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.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Firebirds, XCP make noise in state-type swim meet

 Tuesday’s (Sept. 14) dual swimming meet at Brophy Prep between Xavier Prep and Scottsdale Chaparral had all the noise and effervescence of a state meet.

Unfortunately for the Gators, three-time defending Division I state champion Chaparral looked ready to make it four in a row with a 115-71 triumph.

“That was the most excitement I have seen for a meet this season,’’ said Xavier first-year coach Glen Coy. “Cheering each other on makes it much more fun.’’

Xavier last won the state title in 2017, then followed that up with three straight runner-up finishes to the Firebirds.

Xavier has numerous seniors on its roster this year and the majority of them are quality swimmers. So if another title is in the wind for the Gators, they likely will be the ones to do it.

Coy acknowledged that he and his assistants have been pushing their athletes pretty hard during the first part of the season, which features the Brophy-Xavier Invite on Friday (Sept. 16) and Saturday (Sept. 17) at Brophy. Coy said that before too long, he will start to taper off in preparation for state, which will be held Nov. 5-6 at the Skyline Aquatic Center in east Mesa (diving at Brophy).

The senior group is led by Gracie Munk, Grace Hull and Hope Nolan. They carry versatility into their individual events, and are integral pieces in the relays, long a staple of the XCP program.

Nolan won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles against Chaparral, Munk won the 100-yard butterfly. Hull was second in the 100 fly, was fourth in the 200-yard individual medley, was the No.  3 swimmer behind No. 1 Munk and No. 2 Nolan in the second-place 200-yard medley relay, and swam the anchor leg of the third-place 200-yard freestyle relay quartet.

Hull is not certain if she will continue to swim beyond Xavier after graduation, but is thankful of the opportunity she has had with the Gators.

“Days like this make it much more exciting. We want to be motivated for state and are working hard toward that,’’ she said.

“I have been swimming since I was 5. That’s a long time. When I came here to Xavier, it has been like a second family. We talk to each other and rely on each other, let each other know how we feel about things other than swimming, too. We are working on racing faster, and that brings encouragement.’’

Chaparral 115, Xavier Prep 71

Xavier results

200-yard medley relay – Xavier 2nd, 1:52.43 (Gracie Munk, Sr., Hope Nolan, Sr., Grace Hull, Sr., Dylan Miller, Jr.)

200-yard individual medley – Grace Hull, Sr., 4th, 2:21.13; Bella Guerra, So., 5th, 2:25.73.

200-yard freestyle – Ashleigh Baros, Sr., 5th, 2:05.14.

100-yard freestyle – Hope Nolan, Sr., 1st, 54.62; Dylan Miller, Jr., 57.07; Daisy Maldonado, Sr., 4th, 57.17.

50-yard freestyle – Hope Nolan, Sr., 1st, 25.26; Daisy Maldonado, Sr., 2nd, 25.30; Dylan Miller, Jr., 5th, 26.14.

100-yard butterfly – Gracie Munk, Sr., 1st, 58.41; Grace Hull, Sr., 2nd, 1:01.59; Ginger Mago, Fr., 5th, 1:02.71.

500-yard freestyle – Ashleigh Baros, Sr., 4th, 5:33.02.

200-yard freestyle relay – Xavier 3rd, 1:44.16 (Dylan Miller, Jr., Ashleigh Baros, Sr., Daisy Maldonado, Sr., Grace Hull, Sr.)

100-yard backstroke – Gracie Munk, Sr., 1st, 59.76; Claire Douglas, Sr., 3rd, 1:04.47.

100-yard breaststroke – Ava Gill, So., 3rd, 1:14.35; Bella Guerra, So., 4th, 1:15.93.

400-yard freestyle relay – Xavier 2nd, 3:44.60 (Hope Nolan, Sr., Gracie Munk, Sr., Lainey Wieland, Jr., Ashleigh Baros, Sr.)

1-meter diving – Claira Chong, So., 187.95; Michelle Mierzwa, Jr., 185.40; Alicia Jasinski, Sr., 1:44.15.

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