It's a good thing buses were available to transport Ironwood Ridge's swim team to the 5A-II regional meet at James Kriegh Pool in Oro Valley last weekend, because most of their top finishers are too young to drive, or just starting.
The Nighthawks saw high seeds earned by a core of talented freshmen and sophomores in both boys' and girls' competition, giving the rest of the state a preview of just what they have to look forward to in the next few years.
The immediate future looks good for Ironwood Ridge as well, as the girls had 10 event placings in the overall top 10, including relays, and the boys head to state with six.
For the Nighthawk girls, four freshmen — Sara Borendame (fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke and sixth in the 200-yard individual medley), Megan McGovern (sixth in the 100-yard backstroke and eighth in the 200-yard IM), Caitlyn Kelley (10th in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle) and Alexandria Nickles (eighth in the 200-yard freestyle) – were strong in the pool.
On the boys' side, junior Matthew Berg (second in the 100-yard backstroke and sixth in the 50-yard freestyle) and sophomore Ryan Bean (third in the 200-yard IM and sixth in the 100-yard butterfly) gave the Nighthawks their highest seeds heading into this weekend's state competition at the Kino Aquatic Center in Mesa.
For the Mountain View Mountain Lions, a mixture of fresh faces and veterans produced some of the team's best performances over the weekend. For the girls' team, freshman Kelsey Wouti finished as the seventh overall seed in the 50-yard freestyle and the eighth in the 100-yard butterfly, and junior Ashley Fall cracked the top 20 in both the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard IM. Senior Rachel Dodge (16th in the 500-yard freestyle) and junior Felicia Coiner (17th in the 100-yard butterfly) will look to gain some points for the Mountain Lions at state this weekend.
The Mountain View boys' team, led by senior James Daugherty, relied mostly on strong seed times last weekend.
Daugherty finished 10th overall in the 200-yard IM and 13th in the 500-yard freestyle, while fellow senior Josh McDade ended regionals 21st in the 100-yard freestyle.