Payson Pikes Dive Into Competition At Asu


Five members of the 100-swimmer- strong Payson Pikes will be participating in the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association State Meet when it is held July 24 on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.

Those set to compete are Pikes Josh Blaylock (11-12-years of age), Chelsea Small (9-10), Jordan Boll (8-and-under), Jaycee Boll (8-and-under) and Ryan Carey (13-14).

One of the reasons for a lack of larger local participation in the APRA meet is that this swim season, the town is not sponsoring the Pike team in away competitions as it did in previous years.

Only 1999 home swim meets are now town-sanctioned events.

Pike team members who wish to participate in away meets must find their own transportation, basically compete unattached and pay any entry fees required.

Recreation officials say the change was made to bring the Pikes program more in line with other town recreational offerings.

At the team's most recent away meet, the Dolphin Invitational held July 10 in Kingman, only seven local swimmers participated.

Despite the lack of numbers, the individuals who competed were able to propel the Pikes to a sixth-place finish among the 12 teams participating, team coach Dani Hatch said.

On hand for the invitational were swim teams from Arizona, Nevada and California.

Much of the locals' point production was provided by Brooke Bennett in the 13-14-years age group and her younger sister, Shelby, in the 11-12-years girls' competition. Brooke -- who will be a freshman at Payson High next school year -- swam her way to high-point trophy honors by winning three events and finishing fifth in another.

Bennett's triumphs came in the 200-meter individual medley (2:59.43), 100-meter butterfly (1:23.28) and 100-meter backstroke (1:22.84).

Shelby also garnered the high-point trophy for her age group with two gold and two silver medals.

Her wins came in the 50-meter butterfly (42.72) and 50-meter backstroke (44.94). In the 50-meter freestyle (36.27) and 200-meter individual medley (36.27), she was second.

In the 200-meter freestyle, she was fifth in 1:17.13.

Other results:
• 9-10 Boys:
Daniel McGee --7th place, 50-meter backstroke (59.96);

  • 11-12 Girls:
    Autumn Staszak --9th place, 50-meter backstroke (49.92); 11th place, 50-meter freestyle (42.04);

Amy Buckner -- 11th place, 100-meter freestyle (2:00.81); 11th place, 50-meter butterfly (57.01);

  • 13-14 Girls:
    Shea Hatch -- 5th place, 100-meter backstroke (1:34.48); 6th place, 100-meter freestyle (1:22.45); 6th place, 50-meter freestyle (34.70);

Shay McGee -- 9th place, 100-meter backstroke (1:51.59); 17th place, 50 meter freestyle (40.34).

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