Chaparral’s Hoffer sets nat’l swim mark; Brophy wins title

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                </div>  There are a couple of things that can be expected each year when the Arizona high school state swimming & diving championships roll around. The first is that there […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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There are a couple of things that can be expected each year when the Arizona high school state swimming & diving championships roll around.

The first is that there will be records broken.  Thanks to continually evolving training methods and improved physical conditioning of the athletes, times continue to drop every year.

The other certainty is that Brophy Prep will win another state championship.  That’s because Brophy is… well, Brophy.

And over the weekend, the Broncos did it again.

This year marked the 27th consecutive state title for the Broncos and, as generally is the case, it wasn’t even close. The small Catholic school that competes in Division I racked up 341 points this year, making runner-ups (Mesa) Mountain View High School (212 pts.) and Scottsdale’s Horizon High (202) looking like they were just swimming in place.

Last year was one of the first times in recent memory that the Broncos were challenged.  The Chaparral High Firebirds scored 259 points to come within 35 points of breaking Brophy’s decades-long grip on the sport.

But this year, Brophy asserted itself early and often, winning the Chandler Wolves Invitational in dominant fashion as the season opened (setting two meet records) and later overwhelmed the field in the Brophy Xavier Invitational, scoring 207 more points than runner-up Mountain View.  The host Broncos swept the three relays and won every race but two overall.

So Brophy’s domination over the weekend was to be expected.  It was not even surprising to learn that Brophy’s 400 freestyle relay team of Thomas Ottman, Isaiah Williams, Grady Ottomeyer, and Jack Blake set a new state record with a winning time of 3:03.93.

And there were other records that fell as well, with Ryan Hoffer and Mark Jurek picking up two individual titles apiece.

Hoffer, a sophomore at Chaparral, set new state marks in the 50 yard freestyle (19.53) and the 100 yard freestyle (43.20).  The time set by the reigning Arizona Swimmer of the Year was faster than the 19.55 he won with last year and also set a new National Age Group (15-16 yr. old) record.

It also shaves a little time off his 19.54 performance at the 2013 Winter Junior Nationals, so look for a very competitive performance from him at next month’s Winter Nationals.

Chandler High‘s Jurek bested the old mark in the 200 yard individual medley by more than a second, clocking a 1:47.03 to win that event, and then also tied a state record in the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 47.80.  He also set state records in both events at last year’s state championships.

The other state record that fell went to Ben Oszewski from Horizon High School in Scottsdale who finished the 500 yard freestyle in 4:21.48 – almost six seconds faster than the previous record.  Oszewski also came in third in the 200IM.

On the girls side, the day belonged to Taylor Ruck and the Chaparral team that began the day by setting a new state record in the 200 medley relay and then going on win the title with 365 points, 79 points ahead of runner-up Pinnacle High.  Last year’s state champion, Desert Vista High School, came in third with 250 points.

There was another significant aspect to Chaparral’s win this year.  It’s the second year in a row that Xavier Prep didn’t win the title.  The Gators were the state team champions for 14 straight years before Desert Vista broke their grip last year.

The Firebirds swept both relays and set a new state record in both, clocking a time of 1:43.25 in the 200 medley and 1:35.04 in the 200 free.

And individually, Ruck was the star of the meet, but not the only one picking up multiple titles.  Savanna Carlson from Arcadia High in Scottsdale won the 100 free in 50.74 and the 200IM in a time of 2:02.07.

But Ruck swept the 200 and 500 freestyles, and set two state records in the process.  And she’s just a freshman – but one who is now undefeated at state in her first high school season.

She actually set two state records in just one event by setting a new mark of 1:46.90 in the prelims of the 200 free, and then topping it in the finals with a 1:46.76.  Her winning time in the 500 was 4:52.11.