Desert Vista: Nine State Championships
The Desert Vista Thunder led the way with five team state titles plus four individual event titles, for a total of nine state championships.
DV Boys Cross Country
The Thunder earned their third straight state title and fourth in five years. Five runners finished in the top 25, led by Habtamu Cheney who finished fourth. The team included Reece Donihi, Chris D'Angelo, Nick Thatcher , Travis Kearney, D'Angelo Piasecki, and Aksel Laudon. The Thunder are led by Head Coach Chris Hanson and Assistant Coaches David Broze, Jeremy Williams, Rich Janas and Zach Smith (DV alum and 2012 state champ).
DV Girls Cross Country
The Thunder won their fifth team championship and third since 2013. They placed five runners in the top six and six in the top 12. The Thunder's top five runners were Haley Wolf, Baylee Jones, Emily Crall, Brooklyn Christoffis and Amanda Davis. With a score of 20, Desert Vista broke the record for the lowest point total in a Division I or 5A girls final. The Thunder are led by Head Coach Jeff Messer. Coach Messer was selected as Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year for the azcentral.com All-Arizona High School Sports Awards.
DV Boys Golf
The Thunder boys golf team claimed the top spot in the state for the first time in the program’s history with a team score of 9-under 557. The Thunder finished as runner-up four times from 2009-2012.The team includes seniors Mike Arnold, Trent Nietzel, Brian Seo, Tyler Svendson; juniors Gavin Chan, Davis Evans, Ryan Hartman, Camden Hortline, Casey Lederer; sophomore Sameer Bissessur; and freshmen Anthony Arnold and Scott Schlader. The team is coached by Matt Russo and Terry Witte. Coach Russo was selected as Boys Golf Coach of the Year for the azcentral.com All-Arizona High School Sports Awards.
DV Marching Band
Thunder Marching Band earned its second straight state championship and the sixth in the last seven years. The Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association State Marching Band Championships (ABODA) judges awarded the Thunder a score of 94.875, along with top scores in four of the five caption categories (Percussion, General Effect, Visual Effect and Musical Performance). The Thunder are led by Josh Thye.
DV Swimming & Diving
The Desert Vista girls swam away with the Arizona State Swimming and Diving Championship. Desert Vista swimmers also earned titles in individual Division I events.
Shae Nicolaisen won the 200 Freestyle and took second in the 100 Fly. She also set a team record of 1:49:96 and achieved an All-American consideration time. She was also on the state champion 200 Freestyle Relay team along with Noelle Lavigne, Breanna Larchick and Alisha VanderWerf. Their time was 1:37.81. Breanna was also a member of Desert Vista's state champion 200 Medley Relay team, along with of Sydney Garvy, Emma Utagawa and Peyton Garvy.
In Division I boys competition, the Thunder's Josh Vedder won his third straight state championship in 100 Backstroke with a team record and All-American consideration time of 50.26.
Members of the girls team include swimmers Grace Marie Braun, Avery Fisher, Lauren Gaines, Peyton Garvy, Sydney Garvy, Maddy Kovacs, Breanna Larchick, Noelle Lavigne, Lauren Lindsey, Shae Nicolaisen, Breanna Thomas, Emma Utagawa, Alisha VanderWerf and divers Grace Brouse, Isabelle Lombardi, and Molly Vedder.
DV is led by Head Coach Shawn O’Connell assistant coaches Elaine Bentley, Alisa Spavronskaya, Bowen Johnson and Dive Coach Connor Dignan.
Corona del Sol Girls Volleyball wins State Championship
Seeded No. 3 in the 6a state tournament, Corona del Sol beat Sandra Day O’Connor, Millennium, Xavier Prep, and TUHSD sister school Mountain Pointe to claim the state championship. The Aztecs defeated the Pride in all three sets of the title match with scores of 25-13, 25-21, and 25-15.
It is the Aztecs first state title in girls volleyball in 25 years. They finished with an overall record of 39-5 and ranked No. 9 in the nation.
The team includes: Emma West, Madi Reum, Brooke O’Meara, Brooke Nuneviller, Abby Meyer, Logan Wallerstedt, Camryn Tucker, Allie Wade, Lexi Vlcek, Erica Ronda, Keelan Nelson, Jessica Murphy, Lauren Forte, Isis Mitchell and Madelyn Noble. Junior Brooke Nuneviller was named Female Athlete of the Week for Nov. 24-Dec. 1 in the azcentral.com Arizona Sports Awards weekly honor.
The Aztecs are led by Head Coach Ben Maxfield and assistant coaches Gil Wartell,
Geoff Horewitch, Haley Kesteloot, Erin Miller, and Bri Keller-Galley.
