Bio

DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four 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, September 25, 2014

Support from teammates helps swim-dive



Xavier’s swim and dive team is having a strong season under first-year coach Kelley Conrad.
The Gators have bonded well this season with five seniors playing key roles – swimmers Maddie Allen, Payton Burnett, Jenna Fitzgerald, Aimee Hatfield and diver Jessica Kuretich.
“Our overall energy and the overall quality of our results has been good,’’ said Conrad.
Allen said she as well as her teammates have entered this year’s meets with better preparation.
Her specialties include the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyles and participation in some of the relay races.
Allen also is one of the caretakers of one of the team’s good-luck symbols, a small troll doll with frizzy hair that she says has been part of the program for about 20 years.
“We’re having a lot of fun out here,’’ Allen said.
Hatfield participates in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles as well as relays.
She said the team has developed a strong bond to this point, and that is evidenced by how many of the girls get close to the lanes and cheer their teammates on.
“We try to do that every meet, to give each other the support,’’ Hatfield said.
“I think we will continue to do well. Coach Conrad has been good, and I think everybody is on the right track.’’

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