Things are coming to a boil for Xavier Prep’s swimmers and divers, and we’re not just talking about the Jacuzzi-type water for a recent afternoon practice at next-door Brophy Prep.
very refreshing,’’ said one simmering swimmer.
aren’t ready to cool down just yet.
heat up for real on Thursday (Sept. 5), when they face Scottsdale Chaparral,
the defending Division I champion (Xavier was runner-up) in the first meet of
the season at Cactus Pool in Scottsdale.
returns virtually everyone who scored at the state meet, as do the Firebirds.
returning diver for Xavier is senior Maddy Sewell, who finished in 11th
place at state. That was one spot behind teammate Alyssa Largay, who graduated
and now is diving at the U.S. Naval Academy.
“We will be
better, but so will they,’’ said Xavier coach Mark Rankin of Chaparral, which
has some national-caliber swimmers cutting through the water.
Most of the
Gators endured lengthy workouts over the summer at Phoenix Country Day School
with their Phoenix Swim Club teammates. Rankin, who is assisted by Jenny James,
thinks this team is in much better condition than it was at this point a year
Being in the
right frame of mind will be the key for Xavier, not only in this meet, but in
the ones that follow leading up to the state meet later this fall.
“We are not
discouraged,’’ said Xavier senior freestyler and relay participant Maddie
Wright. “This will be a good way for us to gauge where we’re at.’’
good friend is junior Mia Rankin, the daughter of Mark Rankin and his late
wife, Maureen “Mo’’ Rankin, the former Xavier coach who passed away in September
Mia also is
strong in the freestyle events, and finished third at state in the 200-yard
individual medley. Mark Rankin said she has the potential to break the 2-minute
mark in the 200 this season.
“We want to
do as well as we can in as many events as we can. If we can do that, the points
will start to add up,’’ Mia said.
really excited about the season. We have four good captains – Maddie, Gracie
Schumaker (senior), Emili Palmisano (senior) and Olivia Paliscak (senior).’’
she and Mia complement each other well in the freestyle events.
very well in distance and I think I am more of a sprinter,’’ said Wright, who
was the anchor in Xavier’s third-place 200-yard freestyle relay and was the
second leg in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
just swimming for yourself in the relay. You have to be strong for the other
three,’’ Wright said.
Added Mia: “You
have to be cheering them on.’’
who will be drawing a lot of cheers will be sophomore Gracie Munk.
said versatile Munk has a chance to finish in the top eight at state in four
different events – the 200-yard medley relay (XCP state champs), the 400-yard
freestyle relay, the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke.
Guerra and Jordan Herrera figure to carry the banner of the junior class well
in various events.
And don’t be
surprised to see some points come from a pair of talented freshmen – Dylan
Miller and Lainey Weiland. Rankin said he has not decided which events will work
best for them yet, but said they are capable of more than one.
XAVIER ROSTER – 2019
Barnwell, Jr.; Ashleigh Baros, So.; Ana Bhatti, So.; Morgan Brown, Sr.; Claira
Fr.; Vica Dow, Sr.; Kiera Gregg, So.; Paola Guerra, Jr.
Jr.; Jordan Herrera, Jr.; Carlia Herrmann, Sr.; Haley Hubbard, Sr.; Grace Hull,
So.; Ali Jasinski, Sr.; Mia Joslin, Sr.; Anna Leone, Jr.; Daisy Maldonado, So.;
Michelle Mierzwa, Fr.
Miller, Fr.; Gracie Munk, So.; Hope Nolan, So.; Olivia Paliscak, Sr.; Emili
Palmisano, Sr.; Mia Rankin, Jr.
Schumaker, Sr.; Kelly Scott, Jr.; Maddy Sewell, Sr.; Emma Sharp, Jr.; Libby
Sargent, Fr.; Lainey Weiland, Fr.; Maddie Weiland, Jr.; Cassie Worth, Fr.;
Maddie Wright, Sr.
XAVIER TOP FINISHERS
AT DIVISION I STATE – 2018
medley relay – Xavier
1st,1:46.18 (Gracie Munk, Paola Guerra, Olivia Paliscak, Kelly
freestyle – Maddie
Wright, 4th, 1:51.79; Jordan Herrera, 8th, 1:56.32.
individual medley –
Mia Rankin, 3rd, 2:03.57.
diving – Alyssa
Largay, 10th; Maddy Sewell, 11th; Samantha Klein, 14th.
butterfly – Gracie
Munk, 5th, 57.24; Jordan Herrera, 8th, 58.33.
freestyle – Vica
Dow, 8th, 53.92.
freestyle – Mia
Rankin, 2nd, 4:51.59; Maddie Wright, 6th, 5:05.49.
freestyle relay –
Xavier 3rd, 1:38.07 (Kelly Scott, Olivia Paliscak, Vica Dow, Maddie
backstroke – Gracie
Munk, 2nd, 56.81.
breaststroke – Paola Guerra, 5th, 1:06.84.
freestyle relay –
Xavier 2nd, 3:31.65 (Gracie Munk, Maddie Wright, Vica Dow, Mia