APACHE JUNCTION — The Rams dove into their second season as a swim team on Thursday, with improvements already evident.
Joining San Tan Valley Poston Butte in a meet at Apache Junction, the girls were able to close the gap with the competition, adding 33 points to their total from the same meet a year ago. The boys, meanwhile, finished second, just 11 points behind Poston Butte ahead of a dual meet at Copper Sky on Oct. 11.
“The improvement from last year to this year was really exciting,” Maricopa coach Laura Logan said. “We have definitely narrowed the gap on our opponents.”
Just like last year, Olivia Byers and Connor Schrader led the way for the Rams. Byers finished first in the 200- and 50-meter freestyle events, with Logan saying she added “invaluable” leadership.
Schrader, meanwhile, came out on top in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, breaking his own school record in both by more than 4 seconds.
Some freshmen who Logan believes will make big contributions this season also made an impact. Katelyn Owens finished second in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke, and Andrew Varga finished third in the 100 freestyle while joining Schrader, Kian Carroll and Rafe Scoresby to finish third in the 200 freestyle relay.
Scoresby also added a second place individual finish in the 200 freestyle and was third in the 500 freestyle. Other third-place finishes were Abel Rodriguez (100 butterfly) and Joseph Lambert (100 breaststroke).