Recognize Arizona

Updated: January 13, 2009, 5:03 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

Girls' Swimming - Arcadia



Arcadia has long had a hold on the Class 4A, Division II state championship trophy. Since finishing as a runner-up in 2005, the Titans have won the title in three consecutive seasons, the third coming on Nov. 1, and there's no sign the girls plan on relinquishing that title soon. "We were a very young team this year," coach Erica McClurg says. "With a young team like that, you never really know how good you're going to be until they actually get to state, but as the season went along we sort of realized these girls were pretty good." Junior Carter Graves, who won the 100 back and the 100 fly, is one of the team's biggest role models. "She's probably the most enthusiastic swimmer on the team,"McClurg says. "She gets so fired up before her races." Freshman Carly Stevens, who won both the 200 and 500 freestyle and swam on two title-winning relays, is one of the young guns the team will count on in future seasons. Fellow distance swimmers Melanie Gustafson, Laura Gonzales and Nellie Fournier finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 500 free. Gonzales and Fournier are freshmen and Gustafson is a junior. Another swimmer, junior MacKenzie Lee, is a 100 back and 200 IM specialist, and she's one of several swimmers who have helped the program build a new identity. "By the end of the season, these girls were so tight-knit,"McClurg says. "It was interesting to watch how they grew as a team. They're fired up for another year."



Boys' Swimming - Rincon



Two and a half points are all that separated the champion and runner-up at the Class 5A, Division II state championship on Nov. 8. Rincon edged Horizon, 345.5 to 343, to claim the title thanks to the efforts of senior Jeff Amlee, who won the 50 freestyle, and junior Jared Young, who earned the 500 free title. Junior Aaron Weintraub and seniors David Berens and Alex Doumas were just some of the many swimmers who also contributed.



Girls' Volleyball - Sunnyslope



The top-seeded Vikings dropped only one game in the playoffs en route to the Class 4A, Division I state championship crown on Nov. 17, with that one loss coming in the first game against No. 2-seeded Cactus. The team's dominance was on display early and often, such as with a 25-4 game in a first-round win against Flowing Wells. There were no seniors on this year's roster, but sophomores Madison Kingdon and Heidi Thompson helped to share the workload.



Boys' Cross Country - Desert Vista



By edging Alhambra and its 5A-I state champion Jorge Ramirez, Desert Vista was able to capture a state championship in a two-point victory on Nov. 8. Junior Andrew Kellogg's third-place finish led the way for the Thunder, while senior Adam Estavillo finished ninth. Senior Mike Johnson, junior Albert Kombe and senior Ramsey Carroll all finished in the top 35 to seal the win as Desert Vista avenged its runner-up finish to Alhambra at last season's state meet.



BREAK OUT TEAMS



FOOTBALL  SANTA RITA
Junior Ian Garlets should help the 4A-II finalists reload next season.

GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY  TUBA CITY
Led by sophomore Tatiyanah Johnson, the state runner-up Warriors will be in the hunt next year.

BOYS' GOLF  CATALINA FOOTHILLS
Always a contender for medalist honors, junior Billy Flower has the Falcons among next season's favorites.

GIRLS' GOLF  MARANA MOUNTAIN VIEW
Sophomore Kayleigh Kresse had the Mountain Lions just six shots off the pace at the 5A-II tourney.