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Maricopa’s Nolan Ford swims the breaststroke Sept. 2 at a home swim meet at Copper Sky.

MESA — Pinal County was well represented as Maricopa qualified eight individual swimmers as well as three relay teams for the Division I Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Swimming and Diving State Championship at the Skyline Aquatic Center over the weekend.

“That’s the way we like to do when it comes down to the high school state meet,” Maricopa coach Laura Logan said. “Our honest goal was to qualify all three guys relays and all three girls relays.”

Maricopa’s Nolan Ford was the top Pinal County finisher among the three divisions. Ford placed second in the boys 50-yard freestyle with time of 20.92. He also came in seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke.

This was the second year that Ford finished as the runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle.

“As Nolan knows, COVID year was an odd year,” Logan said. “When we talked about setting goals for this year, it’s not to diminish what he did last year but there were schools that were unable to send kids, it was a different state meet last year than it was this year. ... We knew going back this year that it wasn’t going be the same, we knew we had a lot of kids this year that we didn’t see last year and we knew the talent was going to be back. So to go back and get second again this year was pretty freaking awesome.”

The other top 10 finishers for the Rams included Sidney Stolle who came in seventh in the girls 200-yard freestyle and ninth in the 500-yard freestyle.

“She swims for my club team and I’ve been coaching her since I’ve been in Maricopa,” Logan said. “Her success was not a surprise at all. We knew what she was capable of doing going there, her times were fantastic. Her future is definitely bright.”

Connor Schrader placed finished seventh in the both 100-yard backstroke. He also competed in the 100-yard butterfly.

Schrader and Ford were also part of the boys 200-yard medley relay along with Luis Sanchez-Quiroz and Benjamin Hames.

Logan added that with Schrader and Ford graduating the baton has been passed down to Sanchez-Quiroz and Hames.

“We’re losing two top 10 swimmers that really solidified those relays and gave relays that opportunity for those young guys,” Logan said. “It’s going to be a rebuilding process for our guys team next year.”

Hames also qualified for an individual event in the boys 500-yard freestyle.

The girls’ relay team included Stolle, MacKenzie Fair, Katelyn Owens and Dorianne Hames; they competed in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.

“They’re just a young group,” Logan said. “Dorianne Hames is our senior, we lose her but have some good incoming freshmen. ... We’re returning basically all of our strong swimmers for the girls. It’ll be exciting. (Stolle, Fair and Owens) will lead the team and we should do some more exciting things next year.”

Casa Grande Union and Combs both had one swimmer qualify for two events in the Division II state championship which was also held at the Skyline Aquatic Center.

Combs’ Tristan Hatch competed in the boys 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly.

CG Union’s Titouan Pichon also competed in the 100-yard butterfly as well as the 100-yard backstroke.

The Division III meet was held at the Phoenix Country Day School — Dady Aquatic Center, and featured two Pinal County swimmers, one from Apache Junction and Florence.

Apache Junction’s Audrey Washburn came in fourth with a time of 1:09.78 in the girls 100-yard breaststroke. She also competed in the 200-yard individual medley.

Florence’s Lillian Hansen also competed int eh 100-yard breaststroke.

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Maria Vasquez is the Sports Editor for PinalCentral. She can be reached at mvasquez@pinalcentral.com.

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