Chaparral swim, dive starts season, Division I slate with tough competition

The Chaparral High School swim and dive team embarked on a new journey in Division I and the Firebirds wasted no time facing the best teams the new division has to offer.

Cactus Park, 7202 E. Cactus Road, played host to the dual meet that featured the boys team against Brophy College Preparatory and the girls against Xavier College Preparatory. Brophy beat the Chaparral boys 89-81 without diving scores while the Chaparral girls won 123-63 Thursday, Aug. 30.

Brophy has won 30 consecutive state titles while Xavier won state last year and has accumulated 28 state titles of its own since 1973.

Chaparral Head Coach Richie Krzyzanowski said he was extremely pleased with both sides of his team and the way they competed.

“We have an unbelievable sophomore group (of girls) as you know and they just take care of business,” Coach Krzyzanowski said. “We have a great senior leader in Alden Brown but our sophomore girls, holy cow.”

Chaparral Head Swimming Coach Richie Krzyzanowski. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

The girls won every event except for the 100-meter butterfly. The girls got the meet kicked off with a win in the 200-meter medley relay followed by Ashley Strouse winning the 200-meter freestyle.

Riley Courtney posted a win in the 200-meter individual medley race and sophomore Greer Pattinson posted a 23.42-second finish in the 50-meter freestyle with the Firebirds finishing third and fourth in the event as well.

In dive, the Firebirds took first, third and fourth with Mia Waters winning the event. Sara Segneri picked up the win in the 100-meter freestyle and Ellis Bohon won in the 500-meter freestyle.

Strouse claimed the title in the 500-meter free and Pattinson posted a huge win in the 100-meter backstroke, beating the competition by five seconds. Courtney took the top spot in the 100-meter breast stroke with freshman Blakely Schuricht finishing second.

The girls 200-meter freestyle relay team posted a faster time than last year’s state preliminaries, according to final results provided by Chaparral, and the 400-meter team did the same feat in their win, sweeping the meet’s relays.

Coach Krzyzanowski said he believed what the boys were able to do, though not winning, was one of the best performances for the boys in recent history.

“What I saw here today from my boys is one huge step in the right direction that I’ve never seen from our boys since I’ve been here at Chaparral since 2013 as the coach,” he said. “They have exceeded all expectations. The reigning swimmer of the year Matt LeBlanc stepped up big time. I had great leadership from my captains … and my seniors.”

The boys opened the meet with a win in the 200-meter medley relay with junior Ellis Bohon winning the 200-meter freestyle with a personal best of 1:44.

LeBlanc led a trio of Firebirds in the 200-meter medley with Cooper Kiel and Anthony Clason finishing second and third, respectively. This helped Chaparral to an eight-point lead at the diving break.

After the break, junior Daniel Simmons won the 100-meter fly. The boys struggled in the 100-meter freestyle as Chaparral swimmer finished fourth and fifth in this race, putting the Firebirds down by two.

While the boys finished second in the 200-meter freestyle relay, their time was faster than what they posted in last year’s state championship race, according to final results provided by Chaparral.

Jonah Ho and Clason finished first and second, respectively, for the Firebirds in the 100-meter breast stroke but it was not enough to catch Brophy.

Coach Krzyzanowski said while the boys are the defending Division II champions, Brophy is the standard and the boys aren’t shying away from their goal of winning the state title. He said he’s confident his guys can reach those heights.

Coming away from the meet, Coach Krzyzanowski said he would like to see some technical improvements. He would also like to see his teams continue to show support during their teammates’ races like they did in this meet, he said.

“It’s an uphill battle,” Coach Krzyzanowski said. “Nothing’s won or loss on that first day but we proved a lot, especially being in Division I.”

The Firebirds return to the pool to face off against Arcadia High School Thursday, Sept. 6. The Firebirds boys and girls are defending back-to-back state titles at the Division II level. The girls have two more at Division I prior to that, giving them four consecutive state titles.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at or at 623-445-2738

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