Mountain Pointe wins FIRST Robotics State Championship
Mountain Pointe’s robotics team, known as the Pridetronics won the Sanhgi Foundation Arizona State FIRST Robotics Championship in October. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.
In November, Mountain Pointe Robotics, led by Mel Wendell, took three teams to the Vex Robotics Competition. Pridetronics and Joytronics, made it to the semifinals. Joytronics also won the judges’ award. The third team, Geared for Girls, was a part of the winning alliance and became tournament champions.
Across the District, Tempe Union's high schools are competitive and the District was well represented in this fall's post-season. Numerous students and teams qualified for state competition. Here is a look at how they fared:
In badminton, Sonia Velue and Gabrielle Nakada advanced to the quarterfinals in singles, Aarzoo Kumar and Marina Mehling advanced to the quarterfinals in doubles and, in team play, DV also made it to the quarterfinals.
In girls golf, Desert Vista finished in a tie for sixth.
Desert Vista’s football team made it to the second round of the 6A state playoffs before losing to Chandler in the quarterfinals. Chandler went on to win the state title. Senior Riley Erickson was named Academic All-Star of the Week for Nov. 24-Dec. 1 in the azcentral.com Arizona Sports Awards weekly honor.
In boys swimming and diving, Desert Vista finished fourth. Josh Vedder who won his third straight state championship in 100 Backstroke, was also a member of the 200 Medley Relay team that swam 1:49:96, set a team record and finished in third place. Aaron Beauchamp, who also placed second in the 100 breaststroke with an All-American consideration time and team record of 56.64, Alex VanAlstine, and Garret Chance were also on that relay team.
Thunder girls volleyball made it to the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
Corona del Sol
In badminton, Corona del Sol’s Riya Karla made it the quarterfinals in singles competition and in team play, the Aztecs also advanced to the quarterfinals.
Corona’s chess team also qualified for the state tournament, finishing in 14th place out of 24 teams.
In boys cross country, Corona del Sol finished third, led by Slade Sumners who finished ninth overall. Aztec senior Renee Payne was the only qualifier from the girls team. She finished 56th.
Corona’s marching band placed sixth in Division I in the ABODA State Marching Band Championships.
In girls golf, Corona del Sol’s team finished fifth. Emma Lower finished in a four-way tie at eight place.
Both the boys and girls swimming and diving teams from Corona qualified for the state championship. The finished in 25th place, while the boys took 11th.
The Pride’s girls and boys cross country teams had impressive performances at the state championships. Each finished in ninth place. It’s the first time since 2007, both teams placed in the top 10.
In Division 6A football,
Mountain Pointe headed into the state final with a 13-0 record and a national ranking of No. 8 by MaxPreps. They had already beaten their opponent, Chandler, earlier in the year but in the state championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium, the Pride lost 36-17. Senior Isaiah Pola-Mao was named Academic All-Star of the Week for Nov. 17-24
in the azcentral.com Arizona Sports Awards weekly honor.
In girls golf, Mountain Pointe finished 14th. Individual golfer Kayla Kelsen finished in 40th place. Boys golf individual qualifier Zack Ramseyer finished 57th.
The Mountain Pointe boys swimming and diving team qualified for the state championship meet, finished 23rd.
The Pride girls volleyball team entered the state tournament as the fifth seed. With a record of 35-9, Mountain Pointe made it all the way to the state final where they faced TUHSD sister school Corona del Sol. Corona won all three sets to claim the title.
The Chargers boys cross country team qualified for the state championship in Division II. They finished 26th.
In boys golf, Damien Douglas qualified for the state tournament which was played in Tucson. He finished 34th in Division II.
In the Division III ABODA State Marching Band Championships, McClintock finished in 5th place.
McClintock boys golfer Damien Douglas competed in the Division II state championship, finishing 34th.
The McClintock girls swimming & diving team finished 10th at the Division II state championships. Sophie Velitchkov had a second place finish in the 100. The McClintock boys swimming and diving team finished 18th. Jacob Hoo finished second in 1 meter diving.
The girls cross country team qualified for the state championship in Division II, finishing 18th. THS' Danyella Miranda finished 9th.
Marcos de Niza
Kepano Ream from the Marcos de Niza boys cross country team, who qualified as an individual, finished 51st.
In the Division III marching band state championships, Marcos de Niza finished in 8th place.
And in Division 4A football, the Padres advanced to the quarterfinals of the state championship tournament. This season Paul Moro became the winningest coach in Arizona history when Marcos de Niza beat Seton Catholic on Oct. 14, recording Moro’s 332nd win.