2018 Boys Swimming Capsule Previews

(as submitted by coaches)


Head coach: Sam Koehler, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top athletes: Ben Khavkin, Ari Klausner

Outlook: Khavkin was a Class 3A state meet qualifier in both the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay. He’s one of five returning lettermen for the Lions.

“We’re excited for returning swimmers Ben Khavkin and Ari Klausner to continue to drop times and strengthen relays,” Koehler said. “Freshman Krish Madhura should contribute positively to our relays.”

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Head coach: Michael Kinross, second season

Top athletes: Dylan Becker (So.), Josh Bengson (Sr.), Morgan Ma (So.), Mason Maluafiti (Sr.), Theo Delmonaco (Jr.), Jordan Ma (Sr.), Sean Streyle (Jr.)

Outlook: Becker, Bengson, Morgan Ma and Maluafiti all were first-team All-Sunset Region honorees last season. Delmonaco, Jordan Ma and Streyle were second-team all-region honorees.

“We are returning almost all of scoring athletes,” Kinross said. “With many new teammates coming out, we are excited for the new season.”

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Head coach: Michael Harrison, second season

Returning letter winners: Two

Top athletes: David Een (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bengals are deeper this season and hoping for better results.

Een achieved the qualifying time for the region meet in 10 events and will be among the leaders of a group that aims to show improvement.

“About one-third of our team graduated at the end of last year’s season, but we have a good group of young freshmen,” Harrison said. “We are looking forwards to watching them grow into competitive swimmers.”

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Head coach: Sara Carroll, 25th season

Top athletes: A.J. Pouch (Jr.), Clayton Pendleton (Sr.)

Outlook: The winners of seven consecutive state titles, the Eagles will have some work to do to repeat again this year.

Pouch, who won both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200 indidvidual medley at the Class 3A state meet last year, is one of the state’s top swimmers. He also swam on two relays at state.

Pendleton went to state in two individual events and two relays.

“We have lots of new swimmers,” Carroll said. “The boys should do pretty well, but will struggle with Truckee at state.”

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Head coach: Alex Smith, second season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top athletes: Jackson Larson (Jr.), Tyler Peterson (Sr.), Bronson Benes (Fr.)

Outlook: Larson and Peterson both swam on the 200-yard freestyle relay team that last year set a school record. Larson also placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke in last year’s Sunset Region meet.

“Despite losing some upper class leadership and state champion Sawyer Grimes (500 Freestyle), we’re returning a strong core of swimmers that are looking to improve after a successful rebuilding year,” Smith said. “This is certainly a more well-rounded team than previous years, which will hopefully translate to better all-around performances from our swimmers and divers.

We’re gunning for a top-five finish at regionals, and looking to send a few more athletes to the state meet this year.”

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Head coach: Megan Stanley, second season

Top athletes: Daniel Alvarez (Sr.), Victor Varela (Sr.), Adam Mirjanian (Sr.)

Outlook: Alvarez and Mirjanian both earned first-team All-Southern Region honors, and Varela was a second-team honoree last year.

“After a great season last year, we are excited to continue with our hard work and dedication this season,” Stanley said.

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Head coach: Joann Fukuma, first season

Top athletes: Aaron Reed (Sr.), Joshua Floyd (So.), Aiden Nartker (Jr.), Luke Titman (Jr.), Nicholas Falsey (Sr.), Chris Solorzano (So.), Rylan Banegas (Sr.)

Outlook: Reed is the defending Class 3A state champion in diving.

The Desert Shields have eight seniors on their roster and are working toward a successful season.

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Head coach: James Sullivan, seventh season

Top athletes: Benjamin Blomquist (Sr.), James O’Brien (Jr.), Edward Sung (Jr.), Andrew Wang (Sr.)

Outlook: Blomquist, O’Brien, Sung and Wang all had regional qualifying times in all events last year and are expected to be among the leaders on a team that expects to compete in the Sunset Region.

“The team will be competitive and should have two or three athletes qualify for the state meet,” Sullivan said.

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Head coach: David Stump, eighth season

Returning lettermen: Seventeen

Top athletes: Timmy Newton (Sr.), Spencer Wilkinson (So.), Brandon Nellis (Sr.), Michael Luna (So.)

