The East Valley may not have come away with the top prize at the boys and girls Division I state swim and dive championships, but a school from the region took home runner-up trophies for both the boys and girls.
Mountain View (207.5 points) did its best to snap Brophy’s nearly 30-year stranglehold on Division I boys swimming but ended up taking home second place to the Broncos (302). On the girls’ side, Desert Vista (234) took runners-up honors to Chaparral (359).
Mountain View needed a big performance in the final event of the day – the 40-yard freestyle relay – to hold off Horizon, Chandler and Desert Vista. The Toros did just that by winning the winning the race – including beating Brophy – with a time of 3:06.51.
“That’s the first time in all the years I’ve been coaching I’ve seen a public school team beat Brophy since probably 2002,” Mountain View coach Rob Ronan said. “I knew at the beginning of the season that we had the four pieces to compete with them and I hoped that when it came down to it our guys would be able to perform and they did.”
The Toros surged behind strong performances from senior Bryce Kuchan, who took second in the 100-yard backstroke and second in the 100-yard butterfly, and junior Bobby Johnson who took third in the 50-yard freestyle and third place in the 100-yard freestyle.
The Toros also won the 200-yard medley relay along with the 400-yard freestyle relay.
“There was a lot of pressure with that,” Kuchan said of the final relay. “It was pretty intense getting up there and doing that last race. But it was crazy coming in first. That was really exciting.”
The Desert Vista girls also had a solid day, taking second in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and although the Thunder didn’t have many top-three finishes as a team or individually – sophomore Shae Nicolaisen took second in the 200-yard freestyle and third in the 500-yard freestyle – they swam well in the preliminaries on Friday to give the majority of their girls a chance to earn points.
“We had a very solid day (Friday),” Thunder coach Shawn O’Connell said. “We put kids in the position that they needed to get in and it was a numbers game and we had a lot of numbers.”
The Thunder did overcome adversity after being disqualified from the 200-yard medley relay for what O’Connell said was an underwater breaststroke issue.
“We lost a fifth place score,” he said. “That knocked us off 28 points but we battled back and the girls stayed focused and we just chipped away.”
Williams Field boys take third
In the Division 2 state meet help Saturday morning, Williams Fields' boys narrowly missed the runner-up spot coming in third place - one point short of second.
The Black Hawks finished with 184 points. Runner up Notre Dame Prep finished with 185. Salpointe Catholic took home the title by a wide margin with 236 points.
Williams Field had its best showing in the 400-yard freestyle relay, winning the race in 3:15.67 and took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:28.96). Senior Bridger Betz finished second in the 100-yard backstroke.
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