Swimming captures 23rd state crown

Stevens, Nelson earn individual titles

By Michael Moroney ’13

Photo by Rob March '11 - Brophy swimmer Luke Williams '13 practices his stroke at Brophy East Sept. 21.
Photo by Rob March '11 - Brophy swimmer Luke Williams '13 practices his stroke at Brophy East Sept. 21.

Brophy’s juggernaut swim team extended its state championship streak to 23 Saturday, Nov. 6 with a victory at the Kino Aquatics Center in Mesa.

The Brophy swim team, which ended the meet with 474.5 points, now has won 23 consecutive state titles and 29 out of their last 30. Mr. Pat O’Neill captured his fifth title as coach of the Brophy team and he was confident heading into the meet.

“We have depth,” Mr. O’Neill said. “We are the only team that can put three or four swimmers in nearly every state event.”

Mr. O’Neill added, “We had almost every kid do their personal bests at the meet. That is one of the goals we strive for.”

Brophy also had two individual state champions in Brian Stevens ’11 and Mike Nelson ’12 in the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard breaststroke. Mr. O’Neill was nervous about the breaststroke this year, but Brophy snagged gold and silver with Shane Essert ’11 getting second.

“We hoped they could make the top three or four because the 100 breast was really fast this year, but they took the top two spots,” Stevens said about teammates Nelson and Essert.

Other individual medalists included Tony-Mead Smith ’11, Wes Elford ’11, Chris Webb ’12, Isaac Montano ’13 and Gabe Espinosa ’13.

The team also earned the gold in the 200 yard Medley Relay and the 400 yard Freestyle Relay.

The top diver for the team was Gus Quinif ’12 who got seventh place at the state meet. Joe Overall ’11 and Yuta Shimmi ’12 also finished in the top 25 for dive.

The team won every meet, including two that Brophy hosted.

“Every single one of them is exciting, but it’s also exciting to see the nine new swimmers on the state team get their first,” Mr. O’Neill said when asked about this championship compared to others.