Tribune boys swimmer of the year and All-Tribune team - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Tribune boys swimmer of the year and All-Tribune team

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Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2006 7:26 am | Updated: 3:57 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Although he certainly didn’t need one, Buddy Turner decided it was time for a change.

Coming off state titles in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly as a junior, Turner decided to switch things up a bit.

He worked under the tutelage of a new coach and changed one of his events.

In the end, though, the results remained the same.

After winning state titles in the 100 butterfly as a sophomore and junior, the Phoenix Horizon senior decided he wanted a challenge. So Turner – whose real first name is Taylor – took on the 500 freestyle.

“I wanted to find new ways to stretch myself, not the usual 50 (freestyle), 100 (butterfly),” Turner said. “I wanted a new challenge and to show the world what else I could do on the high school level.”

Turner proceeded to win a state title in the 500 freestyle, finishing five seconds ahead of Austen Thompson of Phoenix Brophy. The scary part is, Turner did it with minimal training.

“For three months I trained to be a sprinter,” he said. “I’m sure I could have done much better.”

He didn’t do so badly in his standard event, either.

Turner won the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.36 seconds, six hundredths of a second off Gary Hall Jr.’s state record. Turner was guided this season by Ron Gercke, a coach who helped Alex Righi to similar success years earlier.

Turner said the transition from former coach Bob Gillette to Gercke was smooth, and the change breathed some new life into his routine.

“I was doing the same things over and over,” Turner said. “I wanted something different.”

After six state titles on the high school level, the goals remain high for Turner. He will swim for collegiate powerhouse Southern California next season, with one eye on the Olympic Trials in a year and a half.

And if he has even half the success he experienced in high school, Turner will be in elite company.

“I can’t complain,” Turner said. “I thought it was a very successful (run.)”

Looking Back


Stepping up: After finishing third in the preliminary race, Brophy’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Austin Fowler, Robert Mitchell, Austen Thompson and Jim O’Hara shaved almost five seconds off their time and won the finals.

Wet again: After playing football his freshman season, Queen Creek’s Dannon LeSeuer switched back to swimming following a three-year layoff. The senior finished second in the 50-yard freestyle at the 4A-II state meet.

Ho hum: Brophy racked up 556 points to win its 19th consecutive swimming state title this season. Brophy won all three of the relays and O’Hara, Robert Gonzales and Thompson took home individual crowns.

Class 5A Boys All-Tribune first team

Swimmer School Yr. Events Comment

Buddy Turner Horizon Sr. 50 Fr./500 Fr. 2 more titles, career total 6

Alex Lundeen Dobson Sr. 100 Fly/50 Fr. 5A-I fly champ, 2nd in 50

Jim O’Hara Brophy Sr. 200 Fr./100 Fr. Won 200; 2nd in 100 in 5A-I

Austen Thompson Brophy Jr. 200 IM/500 Fr. 5A-I champ in IM, 2nd in 500

Caleb Percevecz Desert Mtn. Sr. Diving 4th title, 522.2 pts. at state

Nolan Ruane Dobson Sr. 100 Fr. 5A-I state champion

Carl Mickelson Hamilton So. 100 Br. 5A-I state champion

Robert Gonzales Brophy Sr. 100 Bk. 5A-I state champion

Swimmer of the Year: Buddy Turner, Horizon

Coach of the Year: Christine Bodmer (led Desert Mountain to state title in 5A-II boys and girls)

Class 5A Boys All-Tribune second team

Swimmer School Yr. Events Comment

David Phipps Corona del Sol Sr. Diving Won state with 395.10 pts

Austin Fowler Brophy Sr. 200 IM/100 Bk. 2nd at 5A-I state in both

Josh Schifferer Basha Sr. 50 Fr./100 Fr. 3rd in both at 5A-I state

Adam Small Corona Jr. 200 IM/100 Bk. 3rd in both at 5A-I state

Marcus Poehler Desert Vista Sr. 200 Fr. 2nd place at 5A-I state

Ben Hogen Mtn. View Sr. 100 Br. 2nd place at 5A-I state

Sam Weinstein Desert Mtn. Jr. 100 Fly/100 Fr. 2nd in both at 5A-II state

David Russell Desert Mtn. Jr. 200 IM/100 Br. 2nd in IM, 3rd in Br at 5A-II

Martin Joost Brophy Sr. 100 Fly 2nd at 5A-I state

Andy Young Marcos Sr. 50 Fr 2nd at 5A-II state

4A Boys All-Tribune first team

Swimmer School Yr. Events Comment

Robert Barrett Pinnacle So. 100 Br./200 IM 4A-I champ in Br., 3rd in IM

Victor Valencia McClintock Jr. Diving State champ in 4A-I

Rob Komadina Valley Christian Jr. 50 Fr./100 Fr. Won 50; 5th in 100 in 4A-II

Kevin Hildebrandt Cactus Shadows So. 200 IM/100 fly 2nd in IM, 3rd in Fly in 4A-II

Dannon Leseuer Queen Creek Sr. 50 FS Second in 4A-II

Swimmer of the Year: Robert Barrett, Pinnacle

Coach of the Year: Eric Niebch, Cactus Shadows (led the Falcons to a third place finish at state)

4A Boys All-Tribune second team

Swimmer School Yr. Events Comment

Michael Hamilton Notre Dame Jr. Diving Second in 4A-II

Mike Mason Arcadia Sr. 100 Fr. Third in 4A-II

Spencer Roe Chaparral Sr. 50 Fr./100 Fr. Fourth place in both in 4A-I

Joe Scali Pinnacle Sr. 100 Br. Fourth at state in 4A-I

Cody Vitez Chaparral Fr. 500 Fr. Fifth place in 4A-I

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]