Outlook: Newton will attempt to win his third state diving title this year.

The defending Sunrise Region champions also bring back state qualifiers in Luna (200-yard individual medley, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay), Nellis (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay) and Wilkinson (200 medley relay).

“We lost a huge chunk of points to graduation,” Stump said. “This will be a reloading year for us. Our returning athletes and our incoming freshmen will have to come through in a major way for us.

“The team is hoping to win our fifth straight regional championship and follow up our back-to-back state runner-up finishes. It will be great to see how everything pans out.”

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Head coach: Kenneth Belknap, fifth season

Returning lettermen: One

Top athletes: Alexander Bagrensky (Jr.)

Outlook: The Dragons will have mostly new faces this year.

Bagrensky, who was on Del Sol’s 200-yard medley relay team that went to the Class 3A state meet, is the lone returning letterman. He also was a Southern Region finalist in the 100 backstroke.

“This will be a rebuilding year as a whole for the team,” Belknap said. “We had almost all of our team graduate this last year. It’s a very young group in age and to swimming but there should be some individuals competing for a spot in the state meet and possibly for an individual state title.”

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Head coach: Jose Osorio, fifth season

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Jaime Martinez, Paris Espinoza, Roberto Hernandez, Ramiel Palomino

Outlook: Four lettermen return for the Jaguars, who are hoping to have some state meet qualifiers.

“We hope to send our top relay team to state for the 200 freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay,” Osorio said.

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Head coach: Sarah Jacques, second season

Top athletes: Collin Dodos (Sr.)

Outlook: The Trailblazers remain a young team, but are hoping to continue laying the foundation for many successful seasons.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to build a strong swim team at Durango High School,” Jacques said. “The team is young. All freshmen from last year are returning, and many of the new team members are freshmen this year.”

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Head coach: Stephen Blank, 15th season

Top athletes: Ryan Little (Sr.), Hunter Harbauer (So.)

Outlook: The Crusaders are hoping for a successful season.

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Head coach: Bob Swift, 16th season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Hunter Mecham (Jr.), Matthew Myers (Jr.), Mason Romantic (So.), Gabriel Weber (Jr.)

Outlook: Myers finished second in diving, and Mecham placed third 50-yard freestyle in last year’s Class 4A state meet.

They’re among a talented group of 15 returning lettermen for the Gators, who finished second in the Sunrise Region meet and sixth at state.

“We hope to compete for the Sunrise Region title and be in the mix for the state title,” Swift said.

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Head coach: Cameron Durieux, second season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top athletes: Henry Blackburn (Jr.), Alexander Curiel (Jr.), Reece Hartman (Sr.)

Outlook: The Wildcats bring back only five lettermen, but they’ll definitely take quality over quantity.

“The team this year looks great,” Durieux said. “We have good returning swimmers that will carry the team, but we also have some really good new swimmers that will benefit the program.

“I predict this year’s season to be fun and exciting.”

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Head coach: Marcus Meadow, fourth season

Top athletes: Tama Tuitama (Sr.), McKay Mickelson (So.)

Outlook: Tuitama, a Brigham Young recruit, won the Class 4A state title in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200 medley relay last year. He also finished second in the 200 individual medley.

“Tama will be the one to beat this season before he leaves for BYU,” Meadow said.

Mickelson joined Tuitama on the champion relay squad and finished second in the 100 backstroke at state.

“McKay Mickelson will also be looking to fill his hand with some more jewelry,” Meadow said.

Meadow also said junior Taven Hendrix has shaved four seconds off his time in the 100 breaststroke.

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Head coach: Carolyn Battin, third season

Top athletes: Devon Kisfalvi (So.)

Outlook: The Patriots are hoping to show improvement and build throughout the season.

“We are always looking to expand the boys roster,” Battin said.

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Head coach: Brianne Hernandez

Returning lettermen: Three

Top athletes: Mason Claiborne (Sr.)

Outlook: Claiborne finished second in the 100-yard freestyle and third in the 100 backstroke in last year’s Class 3A state meet.

“The team is in a building year and expecting to see non-swimmers competing at regionals,” Hernandez said. “Mason is looking for a first-place finish at state.”

