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Photo by Victor Moreno

Though Maricopa High School’s boys’ and girls’ swim teams finished third in their first home meet of the season, they knocked personal best times and set some school records in the process.

“From last week to this week, we saw improvement, in almost every event,” coach Laura Logan said.

Freshman Katelyn Owens won the 100 breaststroke in 1:18.22, a school record by over 3.5 seconds. Logan said the time is .20 of the Division II provisional state cut.

Also talking first place was Olivia Byers in the 50 freestyle in 27.42 and the 100 free in 1:03.4.

The girls’ 200 free relay team of Owens, Eva Zavala, Emily Fauth and Byers set a school record by three seconds while finishing second in 2:04.57.

While finishing third, the 200 medley relay team of Sophie ZOcchiline, Owens, Byers and Zavala set a school record, again by three seconds, in 2:21.85.

Also taking third was Owens in the 200 individual medley, just 0.7 of a second off a school record. Au

Photo by Victor Moreno

bree Wittemann was third in the 200 free, and Zavala was third in the 50 free.

Overall, the girls scored 83 points to finish behind Valley Christian (117) and American Leadership (98).

On the boys’ side, Rafe Scoresby won the 200 free in 2:19.15. Connor Schrader won the 100 backstroke in 1:00.38. The 200 free relay team of Andrew Varga, Abel Rodriguez, Kian Carroll and Schrader took first place in 1:48.75.

In second place were Schrader in the 200 IM and Scoresby in the 500 free.

Swimming third were Varga in the 50 free, Carroll in the 100 free, Jayden Call in the 500 free, the 200 medley relay of Schrader, Joseph Lambert, Rodriguez and Varga, and the 400 free relay team of Rodrigez, Anthony Nelson, Victor Moreno and Scoresby.

American Leadership won the meet in 111. Valley Christian scored 95 and MHS 64.

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Photo by Victor Moreno

The Maricopa High School swim team launched its season Thursday taking on Poston Butte and Apache Junction.

Though finishing third, the girls’ team scored 33 points more than last year. Olivia Byers won the 200 freestyle in 2:24.01 and the 50 free in 27.09. Katelyn Owens was second in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

The meet was at the Apache Junction Aquatic Center.

“Olivia Byers turned in a several really strong performances. Her leadership is invaluable,” coach Laura Logan said. “Freshman Katelyn Owen’s had her hands full in both her individual events, and she performed extremely well. Overall really impressed with our growth.”

The 400 free relay team of Kaitlyn Crean, Lexie Nordhoff, Shelby Eisanacher and Sophie Occhiline finished second.

Third-place finishes were the 200 medley relay team of Occhiline, Owens, Byers and Crean, the 200 free relay of Owens, Eva Zvala, Emily Fauth and Byers, and the 400 free relay team of Rylee Pirtle, Isabella Piwowar, Genevieve Pierce and Katelynn James.

Poston Butte won with 100 points, Apache Junction was second with 99 and MHS third with 73.

The MHS boys’ team placed second at the meet, led by sophomore Connor Schrader, who won the 200 individual medley in 2:09.25 and the 100 backstroke in 59.54.

“Connor Schrader broke two of his school records in 200 IM and 100 back,” Logan said. “He broke them both by 4-plus seconds, and that is a significant time drop for the first meet of the season.”

The Poston Butte boys scored 102 points overall while MHS had 91 and Apache Junction 86.

Rafe Scoresby placed second in the 200 freestyle for Maricopa. Placing third were Abel Rodriguez in the 100 butterfly, Andrew Varga in the 100 free, Scoresby in the 500 free, Joseph Lambert in the 100 breaststroke, the 200 medley relay team of Schrader, Lambert, Rodriguez and Kian Carroll, and the 200 free relay team of Varga, Carroll, Scoresby and Schrader.

“Rafe Scoresby, Victor Moreno, Abel Rodriguez and Jayden Call have shown tremendous growth from last season,” Logan said. “Freshman Andrew Varga turned in two very impressive swims. I look for him to be a great contributor by the end of the season.”

Logan said the Maricopa boys “have really narrowed the gap on Poston Butte and, with continued growth, should be a great dual meet between Poston and MHS in October.”

Poston Butte is scheduled to meet MHS Oct. 17 at Copper Sky.

