Waving goodbye to the slow lane - The Explorer: Sports

Waving goodbye to the slow lane

Olympic action boosts region’s swimmers’ hopes

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Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Tara Murphy said Michael Phelps’ Olympic success drew prospective swimmers—and new phraseology — to her Marana aquatic family.

“We had a really big turnout, a lot of people who had never swam before,” said the senior, who placed eighth in the 100-yard butterfly during last year’s state meet.

Those walk-ons who made the team pay homage to Phelps’ reign in a unique way.

“We have a saying: ‘You got Phelped,’” Murphy said. “We’re trying to make that (phrase) huge.”

Fresh trash-talking highlights the buzz borne from a close-knit and water-logged bunch, one ready to make waves at local meets.

“We know how to work hard, but we also have a lot of fun doing it,” said head coach Erin Brewer, a former University of Arizona swimmer and Marana’s most decorated aquatic. Marana’s pre-meet formulas involve blaring ’80s music including Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen and Wham!, to chanting the “bang-a-rang” cackle from the movie “Hook.”

The psych-outs seem to work.

Marana dominated its Sept.4 meet against Catalina, winning nearly every race, as junior Jordan Jeffries broke a pool and school record in the 200-yard individual medley. “I am feeling extremely optimistic with the first meet under our belt. We had impressive swims and it was only the first meet of the season,” Brewer said.

Paired with Jeffries, junior Drew Hill carries high expectations.

“We are kind of the secret weapons this year,” said Hill, who placed 12th-in-state during 2007’s 200-yard IM, and aims for a top-eight finish this year.

“We want to tear down every record there is; I’m shooting for top three at state,” said Jeffries.

The Hill-and-Jeffries combo isn’t the only torpedo in the Tigers’ arsenal, said assistant coach Kim Dillon. With a strong underclass turnout that required coaches to make their first-ever round of cuts, the Tigers will hope to “Phelp” competition statewide.

Teams to watch

Catalina Foothills High School: The Falcons earned both boys’ and girls’ 4A-I state team championships in 2007. Senior Alaina Kirkpatrick and junior Karima Chuk, who both tallied multiple top-10 finishes at state, will anchor the girls’ team.

On the boy’s side, senior Herbie Behm took first in the 50-yard freestyle and junior Roger Miesfeld took fourth in the 100-yard butterfly last year.

“We have a strong team again this season. The women’s team lost a solid core of seniors from last year’s team, but as always, our goal is for both men’s and women’s teams to win state,” said Falcons head coach R.J. Lundstrom.

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy: In the 1A/2A/3A state tournament, Pusch Ridge men finished fifth, led by returning senior John Spegman, who took fourth in the 200-yard IM. The women finished fourth, with junior Erin Bleyl winning the 200-yard freestyle.

Canyon Del Oro: The Dorado men finished 12th in 4A-I state competition, led by returning senior Wes Baker’s 100-yard freestyle 15th place finish. The Dorado women finished 11th, led by returning junior Lauren Baker, who notched third in the 200-yard IM.

Ironwood Ridge High School: Senior Kyle Adams led the Nighthawks to a fourth-place state finish, as he finished fourth in the 200-yard freestyle. Their returning young talent includes sophomore Matthew Berg, who took sixth in the 100-yard backstroke.

The senior duo of Chloe Buser (sixth in 200-yard freestyle) and Rachel Svetlik (eighth in the 100-yard backstroke) return from a second-place 200-yard freestyle relay team that helped the Nighthawk women to a sixth place overall team ranking.

Mountain View High School: The Mountain Lion men finished sixth at state, led by returning seniors Lee Gundy, who placed fifth in the 100-yard freestyle, and Ian Wishnies, who took third in the 100-yard butterfly.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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