Bio

DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for more than three decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

McCoy, Rankin named swimming All-Americans

Xavier Prep recently reeled in national recognition for two of its swimmers who helped the Gators capture its first state championship since 2012 last fall.

Kaitlyn McCoy and Mia Rankin were named All-Americans by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA).

McCoy, who graduated earlier this year, was chosen for her finish of 55.05 seconds that earned her a first-place medal in the 100-yard backstroke. She won that event and the 200-yard individual medley at state fdor the second straight year. McCoy also swam legs in the triumphant 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays.

Rankin capped a strong freshman year with an All-American posting of 4:55.93 in the 500-yard freestyle. She nearly won the event, but was edged out by a mere .18 seconds by Chandler High’s Destiny Kling.

Xavier won the title, 321-263 over Chandler, completing an emotional season in which Rankin’s mother, Mo, the Gators’ head coach, passed away on Sept. 25 after a valiant battle against cancer.

Rankin’s father, Mark, joined Jenny James as a co-head coach and led the team the rest of the season. Those two are due to return when the athletes assemble for tryouts Aug. 7-9 and the first official practice of the season on Aug. 10 at the Brophy Prep pool.