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2017 Girls Swimming Team Capsules

ADELSON SCHOOL

Head coach: Becky Lamph, eighth season

Returning letter winners: Five

Top athletes: Leemor Aizenberg (Jr.), Noa Klausner (Sr.), Nicole Mulligan (Sr.), Rebecca Knafo (Fr.)

Outlook: Aizenberg and Mulligan both swam on the 200 freestyle relay team that placed fourth in last year’s Division I-A state meet. They’re among five returnees for the Lions.

“We’re looking forward to improvement out of our returners and hoping to get support from a number of new swimmers,” Lamph said.

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BISHOP GORMAN

Head coach: Ron Aitken, 18th season

Top athletes: Shanon Page (Sr.), Emma Thompson (Sr.), Megan Thompson (Sr.), Halle Robbins (Sr.)

Outlook: Page won the Sunset Region diving title last season and Robbins and both Thompsons were region finalists.

They lead a large group of returnees for the Gaels.

“Our team depth has improved,” Aitken said.

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BONANZA

Head coach: Kathryn Patzke, first season

Outlook: Patzke takes over a program that is hoping to show improvement this season.

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BOULDER CITY

Head coach: Sara Carroll, 24th season

Returning letter winners: Eleven

Top athletes: Montana Lloyd (Sr.), Mandi Gebhart (Sr.), Aimee Garcia (So.), Abby Sauerbrei (Sr.), Sarah Estes (Sr.), Rose Pouch (So.)

Outlook: The Eagles bring back a boatload of quality, experienced swimmers.

Lloyd (state champion in 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley), Pouch (state champion in 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle), Gebhart (state champion in 500 freestyle, second in 50 freestyle), Sauerbrei (state champion in 100 butterfly, third in 200 individual medley), Garcia (second in 200 freestyle, second in 100 breaststroke) and Estes (third in 100 freestyle, third in 200 individual medley) all had multiple top-three finishes in last year’s Division I-A state meet.

“It looks like a big team this year with a lot of new swimmers, but also a group of valuable veterans that will score well at regionals,” Carroll said. “The girls look solid all the way through state.”

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CENTENNIAL

Head coach: Jasmine Reuel, seventh season

Returning letter winners: Eight

Top athletes: Tatumn Alford (So.), Kaly Rafie (Fr.), Grace Rojo (Fr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs bring back eight letter winners, but are expecting good things from their young swimmers.

“We are in a growing year,” Reuel said. “We are excited about our new additions and hope to improve some other swimmers so they can letter as well this year.”

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CHAPARRAL

Head coach: Megan Stanley, first season

Returning letter winners: Six

Outlook: Stanley takes over a team that brings back only six letter winners and hopes to show improvement during the season.

“We are looking forward to a great swim season, and we can’t wait to see how well our team does,” Stanley said.

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CORONADO

Head coach: David Stump, seventh season

Returning letter winners: Twenty-two

Top athletes: Tayler Luna (Sr.), Sara Gong (Sr.), Tara Wise (Sr.)

Outlook: Luna, Gong and Wise all were state meet qualifiers last year and are among a big group of returnees for the Cougars.

“This year’s team has a strong nucleus of returning stars,” Stump said. “Tayler, Tara and Sara will be counted on to lead the way. Hopefully our freshmen, sophomores and juniors will follow suit and step up. We have some solid freshmen coming in who will add depth to the team.

“We are looking to improve on last year, which won’t be easy. Our divers will help us out, and we are looking to make that jump to state champion or runner-up.”

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DESERT PINES

Head coach: Tracy Cahill, first season

Top athletes: Jennifer Martinez, Anna Snavely

Outlook: Cahill takes over a squad that is hoping to improve during the season.

She said she is hoping to send Martinez (100 butterfly) and Snavely (100 breaststroke) to the state meet.

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DURANGO

Head coach: Sarah Jacques, first season

Outlook: Jacques takes over a team that is hungry for success.

“I’m looking forward to start developing a strong swim team here at Durango,” Jacques said.

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ELDORADO

Head coach: Patty Eliason, first season

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Jenny Paddack (So.), Katie Winder (So.)

Outlook: The Sundevils are lacking in returning swimmers, but are hoping to be competitive this season.

“We’re looking to rebuild our team after losing many seniors over the past two years,” Eliason said. “It looks promising.”

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FAITH LUTHERAN

Head coach: Stephen Blank, 14th season

Top athletes: Christine Cornish (Sr.), Isabella Nigro (Fr.)

Outlook: The Crusaders bring back a handful of talented swimmers.

“We’re excited about moving into the (Class) 4A,” Blank said.

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FOOTHILL

Head coach: Chemberyle Simoneau, third season

Returning lettermen: Fourteen

Top athletes: Myna Buckley (So.), Lauren Hulshoff (Sr.), Faith Brazil (So.), Lily Jesperson (So.), Victoria Bogdan (Sr.)

Outlook: Bogdan took fourth in diving in the Division I state meet last year.

Buckley, Hulshoff, Brazil and Jesperson combined to take sixth in the 200 medley relay at state.

They’re among 14 returning letter winners for Foothill.

“We have the same core group of girls who made state last year and have seen growth and improvement in our returning swimmers,” Simoneau said. “We also added several fast underclassmen swimmers. We look to improve our standing at regionals and send additional swimmers to state.”

