corona del Sol.
The Chaparral boys finished third in the 4A state meet last fall, remarkable considering they swam without their two top swimmers — including the graduated Kyle Newman — and the team’s highest finish was third place in the 200 medley relay. Will the Firebirds have enough horses for another photo finish?
Xavier won its seventh consecutive girls state title. Cimone Miner, Nicole Lynch and Delia Cronin return from the 200 medley relay team which broke the national private school record.
Six girls posted All-American times in the 50 freestyle at the 5A state meet. Five swimmers did it in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle.
THINGS TO WATCH
The school’s new pool made quite a splash last season. At the school’s Thunderwolf Classic, 13 of 20 events became new invitational records, and enough good swimmers are competing to push that number higher. TOP
SWIMMERS TO WATCH
How much more can one person do? At Scottsdale Horizon, Turner has four state titles and is the Tribune’s two-time Swimmer of the Year. He broke a junior championships meet record in the 100-meter freestyle in California this summer, and hasn’t lost a high school race since his freshman year.
2005 was a good year for Desert Mountain. While the boys and girls teams won 5A-II titles, Percevecz won his third consecutive diving crown. The goal is a four-peat this year to end his high school career.
The Brophy senior All-American is coming off two state titles (200 IM and 100 freestyle). Two more individual titles could be the tip of the iceberg for a deep Broncos team.
The Arcadia senior led the Titans to a second-place finish behind Phoenix Sunnyslope in the 4A-II state meet. Pickard won four titles: 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and was part of both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.
Not a bad season at Gilbert Mesquite: She set a 5A-I state meet record in the 100 backstroke (dating back to 1993) and won the 200 IM.
OTHER SWIMMERS TO WATCH
Michael Zoldos, Jr., Arcadia
Robert Gonzales, Sr., Brophy
Jim O’Hara, Sr., Brophy
Rob Wood, Jr., Chaparral
Alex Lundeen, Sr., Dobson
Adam Small, Jr., Corona del Sol
Ryan Blumenfurth, Sr., Desert Mtn.
Jerome Walker, Sr., Desert Ridge
Josh Schifferer, Sr., Dobson
Nolan Ruane, Sr., Dobson
Brae Lezcano, Sr., Dobson
Mark Celoya, Sr., Hamilton
Carl Mickelson, So., Hamilton
Zac Hojnacki, So., Hamilton
Brian McCalley, Sr., Highland
Austin Lovell, Sr., Highland
Travis Hyden, Jr., Mountain Pointe
Ian McGinnity, Sr., Mountain View
Ben Hogan, Sr., Mountain View
Fili Seanez, Jr., Notre Dame
Katherine Pickard, Sr., Arcadia
Alyssa Sakurai, So., Arcadia
Lindsey Stevens, Jr., Arcadia
Staci Fellows, Jr., Basha
Chloe Hedden, Jr., Cactus Shadows
Jackie Pushak, Sr., Cactus Shadows
Sarah Cox, Jr., Chaparral
Erin Campbell, Sr., Corona del Sol
Samantha Maxwell, Sr., Corona del Sol
Nicole McAndrew, Sr., Desert Vista
Tori Blusiewicz, Jr., Dobson
Tracie Swartz, Fr., Dobson
Christine Conrad, Sr., Gilbert
Katherine Smith, Sr., Hamilton
Rachel Wilt, So, Hamilton
Kelsey Maddy, So., Mesquite
Samantha Caldwell, Sr., Mtn. Pointe
Aleesha Miller, Jr., Mtn. View
Lauren Walker, Sr., Mtn. View
Abby Zepeda, Sr., Pinnacle
Kelsey Diener, Jr., Red Mountain
Delia Cronin, Sr., Xavier
Mychala Lynch, Sr., Xavier
Jessica Davis, Sr., Westwood