Desert Vista is back, and Mountain Pointe is right there with them.
A regional realignment last fall may have cost Desert Vista’s boys and girls swim teams a fourth consecutive region title, but the Thunder showed they are ready for the state 5A-I championships next week in Mesa.
Desert Vista was shifted from the Central to the Fiesta region with Phoenix Brophy and Xavier.
Between them Brophy’s boys and Xavier’s girls have won 51 state titles going back to 1960 and they dominated the regional meet last weekend in Chandler.
Desert Vista’s boys and girls placed a solid second in a warm-up for next weekend’s championships.
While the Thunder remained strong, Mountain Pointe appeared to be peaking in time to make a splash in the state meet this year.
The Pride boys finished 11th at state last season and the girls placed 12th, but they won their respective divisions of the East Valley Region meet Saturday afternoon, also in Chandler.
Mountain Pointe took home a combined 16 gold medals, including the girls 200-yard medley relay, boys 200 medley relay and boys 200 freestyle relay.
Senior Ryan Holly was named the region’s male athlete of the year and Mountain Pointe coach Steve Mancuso was selected the East Valley Region Coach of the Year.
Holly won the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly and was a member of the gold medal-winning 200-yard freestyle relay that included Tyler Smith, Julian Enriquez and Connor Englemann, as well as the first place 200-yard medley relay with Smith, Englemann and Zach Bradley.
Englemann also won the 50 and 100 freestyle events.
Jeff Ding won the 500-yard freestyle and 200 individual medley.
Mountain Pointe freshman Clara Jenck won the girls 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke while junior Stepfanie Conroy took first in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly.
“We want the kids to be happy and have fun,” Mancuso said. “And I don’t remember anyone who didn’t swim their fastest times of the year and that made it better. The relay teams really came together.”
In spite of Xavier’s traditional strength in most events, Desert Vista senior Tinsley Andrews easily won the girls 200-yard individual medley and junior Katie Olsen dominated the girls 100-yard breaststroke in an All-American qualifying time of one minute, 02.57 seconds, more than five seconds faster than Xavier’s Madeline Wells.
Olsen was also a body length ahead of Xavier’s Kyra Zsiga at the wall in the girls 50 freestyle.
The Desert Vista boys 400-yard freestyle relay team made up of seniors Ryan Dignan, Tyler Brouse, Chris Berghold and Patrick Lombardi won another gold medal and 40 points for the Thunder.
Desert Vista’s boys divers continued as strong as last year. Connor Dignan, Sean Peaks and Chris Whitton made it a 1-2-3 finish off the one-meter board.