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Walking quietly to the pool, a few maintenance men work diligently, readying the area for the upcoming competition.

The water, gently sitting in a bowl of concrete, was still, like a secret lake out in the mountains somewhere very few people have ever been to.

Looking up, blue skies masked the air just like the water below, making it look like a spectator was exploring a few miles below sea level in a distant ocean.

By Brian Bergner Jr.

Larson Newspapers

Walking quietly to the pool, a few maintenance men work diligently, readying the area for the upcoming competition.

The water, gently sitting in a bowl of concrete, was still, like a secret lake out in the mountains somewhere very few people have ever been to.

Looking up, blue skies masked the air just like the water below, making it look like a spectator was exploring a few miles below sea level in a distant ocean.

Several swimmers begin to gather near selected spaces throughout  the pool area, pitching tents, placing coolers in specific order and preparing their space like a family picnic on a Saturday afternoon.

The already limited space begins to fill up dramatically.

A line of tables is set out between the competition pool and the warm-up pool for coaches, like a bridge that travels over a body of water.

Workers, looking like they are walking a tightrope set between two tall buildings, place chairs in strict order and swim coaches begin taking their seats, forced only to watch and cheer on their favorite group of swimmers.

Fans begin to fill the empty stands quickly.

Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, classmates, cousins, friends and maybe even a few college scouts, claim their spots, looking forward to the day’s swim finals.

Timekeepers, score recorders, the scoreboard man, security and the announcer take their place as swimmers are now fully adorned in their school-colored uniforms and swim caps.

A whistle blows and swimmers begin to climb on their starting blocks.

Ready! A lady with the microphone says as swimmers take their marks.

Seconds later a horn goes off, and in unison, swimmers dive into the pool, hitting the water at the same time, disrupting the dead calm that prevailed just hours before.

While the first swim was underway at the 1A-3A state swimming championships at Phoenix Country Day School on Saturday, Oct. 18, no one could have guessed who would have the last swim, the last hurrah, the last hand raised.

For the first time in school history, the Sedona Red Rock High boys swim team won the 1A-3A state title, edging out defending champ Valley Christian Academy by a slim margin of 25 points.

“The kids swam out of their minds this weekend. We knew going into Saturday that we had a chance at the title if everyone held position.

“Certain things had to happen and they did,” Sedona head coach Marc Kincaid said.

The boys had to put up with adversity from the get-go, having only eight swimmers at the meet. Most teams had at least double that number of swimmers on their teams.

Also, Sedona immediately started the meet down 25 points because the Scorpions do not have swimmers to participate in the dive competition.

The 338-313 score is one of the closest margins of victory in state history between two teams fighting for a state title.

Last season, Sedona finished second behind Valley Christian by only 32 points for the state title, 348-316.

The Scorpions claimed four individual state championships as well during their title weekend.

Girls Finish Third

The Scorpions’ third place finish over the weekend is the best mark in school history at a state championship meet.

The girls didn’t manage to claim an individual championship among them, but instead did it with consistency, finishing near the top of many events throughout the day.

In the 200-yard medley relay, the Scorpions finished third with a 2:07.12 time.

Senior Samantha Syvertsen, sophomore Jenny Kittridge and freshmen Alyssa Millar and Olivia Luyckx were the

participants for Sedona.

“A few of us were seniors during this run and we really had a lot of motivation this season, we pushed each other,” Syvertsen said.

Senior Samantha Juda stepped up her swim skills over the weekend, finishing fourth overall in the 200-yard freestyle event with a 2:19.24 time, earning 15 points for her team.

Millar finished fifth in the same event with a 2:21.19 time, and senior Michelle Henry was sixth with a 2:22.37 time.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Syvertsen claimed a sixth place finish with a 1:00.54 swim, and Luyckx was 10th with a 1:05.02 time.

During the 500-yard freestyle event, Henry and Juda teamed up again to finish fourth [Henry, 6:23.13] and fifth [Juda, 6:24.10] respectively.

Juda and Henry then teamed up with Syvertsen and Kittridge to finish third in the 200-yard freestyle relay event with a 1:56.65 time, only seconds behind Desert Christian who finished in second, and Valley Christian who claimed the top prize.

Syvertsen, who was all over the pool on Saturday, finished third in the 100-yard backstroke as well, with a 1:08.44 time.

Kittridge, another Scorpion swimmer who wanted her name to be known by all, finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke with a 1:20.03 time.

“This was a good year for us. Next year with hopefully increased participation we will be a good team,” Kittridge said.

Season Wrap Up

When it’s all said and done, six seniors will depart from this Scorpion swim team with a state title in their hands, a tribute to all their hard work and determination over the past four years.

The 2008 Sedona swim team may go down as one of the best swim teams in school history, but with only three seniors leaving on the boys and girls side each, 2009 may be even better.

 

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 


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