Morenci swim team sets school records

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Senior Taylee Bayardo exhibits good form during the 200 Medley Relay as the team set a school record of 2:16.22 and garnering first place.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

TUCSON – Morenci’s inaugural swim team had a rain delay before getting its feet wet in Tucson’s Fort Lowell Park Pool for its initial meet. A triangular with San Manuel and the Gregory School was delayed by an hour Sept. 6.

Most of the team members had club team experience before the season started, but head coach Eric Waananen said he wanted the team to get its feet wet before taking the plunge into deeper competition.

“I wanted to get them some experience before going to a bigger meet,” he said.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci sophomore Thaddeus Gray has a lead on a San Manuel swimmer, finishing first in the 100 Free (54.96) and in the 200 IM (2:27.50). Gray also swam legs of the first-place 200 Free Relay (2:02.99) and second-place 200 Medley Relay (2:24.32).

“I thought there would be more events and more teams,” one participant said.

The Wildcats resembled neither Olympic Gold medal draped Michael Phelps nor Mark Spitz at meet’s end.

“I thought there would be ribbons or medals,” said another. “All we got was our time written down.”

“It seemed like a practice”, said still another.

The Wildcats wrote their own page in school history with their times in eight events for both boys and girls.

Morenci’s 40 points were second to San Manuel’s 57 in the boys’ competition.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: First-year Morenci swim coach Eric Waananen puts a swim cap on one of the Wildcats prior to the start of the school’s initial meet Sept. 6.

A foursome included sophomores Israel Bernal, Jazper Brooks, and Thaddeus Gray, and freshman David Marquez.

The team was first in the 200 Free Relay with a time of 2:92.99 and second in the 200 Medley Relay with 2:24.32.

Individually, Gray was first in the 100 Free (54.96) and in the 200 IM (2:27.50); Bernal was second in the 100 Back (1:12.97) and in the 200 Free (2:16.32); Marquez was second in the 100 Fly (1:46.69) and third in the 50 Free (32.78); and Brooks was second in the 100 Free (1:26.67) and fourth in the 50 Free (35.22).

Morenci Girls

Morenci’s girls totaled 49 points behind San Manuel’s 64 and ahead of The Gregory School’s 1.

On the team were seniors Taylee Bayardo and Emily Lundeen; sophomores Jadah Cortez, Savanna Titone, and Izabel Urangourig; and freshman Zenayah Cortez.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci’s 200 Free Relay, Zenayah Cortez, Jadah Cortez, Taylee Bayardo, and Emily Lundeen, get ready for the start of the event. The team set a  school record time of 2:07.69 for first place.

The 200 Free Relay of Bayardo, Lundeen and the Cortez sisters placed first with 2:97.60, while the 200 Medley Relay of Bayardo, Titone plus the Cortez sisters was first in 2:16.22.

Individually, Titone, Bayardo, and Zenayah Cortez were first in the 50 Free (30.71) and 100 Breast (1:28.32), 100 Free (1:01.75) and 100 Back (1:05.32), and 200 IM (3:04.22), respectively; Lundeen was second in the 50 Free (36.87) and 100 Free (1:20.64) plus third in the 200 Free (3:01.05); Jadah Cortez was second in the 200 Free (2:42.87) and third in the 100 Back (1:33.85); Zenayah Cortez was third in the 100 Breast (1:36.60); and  Urangourig was third in the 50 Free (39.20) plus fourth in both the 100 Free (1:27.55) and in the 100 Back (1:45.10).

The Wildcats are at the Chandler Wolves Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 15.