Photo by Victor Moreno

 

FOOTBALL

MHS plays hard, fast against tough foes
There is no off-season for Maricopa High School football; just out-of-season. That’s where head coach Brandon Harris has tracked improvement in the players coming back from a team that was 5-6 and qualified for state play from the tough 5A San Tan.

“Summer was good for us,” Harris said. “We participated in a lot of 7-on-7 tournaments. It was nice. We came home and won the whole tournament here at Copper Sky.”

Out-of-season he had them working on speed and agility, skills and drills. Some players migrated to track and field to stay in shape.

“Seven-on-7 isn’t football; I say that all the time,” Harris said, “but it gives you an indication of how you match up skill-wise with other teams in the state. I think we match up really well this year, more so than we did last year. We’ve got weapons everywhere.”

Neill likes the direction the program is headed.

“We’re just getting compliments on how hard we play, in talking with football coaches who maybe didn’t expect the game they got from us,” Athletic Director Jake Neill said. “That’s a credit to the kids and coach Harris and his coaching staff. The consensus is that if a team is going to get a win [against MHS], it’s going to be a tough one.”

The 7-on-7 participation told the most about the growth of senior quarterback Daxton Redfern.

Daxton Redfern
Photo by Victor Moreno

“We realized how good he was when we went down to U of A in Tucson,” Harris said. “He’s grown exponentially. He knows our offense really well.”

In that 7-on-7 tournament, Redfern threw 42 touchdowns in 13 games against one interception. Coming up behind him is sophomore Merhauti Xepera, who is a tight end when not quarterbacking. “He’s a big kid, an athletic kid,” Harris said. “He’s going to be the future.”

Other expected standouts include junior Mister Chavis, Ilijah Johnson, Tylek Mooney, Steven Forrester, Anthony Valenzuela, Hunter Taylor and Bryan Pick, among other Rams who want to make a name for themselves.

“We’ll be fast. We’re always going to be fast here, explosive, resilient, family, very close team this year,” Harris said. “We got into the playoffs. Now the next step is to win some games in the playoffs, which is what I’m used to doing. That’s the goal. We think we have a really good chance of doing that.”

MHS
W, 33-22              at McClintock
L, 0-47                  vs. Millennium
Sept. 6                  7 p.m. vs. Apollo
Sept. 13                7 p.m. vs. South Mountain (Homecoming)
Sept. 20                7 p.m. at Central
Sept. 27                7 p.m. at Higley
Oct. 4                    7 p.m. vs. Campo Verde
Oct. 18                  7 p.m. vs. Williams Field (Senior Night)
Oct. 25                  7 p.m. at Casteel
Nov. 1                   7 p.m. at Gilbert


Jacob McIntyre
Photo by Victor Moreno

Sequoia Pathway gets new coach for growing program
Sequoia Pathway Academy has a new varsity football coach, but he’s no stranger to football in Maricopa. Donnie Margerum moves across town from MHS’s freshman team.

Coach Donnie Margerum
Photo by Victor Moreno

“This year, with Coach Donnie, it’s creating a new culture,” said Glen Hale, the school’s athletic director. “He came in with a new system. He also has another assistant coach from MHS, Corey Nelson.”

The Pumas grew from eight-man to 11-man football a couple of seasons ago, and this year are joined by more charter school teams in the Open division of the Canyon Athletic Association. In 2018 they finished third with a 4-3 record, but football didn’t end with the season.

“I’ve been saying, just taking it to the next level of play and playing throughout the season instead of just coming in through the season,” Hale said. “Now we’re moving to where it’s year-round and giving our kids opportunities to travel to places and compete against higher competition.”

Returning seniors include Shane Miller, Gavin Buchberger, Jacob McIntyre, Ajani Elliot and Patrick Lisby. The high school team has grown to 35 players.

“We had to go get more helmets and equipment, which is a good thing.”

