Swim Team Has One Home Meet Left

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The Payson Pikes swim team has just one home meet remaining on its 2011 calendar.

It begins at 5:30 p.m. July 8 at Taylor Pool and will be a dual meet against Camp Verde.

Spectators are welcome and there is no admission charge.

Also upcoming is a July 16 showdown hosted by the Rio Salado Swim Club to be held at McClintock Pool in Tempe. It begins at 7 a.m.

The season wraps July 30 in Cottonwood with the Verde Valley Invitational. Start time will be announced soon.

The Pikes have a long and storied history in Payson beginning in 1985 when then-Taylor Pool manager Jim Quinlan, who had just moved to the Rim Country from Casa Grande, founded the team.

Inaugural team members chose the team name after studying a number of fish species.

Quinlan coached the Pikes until 2000 and remained pool manager until 2003 when he stepped down to assume a teaching position at Gila Community College.

Among those swimmers Quinlan coached on the Pikes was Austin White who after graduation from PHS went on to coach the team and manage Taylor Pool.

White eventually left his hometown to work as an associate trainer at Dolphin Stadium at SeaWorld, training whales and bottlenose dolphins.

In 2006, however, White turned in his SeaWorld wetsuit for one issued by the U.S. Navy and the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) where he continues to work as a diver and trainer.

Test for concussions

The Mayo Clinic is making concussion testing available to more than 100,000 high school athletes around the state including those participating in sports at PHS.

Baseline concussion testing is an online cognitive test that can be taken on any computer with Web access.

The Mayo testing measures how the brain is working when it is normal.

The advantage of having a baseline assessment is that it helps doctors understand when there has been a change in brain activity, which indicates a concussion.

The test also helps determine when an athlete’s brain has returned to normal and he or she can return to play.

Studies show, that when athletes continue to play after a concussion or return to action too soon, there are significant risks of suffering another concussion. Also, repeat concussions take longer to heal and there is a risk of permanent neurological damage.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association is recommending all high school athletes undergo the tests. PHS coach Byron Quinlan is also calling for his players to take the tests.

For more information, go to: http://www.mayoclinic.org/concussion-testing/.

No fire here

It’s called the Fire on the Rim, but the proceeds from it will be used to ensure there never is a fire on the Rim.

The benefit is an inaugural mountain bike race to be held Aug. 6 on trails around the tiny mountain hamlets of Pine and Strawberry. The Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee is sponsoring the race and a portion of the proceeds will be used to maintain and improve the fuel break around the two towns that was originally put in by the Tonto National Forest.

Fire on the Rim entrants have the opportunity to choose from three race lengths — 15 miles, 30 miles and 45 miles.

On race day, the 45-mile race begins at 7:30 a.m., the 30-mile at 7:45 and the 15 at 8 a.m.

PSFRC member Ernie Borgoyne believes the course is certain to test the riding abilities of even the finest of mountain cyclists, “it’s over very rugged terrain” but he adds, cyclists “will enjoy beautiful scenery.”

The course is a 15-mile loop with single track, plenty of climbs, speed portions and downhill.

For Fire on the Rim, racers will compete in one of 11 age/experience divisions and 36 medals will be awarded in each division for first, second and third place.

The entry fee for the under 18-years age division is $25 if preregistered and $35 on race day.

Fee for the seven adult categories is $50, but increases to $60 on race days.

There will also be a three-member team competition with fees of $150 and $180 on the day of the event. For more information or to register for the race, go to: http://fireontherim.com/default.aspx.

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