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Girls swimming: Youthful Cougars breeze to Desert title

The future looks bright for Coronado’s girls swim team, thanks to a talented group of freshmen and sophomores.

The present isn’t so bad, either.

Coronado scored 449 points Friday to roll to the Class 4A Desert Region title at UNLV.

Green Valley was a distant second with 265 points, and Bishop Gorman finished third with 248 points.

“I think it’s depth. We had four swimmers in either the (championship or consolation) final except for one event,” Coronado head coach David Stump said. “Our girls really stepped up in prelims and put themselves in a position to be where they needed to be. We’re a very deep team,’we’re also very young. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores so the future’s looking pretty bright.”

Sophomore Pilar Cohen, who won the state title last year in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events, is one of those bright stars, and she was one of the big reasons the Cougars won the region title.

Cohen finished second to Bishop Gorman freshman Audrey Yu in the 50 and 100 freestyles Friday. Yu won the 50 in 23.23 seconds and the 100 in 50.62.

Cohen knows she’ll have her work cut out for her at the state meet next week if she wants to repeat.

“I definitely need to work on my dive and my breakouts,” she said. “I think the swimming portion is taken care of. It’s just the turns, dives and breakouts.”

The Cougars’ 200 medley relay team of Maggie Armstrong, Ellis Sondrup, Kylie Beaudet and Katerina Jankowski placed first with a time of 1:50.53.

Katie Kucik led Green Valley with first-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (1:55.07) and 500 freestyle (5:06.9).

Foothill’s Faith Brazil placed first in the 200 individual medley (2:07.21) and the 100 breaststroke (1:03.5).

The Bishop Gorman 400 freestyle relay team (Yu, Devyn Wingender, Caroline Anderson and Emma Breslin) placed first with a time of 3:33.59.

Mountain Region

Palo Verde narrowly missed a clean sweep in the Mountain Region meet.

The Panthers won all but one event and finished with 569½ points to earn the region title. Shadow Ridge finished second with 313½ points, and Arbor View was third with 239 points.

“The girls said that they want to do it — they wanted to get it,” head coach Brent Gonzalez said. “They challenged themselves with each other reaching to their highest point, so they were really going against each other.”

Reese Hazen won the 200 individual medley (2:05.85) and the 100 backstroke (55.99) for Palo Verde. Victoria Gutierrez won the 50 freestyle (24.24) and the 100 freestyle (52.21), and teammate Chloe Freeman won the 100 butterfly (55.81) and the 500 freestyle (4:58.16) for the Panthers.

The Panthers’ relays were dominant.

The 200 medley team of Paige Kuwata, Hazan, Madi Lauger and Kendall Ruberio finished in 1:50.24. The 200 freestyle relay team of Kuwata, Freeman, Kendall Ruberio and Gutierrez finished first with a time of 1:40.42. The 400 freestyle relay team of Hazen, Portia Blackert, Madi Lauger and Freeman won in a time of 3:41.25.

Kuwata also won the 200 freestyle in 1:52.19.

Bonanza’s Kailey Carter-Fulton broke up the potential Palo Verde shutout, winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.6.

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