Yet another chapter was added to the Payson Pikes’ rich history of athletic success when a band of local swimmers dominated the July 28 Verde Valley Invitational that drew 300 youths from around small-town Arizona.
Catalina Coppelli performed lights out, winning the high point championship among the 11-12-years girls. Mariah Hintze was equally impressive, swimming to high point honors in the girls 8-and-under division.
Coppelli and Hintze’s performances were no surprise to coaches and fans. The two have swam their way to first-place finishes in almost every meet they’ve competed in this summer.
In the girls 13-14-years competition, Caroline Morse was third in high point standings.
Coppelli’s individual wins include first places in the 200 individual medley, backstroke and butterfly.
Hintze was first in the freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly.
Morse took second in the 200 individual medley, backstroke and butterfly.
Also for the Pikes, Caitlin Harold was first in the 100 individual medley, McKay Hintze second in the butterfly, Jonathan Organ third in the 100 individual medley, Colton White third in freestyle and Andrew Wards first in the backstroke and third in the butterfly.
The Verde Valley Invitational marks the culmination of the summer season for Pike swimmers.
During the past campaign the team competed against Sedona, Prescott and the Cottonwood Clippers at Taylor Pool. The team also traveled July 14 to the East Valley Invitational at Tempe McClintock Pool.