For more than three decades, high school boys’ swim teams in Arizona have lived with the reality that each year they are likely competing for second place in the quest for a state championship.
Brophy Prep dominated the pool, winning 23 consecutive state titles before relinquishing the crown last year.
Chaparral High School won the boys’ D-I state title last year and Desert Vista HS squeezed past both Chaparral and Brophy to win this year’s gold ball.
The pandemic is what derailed Brophy’s attempt to keep the incredible string alive. Just days before the 2020 state meet was to begin, the all-boys Catholic school in central Phoenix announced that a COVID-19 outbreak had forced a decision to drop out of participation in the playoffs.
That opened the door for a new state champion, and Chaparral walked through that door to win its first state title since 2017 when the Firebirds were competing in Division II. Chaparral scored 302 points, well short of the 484 points Brophy piled up the year before, but good enough to bring home the championship.
This time, the Scottsdale school came agonizing close to posting back-to-back titles. But the Desert Vista 400 freestyle relay team won the final event of the meet to add just enough points to edge past Chaparral by a couple of points.
Desert Vista finished with 313 points, while Chaparral’s 311 points provided a runner-up finish. Brophy took third with 296 points.
That was the same order of finish in that decisive 400 free relay, with the winning DV team consisting of Jack Luken, Ryne Davenport, Caleb Stanley, and Tres Mungia. Luken also won titles in the 200 freestyle, where he posted a 1:38.62 time, and the 500 freestyle (4:28.23).
In the girls D-I competition…
The Chaparral girls’ team managed to bring home that back-to-back win that the boys were after, making it four state titles in a row. And their win came much easier.
Chaparral won the meet with a total score of 357.5, well ahead of second-place Red Mountain HS, which finished with 240 points. Third place went to Desert Vista (212), which gave the south Phoenix school two top-three finishes for the day.
This year’s title win shows the depth of talent on the Firebird squad, being able to win the meet without scoring points from a single individual title. Sophia Jahn‘s win in the 50 free helped propel Red Mountain into second place.