DM men, women swim teams capture state title


STATE CHAMPS–Olivia Prelog (12), Carly Johnson (11), Juliette Daigneault (9), Molly Wert (12), Marley Ransick (11), Kylie Ney (12), and Cameron Kelly (12) celebrate DM’s men’s and women’s swim teams state titles.

Olivia Prelog, Staff writer

The Desert Mountain women and men swim team made a big splash during the AIA Division II State Championships Friday and Saturday, capturing both state titles.

After an exhilarating season, during which DM’s swim team remained undefeated in dual meets, the swimmers continued to show their Wolf pride at Skyline High School Nov. 5.

More than 10 teams from across the state competed against one another in relays and individual events. Many of DM’s state swimmers made the top 16 in each event during the prelims, and returned to win many finals events on the second day.

The girls team returned to defend their state title. The boys team were hoping to match the success.

Carly Johnson (11), Anne Tuhy (11), and Jasmine Yango (10) are all smiles as they head into the 2021 State meet.

“Going to state for the second year in a row was super fun, especially with helping the girls team get back to back wins,” said Gabby Primiano, sophomore swimmer and finalist.

“It was super exciting to win state again and especially to do alongside the boys’ team,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the season and can’t wait for next year to see what else we can do as a team!”

Along with the team’s grand win, Head Coach Crystal Strimple was also victorious over the weekend by winning Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.

“It’s amazing they work really hard in and out of the pool,” Strimple said. “Last year the boys took third and for them to take first this year, post COVID-19, and having all the teams back in full force is huge for them.”

Coaches became mentors, teammates became friends, and friends became family.

— Junior Brett Markland

The Wolves Swim team is a true example of how teamwork and determination come together to win. They were adamant about cheering for each other all season, and the state meet was no exception.

The Crowd cheers wildly at the AIA Division II State Championship meet. (Courtesy of AZCentral)

The stands were often filled with parents and teammates alike cheering on their fellow Wolves. The 400 free relay during finals at the end of the meet was particularly energetic, with the crowd cheering wildly. Meanwhile, the swimmers were equally supportive of each other; “Good luck” and “Great job,” were phrases often heard on the pool deck.

Junior Brett Markland said this season was “really fun and exciting” because of the team’s attitude.

“We all bought in and it really fostered an environment of accountability to not just yourself, but also to your teammates and coaches,” Markland said. “Coaches became mentors, teammates became friends, and friends became family.”

Practicing early in the morning and late at night became “less of a chore and more of a privilege,” he said.

“We all had a vision, and great company with which to chase it, Markland said, “and in the end the reward – two championship trophies and countless memories – was well worth it.

“And we can’t wait to do it again next year.”