Miner Swimmers competed in the Southern Arizona Regional Qualifier Swim Meet in Oro Valley at Canyon Del Oro High School on Nov. 1-2. Twenty teams from Southern Arizona attended the meet as a season finale and hoped to achieve a qualifying times for the state championship meet to be held Nov. 8-9. Miner Swimmers were at their best bumping up against some of the best swimmers in the state from much larger schools like Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, Canyon Del Oro, Rincon, Buena, Tucson, Desert View, and Douglas. In fact Miner Swimmers more than held their own. The girls 10th place put them respectably right in the middle of the 20 team field with 75 points. The boys had an amazing meet and finished 6th place overall, finishing ahead of some much larger schools like CDO, Sabino, Douglas and Buena.
The girls team had a great meet. Eight of the girl swimmers did well enough in preliminaries to swim in finals on Saturday. Among the most excited was Sophomore Mariela Canisales when learning she had earned that 16th seed in the finals in the 100 butterfly. Senior Amara Apuron lead the Miner charge with three top eight finishes. After earning a state qualifying time in the 200 individual medley with a 6th place finish with a time of 2:35.35, she went on to swim the 500 freestyle for an 8th place finish. Then after completing the two toughest events in high school swimming, Apuron went on to anchor the 200 freestyle relay with Senior Cierra Austin, Senior Nicole Primero, and Junior Jazelle Sanchez to a win in the consolation final to take a 9th place overall and earn a state qualifying time of 1:58.77. Later in the meet the same group would team up and finish in 7th place in the 400 freestyle relay. Austin finished 13th in the 50 freestyle and 16th in the 100 freestyle in the always close sprint events. Sanchez finished 14th in the 100 butterfly.
For the boys to finish well overall, they needed to earn points in nearly every event with multiple swimmers in top 16. This is not an easy task when there are 19 other teams at the meet with the same intentions. Things went well in the preliminary session on Friday, Miner Swimmers advanced to the finals in eight individual events and all three relays. As the events got underway on Saturday, the Miner Medley Relay team started with a 10th place. The time of 2:06.77 was a season best by the team of Sophomore Taylor Woods, Sophomore Armando Noriega, Senior Colten Smith and Freshman Colbey Stratton. In the next event, the 200 free, Senior John Bribiescas finished 6th with a time of 2:16.03, his best time ever, against a tough field. In the 200 individual medley, Freshman Michael Garcia went on to win the consolation final for 9th place, while Woods went on to finish 8th in the championship final, both swimmers improving their times by a several of seconds. Smith finished 13th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.94. After the diving break, Stratton added to the Miner point tally by finishing 14th in the 100 free, and Bribiescas swam the grueling 500 freestyle to a 5th place finish. The 200 free relay team of Stratton, Bribiescas, Noriega and Smith swam a season’s best to finish 10th. Woods and Garcia had remarkable races in the 100 backstroke to finish 5th and 11th respectively. In the final event, the 400 free relay, the team of Stratton, Bribiescas, Woods and Smith finished 8th place with a new school record time of 3:58.50 shattering the previous record by 5-seconds. A great finish to the meet and the season.
Since only the fastest 32 swimmers in individual events and fastest 24 relay teams will compete in the state championship meet at Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa on Nov. 9 and 10, Miner Swimmers will have to wait until seeding is done later this week to determine if they will make the cut. Congratulations to Miner Swimmers for an outstanding season.