Sequoia Pathway
W, 14-8                vs. Canyon State
Sept. 6                  7 p.m. vs. South Pointe
Sept. 19                6:15 p.m. at Canyon State Academy
Sept. 27                7 p.m. vs. San Tan Charter
Oct. 4                    7 p.m. vs ASU Prep
Oct. 11                  7 p.m. at South Pointe
Oct. 18                  7 p.m. at San Tan Charter
Oct. 25                  7 p.m. at ASU Prep


Shakira Gillespie
Photo by Victor Moreno

VOLLEYBALL

MHS trying to restore self-confidence
The Rams are trying to rebuild a team after a haphazard volleyball season in AIA 5A.

Returning as head coach for MHS varsity is Theresa Abernathy, who is also an instructor at Copper Sky. She is trying to overhaul a team that was 2-20 last season.

“We are completely going to start fresh,” Abernathy said. “We’re building the program from the ground up.”

Expected returning players include juniors Shakira Gillespie, Brooke Smith and Ashley Brown along with senior Tayler Riley-Coleman. But it looks to be a young team.

“They have improved an awful lot,” Abernathy said. “They listen to what I’m saying, and they seem to like each other.”

After the discouragement of 2018, she said they need to restore their self-confidence. She is encouraging more year-round play. In today’s volleyball climate, it is difficult for players who only play during the high school year to compete against those who participate in clubs.

“They need to believe they can win and be competitive with every team,” she said. “They need to be a team.”

MHS
W, 3-0                   at Camelback
W, 3-1                   vs. Fairfax
L, 0-3                    vs. Verrado
Sept. 10                6 p.m. at Paradise Valley
Sept. 12                6 p.m. vs. North Canyon
Sept. 16                6 p.m. at Campo Verde
Sept. 17                6 p.m. vs. Ironwood
Sept. 24                6 p.m. at Williams Field
Sept. 25                6 p.m. at Centennial
Sept. 26                6 p.m. at Higley
Oct. 1                    6 p.m. vs. Casteel
Oct. 3                    6 p.m. vs. Gilbert
Oct. 15                  6 p.m. vs. Campo Verde
Oct. 17                  6 p.m. vs. Williams Field
Oct. 22                  6 p.m. vs. Higley (Senior Night)
Oct. 24                  6 p.m. at Casteel
Oct. 29                  6 p.m. at Gilbert


Lynniece Andrews
Photo by Victor Moreno

Sequoia Pathway works to improve on remarkable year
Pathway wants to build off a hot year that saw them reach the Final Four in Canyon Athletic Association’s Division II, and has had a strong turnout of players. Varsity coach LaShieka Holley is keeping nine, while there are 16 in junior varsity, and 42 came out for junior high.

“I’m asking all the coaches from varsity to reach down into the elementary level, to reach down into the middle school level, so we’re not just working on one program; we’re building as a whole,” Hale said. “She’s done a really good job with that. She’s actually the coach of the junior high, too. It’s been good to see how that transition is happening with the girls, and how they’re just growing.”

Puma captains are Lynniece Andrews and Mikayla Gallon, returning from the team that was undefeated in the regular season.

“This summer they went to an ASU camp. That was amazing,” Hale said. “Once again, they competed against AIA schools. Some were state champions, so they got that experience of playing with top-level competition. That’s where we heading as an athletic program. We want to play people that are better than us so we can get better.”

Sequoia Pathway
W, 3-0                  vs. Basis-Peoria
W, 3-0                  at Basis-Chandler
W, 3-0                  at San Tan Charter
L, 2-3                  vs. Heritage-Gateway
Sept. 5                  7 p.m. at Imagine-Coolidge
Sept. 11                5:30 p.m. at Sequoia Charter
Sept. 12                7 p.m. vs. Mission Heights
Sept. 17                4 p.m. at Imagine-Coolidge
Sept. 19                7 p.m. vs. EVAC
Sept. 24                6:30 p.m. at Mission Heights
Sept. 26                7 p.m. vs. Heritage-Mesa
Oct. 1                    4 p.m. at South Ridge
Oct. 3                    7 p.m. vs. Desert Heights


Kian Carroll and Eva Zavala
Photo by Victor Moreno

SWIMMING

MHS dives into 2nd swimming season
Coming off a rookie season in AIA competition, the MHS swimming team has about 30 returning swimmers and around 45 overall.

“We lost some to the new high school (Heritage Academy), but we have a lot of freshmen coming back from last year,” coach Laura Logan said.

She said having a year under their belts is allowing her to coach more instead of just teaching the basics of swimming as much as she did in 2018.

