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2019 Boys Swimming Capsule Previews

Updated March 13, 2019 - 9:12 am

(as submitted by coaches)

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Head coach: Sam Koehler, eighth season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top athletes: Ben Khavkin (Sr.), Ari Klausner (Jr.), Owen Retzer (So.)

Outlook: Khavkin qualified for the Class 3A state meet in the 500-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke and leads a group of five returning lettermen for the Lions.

“Our boys are ready to work hard,” Koehler said. “We are small school, but we make the most out of each swimmer on the team.”

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Head coach: Ernie Sena, third season

Returning lettermen: Five

Outlook: The Wolves return only five lettermen, but hope to improve throughout the season.

“The team looks to improve this year with the leadership of returning lettermen and hard work in the water,” Sena said.

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Head coach: Michael Kinross, third season

Returning lettermen: Fifteen

Top athletes: Dylan Becker (Jr.), Theo Delmonaco (Sr.), Jenyon Kolley (Fr.), Morgan Ma (Jr.), Bryce Rounds (Sr.), John Sullivan (So.)

Outlook: The Gaels finished second or third in the last seven Sunset Region meets.

A switch to the Desert Region won’t make the path to a title any easier, but Gorman hopes to be among the top teams.

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Head coach: Sara Carroll, 26th season

Returning lettermen: Eleven

Top athletes: A.J. Pouch (Sr.), Joe Purdy (So.), Chandler Larson (Sr.)

Outlook: The Eagles had a string of seven straight state championships halted last year, when they finished second in the Class 3A state meet

Pouch, the three-time defending 100-yard breaststroke state champion and two-time defending 200 individual medley champion, is among 11 returning lettermen. Purdy and Larson each finished second and third in individual events in last year’s state meet.

“We lost some sprinters to graduation,” Carroll said. “We’re hoping to win regionals again, but state will be tough because of Truckee.”

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Head coach: Alex Smith, third season

Returning lettermen: Eleven

Top athletes: Sawyer Grimes (Jr.), Bronson Benes (So.), Jackson Larson (Sr.), Logan Horito (Jr.)

Outlook: Grimes gives the team a big boost after coming back from a year hiatus. He was the 2017 Class 4A state champion in the 500-yard freestyle and finished third in the 200 freestyle that year.

Benes was third in the 100 butterfly in last year’s state meet. He and Larson both were top-eight finishers in two events in the Sunset Region meet.

“Although we’ve lost some tough, battle-tested athletes and leaders, we’re looking to capitalize upon last year’s success and improve on our fourth-place finish at regionals,” Smith said. “With state qualifiers Sawyer Grimes and Bronson Benes back on the blocks, we’re looking to break through and send a few more swimmers and relays to Reno this season.

“With a strong supporting cast, I’m hoping that we can begin to challenge some of the perennial powers like Palo (Verde) and Shadow Ridge for prominence within the newly-formed Mountain Region.”

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Head coach: David Stump, ninth season

Returning lettermen: Sixteen

Top athletes: Jake Schroeder (Sr.), Spencer Wilkinson (Jr.), MacIsaac Armstrong (Sr.), Jared Miao (Jr.)

Outlook: Miao finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 200 individual medley in last year’s state meet. He and Wilkinson swam on the 200 freestyle relay team that finished second and the 400 free relay team that finished fifth in the state.

Wilkinson was fourth in the state in the 100 breaststroke and joined Schroeder and Armstrong on the 200 medley relay unit that finished seventh in the state.

“The team, after losing some key swimmers and a three-time state champion diver, is looking to reload this season,” Stump said. “The freshmen coming in will be asked to step up from day one and contribute to what we hope is a very successful season.

“Reclaiming the regional championship is our first goal. After that, it’s all about moving up at the state championships.”

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Head coach: Kenneth Belknap, sixth season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top athletes: Alexander Bagrensky (Sr.), Marcos Villanueva (Jr.)

Outlook: Bagrensky finished sixth in the Southern Region meet in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200 individual medley last year.

He leads a group of five returning lettermen.

“We are looking at a small rebuild this year,” Belknap said. “We have some talented swimmers who, we hope, will be fighting for a state qualifying position.”

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Head coach: Cheri Grossman, 11th season

Outlook: The Sundevils have a new look this year with all new varsity swimmers.

“This is a fresh new team with with only three returning members,” Grossman said. “None of them were varsity. We are looking forward to an exciting year of growth.”

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Head coach: Stephen Blank, 15th season

Returning lettermen: Six

Top athletes: Colby Chackel (Sr.), Hunter Harbauer (Jr.)

Outlook: The Crusaders welcome back six lettermen from a team that finished eighth in last year’s Sunset Region meet.

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Head coach: Casey Renton, second season

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: McKay Mickelson (Jr.), Taven Hendrex (Sr.)

Outlook: Mickelson is the defending Class 4A state champion in the 100-yard backstroke. Hendrex finished sixth in the state in the 100 breaststroke, and both swimmers were part of the Longhorns’ second-place medley relay and fourth-place 200 freestyle relay teams.

