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, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Rankin ready to lead XCP swimmers, divers

It doesn’t seem that long ago when Maureen “Mo’’ Rankin was swimming for the University of Arizona (1988-92).
In the years since, the Portland, Ore., native has remained in Arizona as a coach for the Phoenix Swim Club, a circulation and marketing manager for Swimming World magazine, and now adds head-coaching duties at Xavier Prep to her list. She also is an age group swimming chair for Arizona Swimming, the governing body of swimming in Arizona,
Hired by the Gators in November, Rankin, a mother of two, has met a few times with her new team and is ready to go. Tryouts are the first week of August, with practice officially beginning on Aug. 12.

New Xavier swim-dive coach Maureen "Mo'' Rankin.
“I coached a lot of swimmers from Xavier and Brophy (Prep), so I am familiar with those programs,’’ Rankin said.
Captains for the fall already have been selected and a representative from each of the four classes also will figure into the mix. Rankin will be assisted by Jennifer James, who is back for another year.
Rankin said that Arizona Swimming has been very supportive of her goal to coach at Xavier.
“It is important to keep the traditions at Xavier. They have had a strong program for a long time,’’ Rankin said.
It’s a program that figures to get stronger with the infusion of a talented freshman class.
Rankin said she told her new team “to focus on what you are doing with your club teams and with your training.’’
In other words, spots aren’t completely assured. They seldom are simply handed out.
A distance swimmer in college, she continues to get in the water as she competes in the U.S. Masters program.
She wants to see what her XCP swimmers can do.
“It also is important to be versatile in different things (events),’’ she said. “You never know where you will be able to make an impact.
“Above all, the most important thing is to make it fun.’’

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