HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION I SWIMMING AND DIVING

Berg sheds nerves, wins backstroke title

2010-11-07T00:00:00Z 2010-11-09T06:37:39Z Berg sheds nerves, wins backstroke titleAl Bravo Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 07, 2010 12:00 am  • 

MESA - Maybe Matthew Berg should be nervous every time he swims.

Berg of Ironwood Ridge won the 100-yard backstroke - despite going a second slower than he did in Thursday's preliminaries - at the Division I state swim meet Saturday at Kino Aquatic Center in Mesa.

"Honestly, I was so nervous coming into this; I was scared out of my life," Berg said. "I've never had this much pressure before. But I went all-out on the underwaters and just went for the win."

Berg helped I-Ridge to a 12th- place finish Saturday, scoring 72 points. Phoenix Brophy Prep won its 23rd consecutive state title, amassing 474 1/2 points. Mesa Red Mountain had 203 1/2, and Salpointe Catholic was third with 157.

Rincon/University placed 15th with 50.

The Phoenix Xavier girls won their 12th straight title, earning 401 points to second-place Scottsdale Chaparral's 220. Canyon del Oro was seventh with 98 and Salpointe Catholic finished tied for ninth with 91.

Salpointe's Alex Leighton finished third in the 100 butterfly and sixth in the 50 free, while Tyler Mattingly took fifth in the 500 free. Jojo Simonson was eighth in the 100 breast stroke.

The Lancers 400 free relay team of Leighton, Mike Botelho, Dan Smith and Mattingly was fourth.

In the first relay of the day, Salpointe's Leighton, Simonson, Jesse Hansen and John Hines finished third in the 200 medley relay behind Brophy and Mesa Mountain View.

Rincon's Reed Patterson finished second in the 100 fly despite having fought a cold this week and feeling ill less than an hour before Saturday's event.

Patterson was the No. 3 qualifier behind winner Matthew Mozdzen of Chandler and Salpointe's Leighton. But the Rincon junior put it together in the race to get the runner-up spot. Leighton finished third.

"As soon as I dove in, my goggles filled up with water, so just about everything that could go wrong, did," Patterson said. "But they filled up enough so I could see the wall."

Patterson was well enough to finish sixth in the 100 breast stroke, finishing in 1:00.82.

Daniel Bleyl of Ironwood Ridge was sixth in the 100 butterfly, and Sean Strickland of Canyon del Oro was eighth.

Girls

Maggie McCord entered the day as the top qualifier in the premier event - the 50 free. But McCord finished third behind Gilbert's Kelli Benjamin, who swept the sprints.

Benjamin clocked an automatic all-American time of 23.07, ahead of second-place Samantha Guttmacher of Red Mountain (23.21) and McCord (23.57). McCord's time is good enough for all-American consideration. In the 100 free, McCord was fourth at 52.41. Benjamin finished in another all-America time of 50.19.

Sara Borendame finished sixth in the 100 breast stroke.

CDO's 200 free relay team of Mary Baumann, Savanna Hines, Stephanie Strickland and McCord was third behind Xavier and Chaparral. The victorious Gators broke their 17-year-old record in the event by .05 of a second. The Dorados were seventh in the 400 free relay with Mary Baumann, Hines, Sarah Baumann and McCord.

Salpointe's 200 medley relay team of Ana Welchert, Madeline Owen, Alex Munroe and Meredith Byl was eighth.

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