“They have a base of knowledge that they can build on,” Logan said. “We had so many kids with no experience whatsoever.”

She expects her team leaders to again Olivia Byers, now a junior, and Connor Schrader, a sophomore. The four seniors are Jose Perez Barraza, Kian Carroll, Jacob Davis and Eva Zavala. There are a few more boys than girls participating.

The team includes 16 sophomores and 14 freshmen.

A team goal is to get swimmers qualified for state competition and show the more established swim programs “what Maricopa is becoming.”

The Rams compete in AIA Division II.

Sept. 5                  4 p.m.                   at Apache Junction
Sept. 12                4 p.m.                   at Copper Sky
Sept. 24                4 p.m.                   at Saguaro
Oct. 3                    4 p.m.                   at Copper Sky
Oct. 10                  4 p.m.                   at Copper Sky
Oct. 17                  4 p.m.                   at Copper Sky
Oct. 23                  9:30 a.m.             at Apache Junction
Nov. 2-3               TBA                        State Championship


Quinton Stapleton and Zanaa Ramirez
Photo by Victor Moreno

CROSS COUNTRY

MHS finding new motivation
MHS cross country is recuperating from a difficult year that saw flagging motivation on the boys’ team and not even a full team on the girls’ side.

“Right now, we’re definitely rebuilding,” coach Heather Abel said. “I think we’re looking at a better situation than we were last season, where we were real small and didn’t see a lot of commitment from kids who should have been committed. That seems like it’s changing this year.”

She bases those hopes on the initiative she sees runners taking for themselves and their teammates.

Abel considers this year’s leaders to be Jovanni Fentes, Quinton Stapleton and Zanaa Ramirez.

“Quinton’s really dedicating himself this year,” she said. “They live in San Tan Valley now, so he’s commuting like I am every day and coming to practice every day.”

Ramirez, meanwhile, is a member of the West Coast Striders, a club team based in Maricopa and coached by Corey Nelson. She qualified for the 800-meter run in the Hershey’s Junior Olympics National Championship in Sacramento in July.

Abel sees that level of competition giving Ramirez newfound confidence on the 5K course for cross country. Though literally miles apart, both events take a lot of mental toughness and physical endurance.

To grow the boys’ team, she has been encouraging athletes in other sports to run cross country to stay in shape between their seasons. Wrestlers have been doing just that. Freshman boys are also turning out.

Her goal is to get her runners in good shoes and keep them hydrated and healthy and they come to understand pack strategy while running not just for themselves but for the team.

“What they’re doing is really hard, and they don’t get a lot of recognition for what they’re doing,” Abel said. “Most people won’t do this because it’s hard.”

Sept. 4                  4:30 p.m.             at Vista Grande
Sept. 7                  7 a.m.                    at Chandler Invite
Sept. 14                7 a.m.                    at Fountain Hills Invitational
Sept. 14                7:30 a.m.             at Ojo Rojo Invitational
Sept. 27                TBA                        Nike Desert Twilight
Oct. 12                  TBA                        O’Connor Invitational
Oct. 26                  TBA                        Eye of the Tiger Invite
Nov. 8                   TBA                        State Sectionals


Tyler Kientzler
Photo by Victor Moreno

BOYS’ SOCCER

Sequoia Pathway wants to bounce back
The Sequoia Pathway boys struggled last fall, posting a 2-8 record. This year, the school took advantage of the opportunity to play more out-of-season soccer to improve.

Coach Juan Garavito is “real excited about this year, being able to work through summer and just being able to work with the kids outside of school,” Hale said. “I’m looking for definitely this year seeing improvement. I think it’s only up from there.”

The team is returning a couple of players from last year’s squad – Anthony Saldana and Tyler Kientzler – and are a little fewer in number. They play home games at Pacana Park.

“We did a summer program,” Hale said. “A major focus of ours is to start early and build that program. It’s always been, ‘Are you honing your craft?’”

