Entries were down somewhat at the annual Brophy/Xavier Swim & Dive Invitational this year. But, hey, the organizers are lucky anybody wants to come since the outcome is pretty much determined before the first swimmers hit the water.
Of course, if you apply that strategy to the full season, there wouldn’t be any events to enter. When Brophy and Xavier are in the field, every other team shows up to compete for the runner-up team trophy.
Perennial swim powers, Brophy Prep and Xavier Prep, are favored again this year to roll to state titles. For Brophy, which has a stable of nationally-competitive swimmers, it would be its 24th straight.
Brophy won all three relay races enroute to the boys’ team title at the event it hosted Saturday at the Phoenix Swim Club, while Xavier swept the three relays on the girls’ side to stake a claim on the girls’ team title.
The week before, both teams dominated the Wolves Classic Invitational in Chandler. Brophy scored 467 points, well ahead of second-place Mountain View High School from Mesa, as the Bronco swimmers used the second meet of the season to post their best personal times to that point. Xavier’s 451 points left Phoenix’ Pinnacle High School and Buckeye High School to fight it out for second place. Pinnacle, with 209 points, edged out Buckeye, which totaled 182.5.
Brophy’s Chris Webb, who was a gold medal winner in the 200 and set a meet record in winning the 500 freestyle, did not swim in the Brophy/Xavier invitational. He was also part of the 200 Free Relay that set a meet record with a time of 1:26.64.
Xavier was competing without sprinter Alisha Bender, the state runner-up last season in both the 100 and 200 events, who was ill.
But both teams are so deep with talent that the absence of a single team member has little effect.
Gabriel Espinosa won the 50 freestyle for Brophy in a time of 21.27 and the 100 freestyle in 47.49. Talie Anchustegui was a multi-winner for Xavier, finishing first in the 100 butterfly and tied with Pinnacle’s Victoria Toris in the 100 backstroke.
Chaparral High School also had a multi-event winner in Megan Cox, who won the girls’ 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley. The senior is the defending state champion in the 200 IM and runner-up in the 500 free.