Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Junior Thaddeus Gray Jr. placed 10th in the 100 freestyle and 15th in the 50 Free during the state meet Nov.9. His times were both personal bests and school records.
By Raymundo Frasquillo
PHOENIX – Four Morenci boys competed in the Division III state meet at Phoenix Country Day School on Nov. 9. It was three more than in 2018. Two placed in four events and two did not finish high enough to qualify for the finals.
Junior Thaddeus Gray Jr., the lone returning 2018 state meet participant, placed 10th in the 100 freestyle (50.21) and 15th in the 50 Free (23.11). His times were both personal bests and school records. He clocked in at 51.38 to place 11th in the 100 Free last year.
Freshman Clinton Wiltbank also competed in two state meet events, placing 13th in the 100 butterfly (58.69) and 17th in the 500 free (5:12.17). His preliminary clocking for the 100 Fly (58.18) and his final time in the 500 Free are both personal bests and school records.
Sophomore Rebel Gentry and freshman Elijah Leyba finished 31st of 38 in the 500 Free (5:39.35) and 33rd of 39 in the 100 Fly (1:00.44), respectively. The times were both personal bests and Leyba’s a school record.
Gray also re-set a personal best in the 200 individual medley (Fly, Back, Breast, Free) with 2:21.29. His 2018 time was 2:27.50.
Wiltbank set four other personal bests in the 100 backstroke (1:04.20), 100 breaststroke (1:07.51), 200 Free (1:58.57), and 200 individual medley (2:14.47). Except for his 200 Free mark, the rest are school records.
Personal bests were also set by Gentry in the 50 Free (26.64) and 100 Back (1:08.51) and by Leyba in the 100 Breast (1:10.95), 100 Back (1:14.26), and 200 IM (2:25.55).
The five other non-state qualifying members set personal bests this season. Freshman Tyler Lewis had 26.68 (50 Free), 57.87 (100 Free), 1:05.24 (100 Back); junior Israel Bernal-Diaz 27.22 (50 Free), 59.43 (100 Free), and 1:25.26 (100 Back); sophomore David Marquez Jr. 27.85 (50 Free) and 1:01.77 (100 Free); junior Nicolas Zegarra Nunez 28.57 (50 Free), 1:03.21 (100 Free), and 1:38.77 (100 Breast); and freshman Clinton Sipes Jr. 30.87 (50 Free) and 1:09.86 (100 Free).
The three relay teams also set school records, Leyba, Gentry, Gray, and Wiltbank in the 200 Free Relay (1:40.73); Gray, Leyba, Lewis, and Wiltbank in the 200 Medley Relay (1:52.74); and Gentry, Gray, Lewis, and Wiltbank in the 400 Free Relay (3:50.15).
Records set in 2018 were 1:56.29 (200 FR) and 2:14.95 (200 MR) with both including then sophomores Gray, Israel Bernal-Diaz, Jazper Brooks, and freshman David Marquez Jr.
None of the three girls qualified for the state meet.
Returning sophomore Zenayah Cortez re-set personal bests in both the 50 Free (28.30) and 100 Free (1:03.89). Her previous bests were 30.00 (50 Free) and 1:06.88 (100 Free).
Sophomores Jayden Dillman and Amariah Murillo set personal marks in the100 Back (1:37.45) and 50 Free (48.13), respectively.
First-year Morenci swim head coach Dana Bayardo followed Eric Waananen.
The Wildcats’ second swim season concluded with an awards banquet Nov. 12.