W, 5-4                  vs. Imagine-Coolidge
W, 1-0                  vs. Basis-Scottsdale
W, 1-0                   vs. Mission Heights Prep
Sept. 5                  4:30 p.m. at Mission Heights Prep
Sept. 11                6:15 p.m. at BASIS-Chandler
Sept. 23                4 p.m. vs. Heritage-Gateway
Sept. 25                4 p.m. vs. Sequoia Charter
Oct. 1                    4 p.m. vs. Canyon State
Oct. 15                  4:30 p.m. at ASU Prep Polytechnic


Karson Collazo
Photo by Victor Moreno

BOYS’ GOLF – Division I Yuma

MHS
Sept. 3                  2 p.m.                   at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes
Sept. 10                3:30 p.m.             at Arcadia
Sept. 12                3:30 p.m.             at Tempe
Sept. 17                3 p.m.                   at Westwood
Sept. 24                3:30 p.m.             at Ocotillo Golf Course
Oct. 1                    2 p.m.                   at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes
Oct. 15                  3 p.m.                   at McCormick Ranch Golf Course

 

GIRLS’ GOLF – Developmental

MHS
Sept. 4                  3 p.m.                   at Western Skies Golf Club
Sept. 12                3 p.m.                   at Las Colinas Golf Course
Sept. 16                2 p.m.                   at Marcos de Niza
Sept. 18                3 p.m.                   at Granite Falls South Course
Sept. 25                3 p.m.                   at Apache Junction
Sept. 30                3 p.m.                   at Apache Creek Golf Course
Oct. 2                    2 p.m.                   at The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Oct. 4                    1 p.m.                   at Girls Golf Developmental Invitational – Encanto 9


This story appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

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Photos by Victor Moreno

Practice opened for the Maricopa High School swim team this week, with around 45 students showing up for the Rams. Varsity’s swim season beings Sept. 5 in Apache Junction. Copper Sky is scheduled to host four meets.

Photos by Kyle Norby

Marlins and Seals were spotted at Copper Sky Aquatics Center on Saturday during a fun meet that let the swimmers have a splash and get ready for competition mode. Boys and girls competed in the lap pool.

Photo by Victor Moreno

Despite having several swimmers gone on fall break, the Maricopa High School swim team hosted Poston Butte for its final dual meet Thursday and finished second.

Two of the boys and one of the girls took first place in their respective races at Copper Sky Aquatic Center. The Rams’ final scheduled competition is Oct. 18 at McClintock. The team will know if it has state qualifiers by Halloween.

“Coach Megan and I are tremendously proud of our swimmers,” head coach Laura Logan said. “They have worked hard, learned a lot and improved immensely.”

In the boys’ competition, Poston Butte scored 110 points while MHS scored 58.

Freshman Connor Schrader took first in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:59.01, the 33rd-best time in Division II, and in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:02.1. Nolan Ford was first in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.5.

Ford was second in the 100-meter backstroke and was part of the second-place 200-meter medley relay with Joseph Lambert, Connor Schrader and Kian Carroll.

Rams finishing third were Rafe Scoresby in the 200-meter individual medley, Chase Woodhouse in the 500-meter freestyle, Joseph Lambert in the 100-meter breaststroke, the 200-meter freestyle relay team of Ford, Woodhouse, Carroll and Schrader, and the 400-meter free relay team of Scoreseby, Egan Packard, Victor Moreno and Woodhouse.

In the girls’ competition, Poston Butte scored 96 points to the Rams’ 54 points.

Olivia Byers won two races – the 50 free in 27.2 and the 100 free in 1:03.1.

Rams finishing second were Emily Hollingsworth in the 200 free, Eva Zavala in the 100 breast, and the 200 medley relay team of Paige Hennigar, Zavala, Byers and Mandy Carroll.

Third place went to Zavala in the 50 free, Malia Kealhoa in the 200 free, Katelynn James in the 100 fly, the 200 medley relay team of Emma Carr, Hollingsworth, James and Kaitlyn Crean, and the 400 free relay team of Crean, Hennigar, James and Emily Fauth.

The boys’ and girls’ Rams teams have won one meet this year, a home swim against Combs Sept. 27. The boys won 88-78 and the girls 82-79.

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Photo by Victor Moreno

Maricopa High School opened the season for its first-ever swim team in a tri-meet Thursday against Poston Butte and Apache Junction.

“It was a great effort/showing for our first-ever meet,” head coach Laura Logan said.

The boys’ team place second, and the girls were third.

