Arizona high schools are notoriously stingy about sharing state titles in swimming & diving. For years, the team championships at the big-school level have been passed around among a select few schools.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Brophy Prep won the boys Division I state title again this year, the mid-town Phoenix school’s 40th swim championship overall and the 30th straight since 1987. And on the girls’ side, Xavier Prep returned to its accustomed place atop the sport, winning its 15th title in the last 19 years. The Gators, an all-girls school whose campus adjoins the all-male Brophy, won 14 straight before Desert Vista High School broke their reign in 2013 and it has taken the small Catholic school four years to get back on top.
In Division II, it was Scottsdale’s Chaparral High School that swept both the boys’ and girls’ competition, with both teams holding on to the championships they won last year. For the girls, it was their fourth straight title, while the boys have now stacked up six titles in program history.
Brophy won this year’s D-I title despite capturing just one individual title, but was able to sweep the relay events and use its extraordinary depth of talent to carry it through. Senior Patrick Schramm finished the 100 breaststroke in a winning time of 57.54.
For Chaparral, Matthew LeBlanc was named the D-II Swimmer of the Meet after the sophomore won the 200-yard individual medley (1:53.42), a race he lost at state last year, and then repeated as the 100 breaststroke title holder in a time of 57.35. He also swam a leg of the winning 200 medley relay.
LeBlanc was the only Firebird swimmer to win an individual title, but, like Brophy, they used the relays to pile up points on the way to a total 364 points for a dominating 162-point margin over runner-up Catalina Foothills High School.
On the girls’ side, Xavier also displayed some dominance by outscoring runner-up Chandler High, 321-263, for the win going away. Key to the Xavier victory were a couple of individual titles by Kaitlyn McCoy and wins in two of the three relays. McCoy won the 100 backstroke, defended her crown in the 200 IM, and also swam a leg of the 200 medley relay.
It was a very emotional win for the Gators, who lost their head coach, Maureen Rankin, to cancer during the season. Her daughter, Mia, is a freshman on the team and her husband, Mark, took over as head coach to finish out the season.
And it was a freshman leading the way for the Chaparral girls’ team, as Ashley Strouse won the 200 freestyle (1:48.35) and the 500 free (4:52.04), and then swam the anchor leg of the 200 relay, which clocked in at 1:36.25. She also earned Swimmer of the Meet honors.
Actually, the Firebirds had nine freshmen who contributed points, including Riley Courtney‘s win in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.64).
It was a total domination by Chaparral this year, as the Firebirds won nine of the 11 events to amass a total 554 points.
The other two events went to Hannah Houlton, a junior at Ironwood High School who won the 50 free (24.09) and the 100 free (52.05).