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Palo Verde attains goal with sweep

Mission accomplished.

Palo Verde’s swimming teams set out for a sweep at the Sunset Regional meet Saturday at UNLV, and the Panthers came through, winning the boys and girls team titles.

The Sunset crown was the sixth straight for the boys team. The girls took the title for the first time since 2003, ending a string of three straight crowns for Bishop Gorman.

“They did great,” Palo Verde coach Bob Nicholson said. “What can you say about a team of boys that have done this (six) years in a row and the girls coming back after three years of losses and taking it?”

Both teams easily outdistanced the competition. The boys had 431 points, Cimarron-Memorial (297) was second and Centennial (280) third.

On the girls side, the Panthers finished with 407 points, 85 points ahead of second-place Gorman.

The Panthers didn’t win an event in the girls meet but had five second-place swimming finishes and four third-place swimming finishes to outdistance the Gaels. Palo Verde’s Jessica Jones and Lauren Manix finished second and third in the diving competition earlier in the week.

“Where we’d lose ground, the girls picked it back up again all through the meet,” Nicholson said. “Where they knew they were losing points, they’d come back the next race and take it again. I just think they did a stellar performance.”

Mikayda Mills was the top individual performer for Palo Verde, finishing second in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles.

The boys team won two of the three relays, and Jake Priest had a victory in the 200 individual medley to lead the Panthers to the title.

Priest finished second in the 100 butterfly, and teammate Cody Miller was second in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.

Miller and Priest also swam on the winning 200 medley relay.

“Those boys are all team,” Nicholson said of his squad. “They’re solid, and every performance was great today.”

Centennial’s Kyle Farbridge-Currie was named Boys Swimmer of the Year for the Sunset. He won the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly on Saturday. Farbridge-Currie’s teammate, James Butler, was the meet’s other double-winner, capturing the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

Sierra Vista’s Helen Yee, who won the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, was the Girls Swimmer of the Year. Her sister, Michelle, won two events, the 100 and 200 freestyles.

Cimarron-Memorial’s April Whitley was another individual standout, winning the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.

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