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.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

XCP swim-dive finishes 7th, Munk has big day

 As the Division I state swimming championships got closer and closer, Xavier Prep’s Gracie Munk thought more about what it would be like “to put my hand on the wall first,’’ to signal a championship victory in one of her events.

During the day of the finals on Saturday (Nov. 6), “I was really nervous and excited,’’ she said.

It was the biggest meet of her life and of her senior season.

The time had come for her and the other seven finalists in the 100-yard butterfly to climb onto the starting block, toss all of those nerves aside and take the plunge.

Less than a minute later, Munk wondered no longer what it would be like to put her hand on the wall first. She was a state champion, covering the distance in 55.36 seconds. Senior teammate Hope Nolan had a quality swim, finishing fourth at 57.11.

Those efforts were among the highlights for the Gators at the Skyline Aquatic Complex in east Mesa.

Xavier finished seventh out of 27 teams with 147 points, behind state-title repeater Scottsdale Chaparral, Mesa Red Mountain, Phoenix Desert Vista, Mesa Mountain View, Phoenix Horizon and Gilbert Perry.

Glen Coy, who took over the program this year with assistance from David Smithers and Jenny James, was pleased with his team’s effort.

“Gracie did a great job and all of the girls swam really well. I just liked the way they raced,’’ Coy said.

The season, he said, “was fun and challenging. I really enjoyed it. It makes me look forward to future swims.’’

Munk didn’t stop with only one event. She finished second in the 100-yard backstroke (55.93) and helped the 200-yard relay finish second and the 400-yard relay finish fifth.

Those efforts capped off the rewarding week that began on Monday (Nov. 1) when she made her college commitment to swim for and study at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

“It helped out there today (Saturday) knowing my teammates were supporting me,’’ Munk said. “We all put a lot of work into this.’’

Here are the Xavier state meet results:

200-yard medley relay (B final) – XCP 2nd (Sr. Claire Douglas, Sr. Ashleigh Baros, Sr. Grace Hull, Sr. Daisy Maldonado), 1:52.31.

50-yard freestyle (B final) – Lainey Wieland, Jr., 6th, 25.13.

100-yard butterfly (Championship final) – Gracie Munk, Sr., 1st, 55.36; Hope Nolan, Sr., 4th, 57.11. (B final) – Grace Hull, Sr., 8th, 1:00.23.

200-yard freestyle relay (Championship final) – XCP 2nd (Sr. Gracie Munk, Sr. Daisy Maldonado, Jr. Lainey Wieland, Sr. Hope Nolan), 1:38.05.

100-yard backstroke (Championship final) – Gracie Munk, Sr., 2nd, 55.93. (B final) – Carter Cook, Fr., 5th; Claire Douglas, Sr., 8th, 1:03.09.

100-yard breaststroke (B final) – Hope Nolan, Sr., 3rd, 1:08.14.

400-yard freestyle relay (Championship final) – XCP 5th (Sr. Daisy Maldonado, Fr. Ginger Mago, Sr. Hope Nolan, Sr. Gracie Munk), 3:33.99.

Team scores

Scottsdale Chaparral 357.5, Mesa Red Mountain 240, Phoenix Desert Vista 212, Mesa Mountain View 175, Phoenix Horizon 166, Gilbert Perry 162.5, Xavier Prep 144, Chandler Hamilton 111, Phoenix Pinnacle 104, Mesa Desert Ridge 90, Goodyear Millennium 86, Peoria Liberty 75.5, Tempe Corona del Sol 65, Anthem Boulder Creek 65, Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor 49.5, Yuma Cibola 45, Chandler High 39, Tucson High 34, Tucson Rincon/University 28, Maricopa High 21, Queen Creek 13, Gilbert Highland 5, Chandler Basha 4, Vail Cienega 4, Mesa High 2, Mesa Skyline 2, Surprise Valley Vista 1.

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