“We are very excited about some of the returning talent this year,” Renton said. “While we lost a few graduating seniors last year, we have a strong showing of up and coming swimmers. We will be young team this year with many freshman and sophomores, but we will be able to establish some depth as a team over the next few years.”

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Head coach: Carolyn Battin, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Six

Top athletes: Patrick Nilanont (So.), Devon Kisfalvi (Sr.)

Outlook: Nilanont and Kisfalvi both were finalists in the Sunrise Region meet last year and lead a small group of six returnees for the Patriots.

“Liberty only has six boys returning this year, so we are hoping more boys will join the team,” Battin said.

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Head coach: Brent Gonzalez, 15th season

Returning lettermen: Eighteen

Top athletes: Tyler Edlefsen (Sr.), Ethan Houck (Jr.), Conner Wattles (Sr.)

Outlook: Edlefsen is the defending Class 4A state champion in the 200-yard individual medley and finished second in the state meet in the 100 breaststroke.

Houck (500 freestyle) and Wattles (diving) both finished fourth at last year’s state meet.

In all, the six-time defending state champions bring back 18 lettermen.

“We’re hoping to win our 19th straight regional championship,” Gonzalez said. “Trying to see if we can win the seventh straight state title”

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Head coaches: Robin Bigda, third season, and David Silberman, second season

Top athletes: Ezekiel Deniger (Jr.), Noah Petty (Jr.), Raul Ruiz (Sr.), Jacob Tressler (So.)

Outlook: The Rams are hoping to improve throughout the season.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with other teams and building the whole swim community to be more supportive of each other,” Bigda said. “My 2019 swim season word is involvement. I want my swim to be involved: in school, in the community, in the pool and with other teams. Look for Rancho at the end of the lane cheering for one and all.

“My captains this year are super involved, and I am excited to watch them grow and share their involvement.”

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Head coach: Jonathan Hillmer, eighth season

Top athletes: Chance Wood (Jr.), Bryce Wadley (Jr.), Braxton Hackman (Sr.), Carson Cannon (Sr.), Chet Jewell (Sr.), Andrew Mason (Sr.)

Outlook: Wood, Wadley, Hackman, Cannon and Jewell all qualified for the Sunset Region meet last year and return to help lead a team.

The team finished third in the Sunset Region last year, but lost a talented senior class.

“This will open up the door for some hungry underclassmen to show up and perform in order to fill those spots,” Hillmer said. “We aim to compete in the top four team spots in the regional meet. We also expect to get some more swimmers qualified for the state meet, both individual and relays.”

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Head coach: David Jurvelin, 15th season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top athletes: Nikita Nazarov (Jr.), Lee Ryan Borines (Sr.), Lee Bryan Borines (Sr.), Hyrum Linville (Sr.)

Outlook: Nazarov finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in last year’s Class 4A state meet and leads a group of five returning lettermen for the Mountain Lions.

We have a nice group of seasonal swimmers who’ve improved every year, and we’re looking forward to how well these boys finish off their high school swim careers,” Jurvelin said. “Nikita is looking to return to state, but competition in the new Desert Region will be tough.”

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Head coach: Quincey Hocker, first season

Returning letter winners: First-year program

Top athletes: Thomas Harris (So.), Hunter Clark (Fr.), Connor Clark (So.)

Outlook: The Bulls begin competition this season.

“SLAM is excited to be officially in competition with other schools,” Hocker said.

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Head coach: Jean Rees, 12th season

Top athletes: Caleb Gould, Gavin Gould

Outlook: Caleb Gould finished third in the 500-yard freestyle in last year’s state meet.

“We are excited for this upcoming season,” Rees said. “Caleb Gould and Gavin Gould will be working hard to qualify for state.

“All of our new swimmers are excited about competition.”

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Head coach: Conrad Courtney, first season

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Johan Medina Haro (Sr.), Jose Lara-Salas (Jr.), Cristian Romo-Marquez (Sr.), Frank Villalpando-Ortiz (Sr.)

Outlook: The Miners bring back four lettermen and are hoping to be competitive in the Class 3A Southern Region.

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Head coach: Joshua Lelonek, second season

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Aidan White (Sr.), Andres Sotelo (Sr.), Michael Gonzalez (Jr.), Henry Marshall (Sr.)

Outlook: The Vikings bring back only four lettermen, but have some talented swimmers.

“We are looking to send a number of our boys to relays (at regions and state),” Lelonek said. “We are hoping to have a placing relay and one of ours taking home some medals.

“We are growing the boys program and hoping that more will see the benefits of committing to our swim team.”

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Head coaches: Elisa Marcheschi Hickey, fifth season; and Dana Grindall, second season

Returning lettermen: Two

Top athletes: Jared Gudino (Sr.), Angel Sanchez (Sr.)

Outlook: Gudino and Sanchez, both Southern Region meet qualifiers last year, are the lone returnees for the Warriors.

“We graduated a lot of our seniors last year, but we have a ton of talented newcomers coming up through the ranks,” Marcheschi Hickey said. “We have a larger boys team than last year and are working to get a boys relay into state this year. We are also working to get the majority of our team lifeguard or water safety certified this year so they can give back to their community.”

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