Ram swimmers placing first were freshman Connor Schrader in the 500-meter freestyle in 5:35.4, and sophomore Olivia Byers, also in the 500 free, in 6:17.7.

Second-place performances came from Schrader in the 100-meter butterfly, Nolan Ford in the 100-meter backstroke, Aubree Witteman in the 100 fly, the boys’ 400-meter freestyle relay team of Ford, Victor Moreno, Kian Caroll and Schrader, and the girls 400 free relay team of Aubree Witteman, Emily Hollingworth, Eva Zavala and Byers.

Finishing in third were Rafe Scoresby in the 200 free, Byers in the 200-meter individual medley, Witteman in the 200 free, Mandy Caroll in the 50 free, Meghan Jackson in the 100-meter breaststroke, the boys’ 200-meter medley relay team of Schrader, Joseph Lambert, Moreno and Ford, and the girls’ 400 free relay team of Emily Frauth, Kaitlyn Crean, Deborah Stenzel and Malia Kealoha.

Pima Butte won the boys’ competition with an overall score of 143 points. MHS had 82 and Apache Junction 68. Pima Butte also won the girls’ competition with 119 points. Apache Junction had 91 points and MHS 85.

Maricopa hosts its first home meet Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. at Copper Sky against American Leadership Academy and Valley Christian.

Laura Logan will be the coach of Maricopa High School's new swim team. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

By Joycelyn Cabrera

A coach has been confirmed for the newly introduced Maricopa High School swim team, and she’s an award-winner.

Laura Logan, 49, plans to share her experience and training with MHS swimmers.

Logan began swimming at the age of 10, competing in her hometown of Springfield, Illinois, for the next eight years. She qualified to compete in Swimming Junior Nationals in high school, taking her to Orlando, Florida, and earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to Northern Illinois University.

Logan moved to Arizona and in 2004 started Arizona Seals Swimming Academy at Central Arizona College.

“I started the Seals because we moved to Casa Grande, and they don’t have anything,” Logan said.

Her son was one of the biggest reasons for starting a swim team, giving him options to continue after he had been swimming for teams in Illinois.

Logan took over as a high school swim coach in Casa Grande from 2007 to 2015, using the pool at the CAC campus. The school qualified swimmers for state competitions under Logan’s coaching. She trained state-champion swimmers within three years. Logan was also voted “Men’s D2 Coach of the Year” for AIA Swimming.

“I think my greatest success as a coach was when a young man came out his freshman year to swim on the high school swim team, and he shows up, and he does not put his face in the water,” she said. “He puts the biggest sour-puss face you’ve ever seen a kid do. His senior year, he was the freestyle anchor on all the relays and was part of the group that I took to state. We finished fourth.”

The school program came to an end with the closing of the CAC pool. Logan moved Arizona Seals to Copper Sky as a club team no longer affiliated with a school.

Three years later, Maricopa High School, in conjunction with Copper Sky, is introducing a Rams swim team. Logan anticipates 25-30 students for tryouts.

Sophomore Olivia Byers has already trained with Laura Logan for three years. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

“I’m so excited,” said MHS sophomore Olivia Byers, who has been coached by Logan for three years. “I’m really interested to see who’s going to come out for the team.”

Freshman Connor Schrader has also been a Seal for three years. A multi-sport athlete who doesn’t like “the feeling of sitting around not doing anything,” he’s looking forward to the formation of the high school team.

Connor Schrader comes to the high school team as a freshman. Photo by
Raquel Hendrickson

“It will be a big advantage on the club team,” he said.

While Logan will not have another role at MUSD, her primary focus on the swim team allows her to be limitless in terms of how many students can make the team.

“I never turn anyone away; I’ll work with anybody,” she said.

Logan’s biggest goal in her new position is to teach her athletes lessons through the sport itself, including being goal-oriented.

Logan spends the summer with Arizona Seals Swim Academy and teaches several classes at the Copper Sky pools.

For Olivia, being a swim team member is not just about laps in a pool. “The team is kind of like a family.”

Laura.Logan86@gmail.com


This story appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Michelle Chance

Nearly 70 Maricopa children participated in the World’s Largest Swim Lesson at Copper Sky Thursday. The annual global event promotes water safety awareness every year and continued in pools across the world June 21.