Local 4A swimmers are diving into competition this weekend at the state championships in Mesa.
While Catalina Foothills is looking to continue its dominance in Arizona, highly seeded athletes from Canyon Del Oro and Marana are on a mission to make the Falcons stumble.
For the Dorado girls, senior standout Lauren Baker posted the highest seed times statewide in both the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly. In the 100-yard freestyle, senior Rachel Baumann and sophomore Maggie McCord are seeded third and fourth, respectively. McCord is also seeded first in the 50-yard freestyle. Baumann ranked fourth in the 50-yard freestyle after regional competition.
Two younger swimmers, sophomore Maya Gort (seeded eighth in the 500-yard freestyle) and freshman Stephanie Strickland (sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke) are also poised to make a run toward the top five.
CDO's boys team earned high seeds in a number of events, led by sophomore Jordan Belton, who notched a first-place seed in the 100-yard freestyle event, as well as a fourth-place seed in the 200-yard freestyle. Freshman Jonathan Alexander (fifth seed in the 500-yard freestyle), senior Tim Gort (seventh in the 500-yard freestyle) and sophomore Sean Strickland (third seed in the 100-yard butterfly), look ready to rack up some points for the Dorados.
The Marana boys' team, led by senior Drew Hill, has been a force all season, and will attempt to continue to make their presence known in championship competition.
Hill, who earned a second-seed in the 100-yard freestyle and third-seed in the 50-yard freestyle, will be has been particularly strong for the Tigers throughout the year, and seniors Ryan Gapp (#10-seed in the 100-yard breaststroke) and Rhett Baker (#13-seed in the 50-yard freestyle) will look to finish out their high school careers with strong performances at state.
The Tiger girls will count on a core of youthful talent in the water in Mesa.
Freshman Lindsie Jeffries shared the girls' highest overall seed — eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke — and also earned the #10 slot in the 200-yard individual medley. Sophomore Ali Yetter also tallied an eight-seed with an impressive regional performance in the 50-yard freestyle. Sophomore Brianne Murphy (ninth-seed in the 100-yard butterfly), junior Danielle Tolton (10th-seed in the 200-yard freestyle) and sophomore Bekki Pope (13th in the 50-yard freestyle) will be ready to represent the Tigers' in statewide competition and help the "Zoo" bring some accolades back to Marana.