Firebirds finish second at state - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Firebirds finish second at state

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Posted: Sunday, October 31, 2004 7:47 am | Updated: 6:10 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

October 31, 2004

It came down to the final two events, but the Chaparral girls came up just shy of pulling off the upset.

Tucson Catalina Foothills was too deep and for the fifth straight year swept the 4A boys and girls swimming state titles Saturday at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center at Arizona State University.

The girls competition came down to the 100 breaststroke and the 400 freestyle relay with one-half point separating the Firebirds and Falcons. However, Foothills had four swimmers in the breaststroke to Chaparral’s one and after the final relay pulled away 322.5-290.

"You have to have depth," Chaparral coach Dave Hildebrandt said. "The number of swimmers (was) the difference. They had 28 swimmers. We had 21. They had seven more chances to score points than we did. That’s the only way we get beat. They had more kids."

In the boys competition, Foothills amassed 368 points to second-place Chaparral’s 170.5. Arcadia was sixth with 129.

The Firebird girls 200 medley relay team of Sarah Cox, Kelly Forrester, Tamara Lelli and Lauren Cox set a 4A state record of 1 minute, 48.55 seconds in the first event of the day.

Sarah Cox was third in the 200 individual medley and second in the 100 backstroke. Sister Lauren won the 100 in 50.97, missing a state record by .03 of a second.

Chaparral sophomore Kelly Forrester won the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.16. Firebirds freshman Tamara Lelli added a fourth-place finish in the 100 backstroke and took second in the 100 butterfly. Arcadia sophomore Katherine Pickard was third.

"Oh my gosh, it’s awesome," said Lelli. ". . . I’m already excited about next year and the years to come. I really can’t wait."

The Arcadia girls (189 points) finished fifth, and Pinnacle (167) was sixth.

Arcadia had a sibling double. Gunnar Schmidt won the boys 500 in 4:34.58 and freshman sister D’Arcy won the diving competition 413.90-402.25 over defending state champion Alison Scaife of Glendale Cactus.

"It’s been my goal since freshman year so it’s pretty nice to finally do it since I’m a senior," Gunnar said of his win in the 500. "I wanted to be a little faster, but I can’t complain. It was the best time."

Danielle Milligan of Pinnacle was the No. 1 seed in the 200 IM (2:05.44) and won the event by .34 of a second. She also finished fourth in the 500 (5:02.36).

"I just wanted to get all-American (qualifying time), and I just did (in the 200 IM)," Milligan said. "In the 500, I just wanted to break five minutes and swim fast."

In addition to taking third in the 100 butterfly, Pickard was fifth in the 50 while teammate Lindsey Stevens was fifth in the 200.

Chaparral’s Mitch Newman won the 100 butterfly in 52.66, .69 of a second ahead of his nearest challenger. He also placed second in the 200 IM.

"My last individual high school race of my career," Newman said after swimming the butterfly. "I’m really excited I won."

Hildebrandt took the day’s events in stride.

"You start out the season with hopes that you can challenge (Catalina Foothills) and we challenged them," he said. "We’re just falling a little bit short. We’ll regroup and we’ll come back next year and try it again. I love the performance of my kids. The whole picture is really rewarding as a coach."

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