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GREEN VALLEY

Head coach: Bob Swift, 14th season

Top athletes: Abby Richter (Sr.), Cassie McKercher (Sr.), Vicky Navarro (Jr.), McKenna Houlihan (Jr.), Liz Clinch (Jr.), Valerie Kitchens (So.), Julia Mason (Jr.), Zaida Ascencion (Fr.), Lauren Olsen (So.)

Outlook: Richter, the Review-Journal’s girls swimmer of the year last season, won the Division I state title in both the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke. She leads an impressive list of returnees for the Gators.

“We will again be looking at competing for the Sunrise Region championship and going into state improving on last year’s performance,” Swift said. “We will also be working on developing our new talent for the coming years.”

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LAS VEGAS

Head coach: Michelle Bryk, 11th season

Top athletes: Kathryn Blackburn (Sr.), Karla Arango (Sr.), Christina Wong (Sr.)

Outlook: Blackburn, Arango and Wong all were a part of the 200 freestyle relay team that placed fourth in the Sunrise Region meet last year.

“Our expectation is to make a strong showing at regionals this year with possibly earning more medals than last year,” Bryk said.

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LIBERTY

Head coach: Carolyn Battin, second season

Returning letter winners: Eleven

Top athletes: Sarah Cunningham (Jr.), Brooke Blackard (Fr.)

Outlook: Cunningham placed fourth in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 50 freestyle in last year’s Sunrise Region meet.

“I am hoping that our team develops and that we can be competitive enough to get a few swimmers to state this season,” Battin said. “I fully expect out team to be larger this year, which will allow us to fill more events.”

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PALO VERDE

Head coach: Brent Gonzalez, 13th season

Returning lettermen: Twenty-one

Top athletes: Allie Emery (Jr.), Reese Lamph (Sr.), Madi Lauger (So.), Emelia Piccininni (Jr.), Grace Siebmann (Jr.)

Outlook: The Panthers graduated the winners of three individual events at the state meet last year and still bring back an overwhelming amount of state meet experience as they chase their third straight region and state crowns.

Emery won the 100 freestyle state title last year and competed in the 50 freestyle at state. Lamph (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Lauger (100 butterfly), Piccininni (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and Siebmann (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke) also were among the state qualifiers for Palo Verde, which returns 21 letter winners.

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RANCHO

Head coach: Ti’Ara Blais, first season

Top athletes: Olivia Johnson (Sr.), Sophia Johnson (Fr.), Astrid Villeda (Jr.), Natalia Escalante (Jr.), Megan Lawrence (So.), KeiKai States (So.)

Outlook: The Rams are hoping to show improvement this season.

“We had limited numbers last year, but high numbers and high hopes this year,” Pemberton said. “Rancho could be well represented in postseason swimming. We finally have the high number of participants, and they are highly motivated and skilled. We will be focusing a majority of our time on skill technique and the rest on speed.

“Everyone is going to see a new and improved Rancho Rams swim team this season.”

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SIERRA VISTA

Head coach: Mike Boland, third season

Returning letter winners: Eight

Top athletes: Alyssa Walter (Jr.), Taylor Saxon (Jr.), Madison Tellier (Jr.), Phyllis Lee (Jr.), Grace Clarke (Sr.), Nellie Myers (Sr.), Patricia Brandon (Sr.), Ananda Arnold (Sr.), Danyael Cuison (Fr.)

Outlook: Walter won the Division I-A state title in diving each of the last two seasons and helped Sierra Vista finish fifth as a team at state last year.

Tellier (third in 500 freestyle), Saxon (fifth in 50 freestyle) and Lee were members of the medley relay team that placed fourth and the 400 freestyle relay team that finished fifth at the state meet last year.

“The core of our girls team is all returning and with some new additions, we’re looking forward to a competitive season,” Boland said.

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SPRING VALLEY

Head coach: Jean Rees, ninth season

Top athletes: Ashlyn Lessenger (Sr.), Kara Thompson (Sr.), Allie Jacobson (Fr.)

Outlook: Lessenger and Thompson both have state meet experience and will be among the leaders on a team that has plenty of youth, including newcomer Jacobson.

“We have a new and exciting young team of mostly freshmen and sophomores,” Rees said. “After returning to Class 4A, our goal is to hold our own in the Southwest League of the Sunset Region.”

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SUNRISE MOUNTAIN

Head coach: Megan Pabst, second season

Top athletes: Silvia Zuniga (Jr.), Chloe Bunch (Jr.), Macy Stevens (Jr.)

Outlook: Zuniga, Bunch and Stevens all have qualified for the Southern Region finals in both of the last two seasons.

“The past two years have seen the team finish exceptionally well at the Division I-A regionals,” Pabst said. “We had a fifth-place relay finish at 2016 regionals and hope to turn that team into a state qualifier this year. It would be the first time a girls relay team from Sunrise Mountain has qualified for state.

“We expect steady progress in all three relays throughout the season. Silvia Zuniga, Chloe Bunch and Macy Stevens will be swimming a variety of events, and their relays will be rounded out by several other girls.”

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VALLEY

Head coach: Ryan Ocampo, first season

Outlook: Ocampo takes over a program that is hoping to show improvement this year.

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VIRGIN VALLEY

Head coach: Jan White, seventh season

Returning letter winners: Five

Outlook: The Bulldogs are hoping to be competitive in Class 3A this year.

“With the change in region schools, we hope to take a team for all three relays to state and a few of our kids to go to state individually, as well,” White said. “More importantly, I hope to help kids to enjoy swimming and make it a lifelong activity.”

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