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 16, 2016

Swim/dive hopes to recover at Chandler meet

Xavier Prep’s swimming and diving team had a solid effort but fell short against Chandler Hamilton, 105-87, in a meet at Brophy Prep on Thursday (Sept. 15).
The Gators managed to earn victories in the 200-yard medley relay, the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.
The Xavier “A’’ relay team featured junior Kaitlyn McCoy, junior Mary Roediger, freshman Olivia Paliscak and junior Thea Cartier. The Xavier “B’’ team finished third. Swimmers in that group were senior Quinn Blake, junior Kyle Gunzy, freshman Gracie Shumacher and sophomore Izzy Gomez.
Roediger also finished first in the 100 free and the 100 breast.
McCoy finished second in the 200 free and 100 breast. Paliscak finished second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free. Senior Jocelyn Jones was third in the 50 free. Gomez finished third in the 500 free.
Xavier also finished second and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay and second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Gator divers finished 1-2 in the 1-meter competition. Sophomore Alyssa Largay was at the top of the list, followed by freshman Maddie Sewell.
The Gators now turn their attention to the 20th annual Wolves Classic event on Saturday (Sept. 17) at Chandler High School. Xavier will be one of 49 participating schools.
“The good news is that we had some great swims (against Hamilton) and we are looking strong going into the meet this weekend,’’ said Xavier coach Maureen Rankin. “We did have some automatic and consideration times achieved (against Hamilton). I know we will set ourselves up well in some state events this weekend.’’
The diving portion of the Chandler event was held on Wednesday (Sept. 14).
Xavier and Brophy dive coach Frank Pipitone said the girls “are off to a sensational start.’’
Largay had a personal best score of 381.65 points, which earned her a silver medal, and she was just 1.35 points shy of a gold. Sewell finished fourth at 352.80, .3 points out of third place. Sophomore Molly Cahill finished 12th, and sophomore Talle Donley 21st.
Pipitone said that the top three girls have qualified for the state qualifier meet and that Donley also expected to qualify for the state championship meet.
“She (Donley) will no doubt help Xavier once again be the only school in Arizona that qualifies the maximum number of four girls for state,’’ Pipitone said. “These amazing ladies are great stewards of an exceptional diving legacy at Xavier.’’

Races in the Wolves Classic begin at 9 a.m. and run through 1:45 p.m. The girls will be swimming in the complex’s middle tank. The top 16 individuals in each event will score points for their team.

In addition to XCP, teams entered are Apache Junction, Phoenix Arcadia, Chandler Arizona College Prep, Phoenix Barry Goldwater, Chandler Basha, Prescott Valley Bradshaw Mountain, Phoenix Brophy Prep, Glendale Cactus, Casa Grande, Gilbert Casteel, Tucson Catalina Foothills, Peoria Centennial, Chandler, Scottsdale Chaparral, Tempe Corona del Sol, Mesa Desert Ridge, Phoenix Desert Vista, Florence, Gilbert Classical, Chandler Hamilton, Gilbert Highland, Phoenix Horizon, Phoenix Horizon Honors, Tucson Ironwood Ridge, Gilbert Mesquite, Cottonwood Mingus, Glendale Mountain Ridge, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, Surprise Paradise Honors, Gilbert Perry, Phoenix Pinnacle, San Tan Valley Poston Butte, Prescott, Queen Creek, Glendale Raymond S. Kellis, Tucson Rincon, Tucson Salpointe Catholic, San Manuel, Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor, Scottsdale Prep, Surprise Shadow Ridge, Tolleson, Surprise Valley  Vista, Avondale Westview, Gilbert Williams Field, Surprise Willow Canyon.

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