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, September 30, 2016

Relays rule, divers strong in victory over Pinnacle

Xavier Prep’s swimming and diving team continues to leave opponents in its wake as it churns toward the 6A Conference state championship meet in early November.
The Gators came up with another big victory on Thursday (Sept. 29), 107-78, over visiting Phoenix Pinnacle at the Brophy Pool.
Xavier was scheduled to participate in the Phoenix Country Day School Eagle Invitational at PCDS on Friday (Sept. 30/diving) and Saturday (Oct. 1/swimming).
“It was another good meet for us,’’ said Xavier coach Maureen Rankin.
“Katie McCoy (junior) had a solid day, especially in the freestyle.’’
McCoy won the 500-yard freestyle as well as the 200-yard individual medley. Another junior, Mary Roediger, won the 50-yard freestyle and finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Rankin said she thinks that McCoy will have a strong chance to win both of her events at state.
McCoy and Roediger also swam in relay events. All three relay teams won – the 200-yard medley, the 200-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle.
“The effort our girls put forth was amazing, particularly in the 400 free,’’ Rankin said.
Since many XCP swimmers have achieved state qualifying times, Rankin said she might place her swimmers in different events and adjust the order in the relays a bit.
“It will be interesting to see what they can do,’’ Rankin said.
Diving coach Frank Pipitone also was pleased by the effort of his athletes, who finished 1-2-3. Xavier divers also competed in the exhibition category.
Sophomore Alyssa Largay got the top score with 221.46 points, followed by freshman Madeline Sewell at 210.90 and sophomore Talle Donley at 171.90.
“Our girls have been doing a great job,’’ Pipitone said. “We are going to be one of the few schools at state that has qualified the maximum number of divers with four.’’
Because the divers are assured a spot in the state meet, Pipitone said they will use the rest of the meets as a training exercise, to see how much they can improve.

Xavier results
200-yard freestyle – Vica Dow (second), Haley Hubbard (third).
200-yard individual medley – Katie McCoy (first).
50-yard freestyle – Mary Roediger (first), Olivia Paliscak (second).
100-yard butterfly – Olivia Paliscak (second), Haley Hubbard (third).
100-yard freestyle – Izzy Gomez (first), Taylor Guthrie (third).
500-yard freestyle – Katie McCoy (first).
100-yard backstroke – Vica Dow (second).
100-yard breaststroke – Mary Roediger (second), Carlie Hermann (third).
Diving – Alyssa Largay (first), Madeline Sewell (second), Talle Donley (third), *Molly Cahill (fifth), *Hannah Jemsek (sixth), *Riley Smith (seventh), *Isabella Plumb (eighth).

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