Athletes of the Year: Arizona

Updated: May 18, 2009, 7:36 PM ET
ESPN RISE Magazine

Editor's note: ESPN RISE Magazine honors the top individual athletes in each of the magazine's 25 regions. Disagree with our choices? Vote for your favorite athletes here. And check out the honorees from other regions here.

Boys' Athlete of the Year

ADAM HALL
Palo Verde / Football
There is almost nothing that Hall hasn't done or been able to do on a football field. The senior Arizona recruit has played wide receiver and running back, returned kicks and punts and played cornerback, linebacker and safety. Over the course of the season, Hall scored 38 touchdowns (25 rushing, five receiving, three on INTs, one on a fumble recovery, three on kick returns and one on a punt return). Hall was named the Gatorade Player of the Year as well as the Large School Player of the Year by The Arizona Republic.

OTHER FINALISTS

RYAK FINCH
Safford / Wrestling
Rated one of the nation's best at 112 pounds by Amateur Wrestling News, Finch finished 56-0 this season for Safford. The junior won the 3A state title and competed for Team USA in the Junior Greco World Duals.

ALEX LENDRUM
Brophy Prep / Swimming
Lendrum, named Boys' Swimmer of the Year by The Arizona Republic, tied the 200 IM state record and broke the 500 free record while helping Brophy Prep win its 21st consecutive state title. Lendrum is a senior USC recruit.

BRIAN SHRADER
Sinagua / Cross Country
After winning his second consecutive Class 4A, Division II state title, the junior finished second at the Foot Locker West Regional, then 11th at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in a time of 15:45.

Girls' Athlete of the Year

CAITLIN LEVERNEZ
Sahuaro / Swimming
After finishing just one half-second behind her idol, Amanda Beard, in the 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials last summer, Levernez wasn't going to swim this season, opting instead to coach while she worked on her own. But the allure of competition drove her back, and when it did, the senior California recruit went right back to her winning ways. Levernez broke the state record in the 200 IM to win the Class 4A, Division I state title. She was just a half-second away from the national prep record.

OTHER FINALISTS

KENZIE FOWLER
Canyon Del Oro / Softball
The reigning Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year and an Under Armour All-American, Fowler signed with Arizona this year before attempting to lead the Dorados to a third consecutive 4A-I title.

AMY PATTON
McClintock / Basketball
Patton averaged more than 31 points and 14 rebounds per game this year, helping McClintock reach its first-ever title game in Class 4A, Division I. The senior guard/forward will play for Northern Arizona next season.

JESSICA TONN
Xavier Prep / Cross Country
Tonn helped Xavier Prep win its second consecutive 5A-I state title while winning the individual crown by more than a minute over senior teammate Sarah Penney. The junior harrier also finished 10th at Foot Locker Nationals.

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