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, December 8, 2017

Xavier swim-dive honors are bittersweet

The Fantastic Fall for Xavier Prep sports has brought home even more recognition.

The news outlet has announced its Coaches of the Year and eight Swimmer of the Year nominees, and Xavier figures prominently in both.

After the death of head coach Mo Rankin in late September, assistant Jenny James and Rankin’s husband, Mark, took over the Gators and pushed them all the way through the state meet, where they compiled an impressive 321 points for the school’s 28th swim and dive state crown.

Xavier’s Swimmer of the Year nominee is senior Kaitlyn McCoy, who won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke for the second straight year. She also swam the first leg of the 200-yard medley relay and was among the four Gators who finished as state runner-up in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Athletes and coaches from all sports, both girls and boys, will be honored by at an awards event in June.

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