Wildcats head to region swim qualifier meet; Bayardo set in two events

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Sophomore Savanna Titone and freshman David Marquez Jr., go as fast as they can during a freestyle drill. Titone has posted season-best times of 31.20 in the 50 freestyle and 1:09.39 in the 100 freestyle while Marquez has 30.51 and 1:06.86, respectively.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – Morenci first-year MHS head coach Eric Waananen has been preparing the Wildcats to be ‘race ready’. The Southern Arizona Regional Qualifier at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center begins with preliminaries Friday, Oct. 26 and finals on Saturday, Oct. 27.

The inaugural swim Wildcats participated in three big meets, two in Chandler and one in Tempe, and two smaller ones in Tucson. Morenci has practiced in a pool heated to 81 degrees.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: From left, Savanna Titone, Jadah Cortez, Zenayah Cortez, and Israel Bernal listen as the drills for the practice session are mentioned.

Morenci Girls

Only senior Taylee Bayardo has turned in two automatic state qualifying times, in the 100 freestyle (57.49) with 55.31 and in the 100 backstroke (1:04.88) with 1:01.56, both Oct. 17. She has already met a provisional time in the 50 freestyle (28.91) and was close to the automatic time (26.15) with a 26.54 on Sept. 15.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Freshman Zenayah Cortez practices the breaststroke. She has a season-best 1:31.01 clocking in the event.

Freshman Zenayah Cortez has the second-best 50 freestyle time on the team, with a 30.00 finish Oct. 17, followed by sophomore Savanna Titone with 31.20 (Sept. 29), senior Emily Lundeen with 33.94 (Sept. 15), and sophomore Izabel Uranzorig with 36.01 (Oct. 17).

Sophomore Jadah Cortez has a 1:06.86 (Oct. 17) in the 100 freestyle, Titone 1:09.39 (Sept. 15), Lundeen 1:15.85 (Oct. 17), and Uranzorig 1:19.46 (Oct. 17).

Jadah Cortez also has the second-best team time in the 100 backstroke with 1:24.17 on Oct. 17.

Titone has the team-best 100 breaststroke time at 1:30.00 (Sept. 15) and Zenayah Cortez is next at 1:31.91 (Oct. 17).

The team-best 200 freestyle relay time is 1:57.46 (Oct. 17) and the 200 medley relay time 2:14.95 (Sept. 15).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Sophomore Jadah Cortez works on her freestyle during part of a recent practice session. She has a season-best 1:06.86 in the event, posted Oct. 17.

Morenci Boys

Morenci sophomore Thaddeus Gray has surpassed three provisional qualifying times, but has yet to meet automatic times in the 50 freestyle (23.02) with 24.41 (Oct. 17), 100 freestyle (51.62) with 53.83 (Sept. 29), and 100 butterfly (57.38) with 1:02.92 (Sept. 29).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Sophomore Jazper Brooks tries to improve his season-best 1:15.87 in the 100 freestyle.

Sophomore Israel Bernal has second-best team times in both freestyle events, 28.09 (Sept. 29) in the 50 and 1:01.03 (Sept. 15) in the 100; followed by freshman David Marquez Jr. with 30.51 and 1:06.45, both swam Oct. 17; and sophomore Jazper Brooks with 32.44 and 1:15.87, also on Oct. 17.

The team-best time in the 100 backstroke is 1:12.83 by Bernal, plus 1:56.29 in the 200 freestyle relay, and 2:14.95 in the 200 medley relay, all three times were made Oct. 17.