A star swimmer since his freshman year, Alex Brouwer of Notre Dame has seen his progress over the years, leading up to his final high school swim day.
It was quite the four-year culmination.
Brouwer took the 50 free and the 100 backstroke, while his brother Ben was second in the distance swim. The Brouwer brothers helped the Saints finished tied for fourth overall with Tucson Sabino, earning 155 points at the Division II swimming and diving state championships at Mesa's Kino Aquatic Center.
“Definitely, it’s your senior year, you have to go all out,” Brouwer said. “You are just so excited it’s your last year.”
Tucson Catalina Foothills won its 11th straight title with 310 points, 75.5 points ahead of second-place Arcadia. McClintock (181) was third.
In the girls’ meet, Foothills won its 10 title in the last 11 years, finishing with 398 points, well ahead of Arcadia (258), Notre Dame (226).
A pair of state records also came down on Saturday.
Tyler Messerschmidt of Goodyear Desert Edge, who is headed to the University of California-Berkeley, broke the 16-year-old state record set by Olympian Gary Hall, Jr., in the 100 free. Messerschmidt hit the wall at 43.71, .14 of a second faster than Hall’s mark set when he was at Brophy.
Arcadia’s Chris Pickard actually broke the state record in the 200 freestyle but came in second to Messerschmidt, who finished in 1:36.33, shattering his state mark of 1:38.00 set last year. Pickard finished in 1:37.69. Ben Brouwer of Notre Dame was third at 1:42.86.
In the 50 free, Alex Brouwer won another state title, easily outpacing Cole Puchi of Tucson Catalina Foothills by nearly three-tenths of a second, just missing an all-American time at 21.02.
He also won the 100 backstroke in 51.90, more than a second ahead of his nearest challenger.
“You just gotta go, put all your heart and soul in it and just race,” Alex Brouwer said of the sprint.
Pickard won the 100 butterfly in 48.81 and teammate Nathan Anderson was third.
Sophomore Londen Thomas of McClintock won the 500 free in 4:42.33, outpacing Ben Brouwer of Notre Dame (4:45.62).
Arcadia’s Hayden Sells won the diving competition with an all-America score of 410.45 points, distancing himself from Sheldon Soloman of Queen Creek, who scored 358.35 points.
In the 100 butterfly, Briana Jurries of Valley Christian easily beat top-qualifier Belen Enguidanos of Cactus Shadows, clocking in at 56.37 seconds, more than one full second ahead of Enguidanos.
Jurries was a double winner, taking the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.30, almost a half second ahead of second place.
“I’m so happy right now, I can’t begin to explain how happy I am,” Jurries said. “I really wanted to go 56 (seconds in the butterfly) for about two years now.”
Danielle Lee of Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley won the 200 free in 1:50.23, beating Carly Stevens of Arcadia (1:52.55) and Caitlin Wright of Tucson Sabino (1:54.50). She then won the 100 backstroke over Alexis Daswick of Notre Dame.
Stevens won the 500 in 4:58.48, beating a pair of Tucson swimmers but more than six seconds.
In the first relay of the day, the 200 medley relay, Arcadia was disqualified, leaving second-place qualifier Tucson Catalina Foothills with the win at 1:39.63, ahead of Notre Dame (1:40.91) and Tucson Sabino (1:41.27).