In the end, it wasn’t even that close.
But head coach Laura Winslow and her two assistants, affectionately known as “the Mikes,” kept the Chaparral High School swimmers so focused that they put their heads down throughout last weekend’s Class 5A Division II championships until they won the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Then all hell broke loose when it became clear Chaparral had won the championships for both boys and girls. Soon after, as tradition requires, the swimmers tossed Laura, Mike and Mike into Kino Pool. It’s kind of like the Gatorade thing for football coaches, only wetter.
It was a thrilling end to a wonderful season for the team, but bittersweet, too. For many of the kids, Saturday was the last time they’d be seeing much of the seniors. So they dragged out the celebration at the pool, then stopped for dinner on the bus ride back.
Monday brings high fives all around school and some well-deserved recognition. It was cool to see Chaparral Principal Mary Lou Muccino arrive at the pool to watch Saturday’s championship finals.
Then it’s back to life before Chaparral swimming, although for many of the kids, like our freshman, it just means back to club swimming. But with a state championship under their belts. — Mary K. Reinhart
Head Coach Laura Winslow holds the state championship trophy aloft surrounded the Chaparral girls team, which won the state 5A-2 title on Saturday at the Kino Aquatics Center in Mesa. Front row: Christina Radvak, Samara Hernandez, Bianca Repasi, Jourdan Broadfoot, Lindsay Claypool (partially visible), Alexis Mouer, Pierce Rodey. Second row: Kasey Taylor, Sally Wang, Carly Johnson, head coach Laura Winslow, Ashley Brewer, Leticia Lelli, Megan Cox, Maddie O’Malley, Sara Dafoe. Back row: assistant coaches Mike O’Keeffe and Mike Robinson.
Chaparral’s state championship boys swim team. Front row: Johnny Kaplan. Second row: Jackson Arn, Tim Giblin, Casey Giblin, Head Coach Laura Winslow, Cody Vitez, Michael Bull and Russell Krzyanowski. Third row: Tanner Roe, Coach Mike O’Keeffe, Barndon Rozell, Coach Mike Robinson and Hank Rodey.