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Head coach: Brent Gonzalez, 14th season

Returning lettermen: Nineteen

Top athletes: David Miller (Sr.), Ahmed Mohamed (Sr.), Jordan Read (Sr.), Dylan Sweikert (Sr.), Harrison Trent (Sr.), Conner Wattles (Jr.)

Outlook: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that having 19 returning lettermen off a team that won its fifth straight state title is a really good thing for the Panthers.

Miller (100-yard butterfly) and Sweikert (100 freestyle) both won individual state titles last year, and the Panthers return top-four finishers at state in: Mohamed (second in 100 breaststroke, third in 100 butterfly), Wattles (third in diving), Read (third as part of 200 medley relay), Miller (fourth in 200 freestyle), Sweikert (fourth in 50 freestyle).

“The boys are looking to repeat their 18th straight regional championship and repeat as state champions for the sixth year in a row,” Gonzalez said.

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Head coach: Robin Bigda, first season

Top athletes: Gabe Bezerra (So.), Justin Hale (Jr.)

Outlook: Bigda takes over a team that hopes to have a successful season.

“We are looking at a solid team of about 60 student-athletes,” Bigda said.

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Head coach: Jonathan Hillmer, seventh season

Top athletes: Cody Prince (Sr.), Wesley Custer (Sr.), Jack Goslin (Sr.), Carson Cannon (Jr.), Bryce Wadley (So.), Chance Wood (So.), Braxton Hackman (Jr.), Dan Beck (Sr.), Bryce Grover (Fr.)

Outlook: Prince, Custer and Beck all qualified for the Class 4A state meet last year, and Goslin and Cannon were Sunset Region meet qualifiers.

“We lost a lot of seniors last year whose spots will need to be filled by our younger swimmers,” Hillmer said. “We hope to maintain our standing in the Sunset Region or move into the top three this year.”

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Head coach: David Jurvelin, 14th season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top athletes: Amir Boulakhras (Sr.), Ian Cook (Sr.), Nikita Nazarov (So.), Kevin McCray (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions bring back eight lettermen, but have some work to do after graduation hit the team hard.

“A lot of boys graduated last season, but Nikita, Ian, and Amir have all improved from last season and will provide some strong swims for us,” Jurvelin said.

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Head coach: Jean Rees, 10th season

Top athletes: Caleb Gould (So.), Gavin Gould (So.)

Outlook: Gavin Gould was a first-team All-Sunset Region honoree last year, and Caleb Gould earned second-team all-region honors.

“We are looking forward to a great season,” Rees said. “We have over half our team from last year returning, and we continue to grow and expand as a team with new members joining us.”

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Head coach: Kim Lighty, 11th season

Returning lettermen: Thirteen

Top athletes: James Nguyen (Jr.), Durand Farr (Sr.), Anthony Avalos (Jr.), Jacob Tyler (Jr.)

Outlook: Nguyen finished second in 50-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100 breaststroke in last year’s Class 3A state meet.

He’s joined by returning state placers Farr (fifth in 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke), Avalos (sixth in 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle) and Tyler (seventh in 500 freestyle).

“We expect to have another great season,” Lighty said. “We were second at regionals last year and fifth at state, and we would like to improve upon that this year.

“The returning boys are very motivated and dedicated and will definitely have a stellar season. The new boys are motivated as well and will add even more strength to this team.”

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Head coach: Joshua Lelonek, first season

Returning lettermen: Three

Top athletes: Aidan White (Jr.), Alexander Johannesen (Sr.)

Outlook: Johannesen finished second in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle in last year’s Class 4A state meet.

White took fourth in the 200 freestyle in the Sunrise Region meet.

“We want to get to state and get new athletes to commit to the four-year swim program,” Lelonek said.

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Head coach: Jan White, 10th season

Top athletes: Keaton Ogden (Sr.), Jared Memmott (Jr.)

Outlook: Ogden and Memmott are expected to be the leaders on a team that will gain experience quickly.

“We hope to go to state with several individual and team events,” White said. “We have several new swimmers that show a lot of potential. I just want the swimmers to enjoy coming out for swim and learn to love the sport.”

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Head coach: Elisa Marcheschi Hickey, fourth season

Top athletes: Harold Morales (Jr.)

Outlook: Morales was a Class 3A state meet qualifier in the 200-yard medley relay.

He will be among the leaders on a team hoping to show improvement.