Morenci swim trio ties for 24th; each place in top 14 during individual events

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Quinton Wiltbank placed 11th in both the 100 butterfly and in the 200 freestyle at the Division III state meet in Paradise Valley on Nov. 7. His times were both personal records.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

PARADISE VALLEY – Morenci Class of 2023 members Clinton Wiltbank, Elijah Leyba, and Tyler Lewis each placed during the Division III state swim meet at Phoenix Country Day School on Nov. 7.

The Wildcats totaled 20 points to tie with Wickenburg for 24th of 35 teams scoring points. Paradise Valley’s Phoenix Country Day School finished first with 249 points. The Division III entrants came from 21 private and 14 public schools.

Wiltbank was 11th of 24 in both the 100 butterfly with 56:58 (25.37, 30.21) and in the 200 freestyle with 1:53.49 (25.10, 27.69, 29.31, 31.39). He was seeded 13th in the 100 Fly and 11th in the 200 Free. Wiltbank broke his school record in the 100 Fly (58.18) set in the 2019 state meet preliminaries, and re-set his 200 Free (1:58.57) mark.

Leyba finished 12th of 24 in the 100 Free with a clocking of 53.86 (26.05, 27.81). He was ranked 16th prior to the meet.

Lewis had a time of 1:04.83 (31.03, 33.80) in the 100 backstroke to place 14th of 24. He was ranked 13th for the state meet.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Tyler Lewis finished 14th in the state 100 backstroke.

The event winners were Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep senior William Bransberg in the 100 Fly with 49.09 (23.30, 25.79) and in the 100 Back with 49.73 (24.56, 25.17); Phoenix Veritas Prep junior Jacob Marback in the 100 Free with 47.17 (22.52, 245.65); and Veritas Prep senior Devin Esser in the 200 Free with 1:41.02 (23.33, 25.72, 25.79, 26.18).

During the Oct. 24 state qualifying meet at Casa Grande, Wiltbank placed first of three in the 100 Fly (58:19) and first of eight in the 200 Free (1:55.65); Lewis had a time of 1:06.25 in the 100 Back and 26.41 in the 50 Free to finish 1st of four and 4th of 14, respectively; and Leyba ended 1st of nine in the 100 Free (56.00) and 5th in the 50 Free (26.99).

Dana Bayardo was in her second year of coaching the third-year program. The original team members, three from the Class of 2021 and one from the Class of 2022, elected to pursue other interests this season.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Elijah Leyba came in 12th during the state 100 freestyle.

Phoenix Veritas Prep finished second with 228 points, Queen Creek American Leadership third (170), Sedona Red Rock fourth (148.5), Glendale Trivium Prep fifth (134), Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep sixth (123), Tucson Gilbert Christian seventh (115), Tanque Verde eighth (113.5), Chandler American College Prep ninth (111), and both Scottsdale Prep and Chandler Seton Catholic tied for 10th (97),

Goodyear Estrella Foothills was 12th (88.5), Gilbert North American Leadership 13th (80), Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian 14th (63), Anthem Prep 15th (63), Glendale Cactus 16th (48), Chandler Prep 17th (37), and Tempe Prep, San Manuel, Surprise Paradise Honors, and Gilbert Arete Prep tied for 18th (32).

Chandler Valley Christian was 22nd (29.5), Gilbert Classical 23rd (29), Phoenix Horizon Honors 26th (19), Sahuarita 27th (17), Bullhead City Mohave 28th (13), Scottsdale Cicero Prep 29th (11), Tucson Sabino, Florence, and Phoenix Moon Valley tied for 30th (6), Avondale Saint John Paul II Catholic and Sahuarita Walden Grove tied for 33rd (5), and Coolidge 35th (1).

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