Phoenix Brophy Prep put it on cruise control in Friday’s preliminaries, then turned on the jets in Saturday’s finals and completed its “Drive to 25” with a dominating Division I swimming and diving championships at Mesa’s Skyline Aquatic Center.
Brophy Prep captured its 25th consecutive boys state championship and 38th overall with 344 points. Gilbert Highland, which got 35 points out of diving, finished second with 178 points, followed by Mesa Mountain View (155).
“They had kind of a flat day (Friday),” Brophy coach Pat O’Neill said. “Some of my big guys weren’t swimming as fast.”
Senior Gabriel Espinosa set a pool record in the 100-yard freestyle after feeling he had come up short of his goal in the 50 free. The Brophy sprinter won both events and left satisfied, especially after helping Brophy Prep win the 200 and 400 freestyle relays to end the meet. He was named the meet’s outstanding swimmer.
All of the Brophy swimmers came out Saturday with shaved heads and determined to show why Brophy has been a swimming juggernaut since the 1980s.
Espinosa won the 50 free in 20.67 seconds, short of his goal of breaking Gary Hall Jr.’s school record of 20.30.
“In the 50, I had a bad turn, and my start wasn’t what I wanted it to be,” Espinosa said. “So I came out for the 100 and gave it my all.”
Espinosa won the 100 in a personal-record 45.04 seconds.
“I wanted to go under 45, but 45.04 is good, too,” said Espinosa, who finished runner-up in both events last year at state.
Teammate Lukas Williams made the biggest improvements after Friday. He was sixth in the 200 freestyle in preliminaries and qualified for finals in the 500 free as the eighth and final swimmer.
Williams came from behind in the final 100 to capture the 200. He finished second to Phoenix Horizon’s Josh Olszewski in the 500.
“He came to race today,” O’Neill said. “All the guys did. It’s like I had a different team today.”
Williams would have been Brophy’s anchor in the 200 free relay but that came right after the 500, and Williams was spent.
Brophy still won the 200 relay with Espionosa part of that team, along with junior Brad Dorsey, who is expected to take over a leadership role next season.
“Obviously, the No. 1 goal for team was a team victory,” Dorsey said. “All the guys stepped up and took their rightful places. We just really came through with good times.”
Manasseh Oso of Glendale Ironwood won the 1-meter diving championship.