All-Tribune boys swimming: Chris Pickard - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

All-Tribune boys swimming: Chris Pickard

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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 5:40 pm | Updated: 3:40 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Chris Pickard just got done finishing with the second-fastest time in state history in the 200-meter freestyle, and he didn’t even win a state title.

For many people, that would mean disappointment, but Pickard didn’t mind.

The Arcadia senior swimmer had raced against Goodyear Desert Edge phenom Tyler Messerschmidt since they were young, and he knew his longtime rival would get the best out of him. Both swimmers broke the state record in the event at the Swim and Dive Championships, but only Messerschmidt’s time of 1:36.33 will be in the record books, Pickard finished in 1:37.69.

“I really wanted to get up and race Tyler in one of his best events,” Pickard said. “I’ll never be completely satisfied, but there’s no shame in second place. I would rather have the (faster) time than blow away the field. Competition isn’t a bad thing.”

That race, though, wasn’t Pickard’s best stroke. Next up was the 100-meter butterfly, and without Messerschmidt standing in the way, Pickard ended his day with a state title. He finished the race in 48.81 seconds, more than two seconds faster than any other qualifier.

His points helped lead the Titans to a second-place finish in Division II, and also earned Pickard the Tribune’s Boys Swimmer of the Year award.

“It did feel really good to get a title,” Pickard said. “That was the goal at the beginning of the season. It was great.”

Messerschmidt wasn’t the only extra competition for Pickard this season. Last year, there were seven different conferences at state, but this season that was narrowed to just two.

While some swimmers worried about how it would affect them, Pickard again relished swimming at state against new talents. In fact, he wanted everyone swimming in the same meet.

“It would have been awesome if they merged the whole thing,” Pickard said.

Pickard will swim next year at Stanford, where once again he will be tested by some of the best swimmers in the country. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I really fuel off the competition,” he said.

All-Tribune first team

Name                              School        Year   Event      Comment

Payton Sorenson      Mountain View    Jr.      50 free      Division I title; fastest in state

John Dowd                 Red Mountain   Sr.     100 free     Division I champ

Chris Pickard                 Arcadia         Sr.      200 free    Second-fastest ever; state champ in 100-fly

Londen Thomas         McClintock      So.      500 free    Division II state champion

Matthew Mozdzen       Chandler        Sr.      100 fly        Division I winner

Alex Brouwer             Notre Dame     Sr.      100 back   Division II champ; fastest in state

Michael Nelson               Brophy        Jr.      100 breast  State title in Division I

Tanner Roe                 Chaparral       Sr.      200 IM        State champ; fastest in state

Josh Bidak                    Horizon         Sr.    Diving          Division I champ

Swimmer of the Year:  Chris Pickard, Arcadia

Coach of the Year:  Mike Peterson, Red Mountain: Led Mountain Lions to second place finish at state

All-Tribune second team

Name                          School              Year    Event      Comment

Dion Nielsen               Red Mountain      Sr.      50 free     Third-fastest in state, .5-seconds behind winner

Seth Maddy                 Mesquite             So.     100 free    Second in Division I

Brian Stevens             Brophy                Sr.      200 free    Division I champion; second in 500 free

Ben Brouwer               Notre Dame       Sr.      500 free    Second in Division II, third in 200 free

Alex Schultz                Gilbert                So.     100 fly       Third-fastest East Valley time (52.01)

Hunter Thompson       Pinnacle            Jr.       100 back    Second in Division I

Shane Essert             Brophy               Sr.       100 breast    Second in Division I

Chris Webb                Brophy              Jr.        200 IM         Second in Division I

Mike Bidak                  Horizon             Sr.      Diving         Second in Division I

Honorable Mention

Arcadia: Hayden Sells, So., Diving; Scott Angell, Sr., 100 breast; Nathan Anderson, Jr., 100 fly; Desert Mountain: Brandon Hughes, Jr., 200 IM; Desert Vista: Connor Dignan, Sr., Diving; Perry: Victor Hernandez, Sr., 100 breast; Queen Creek: Sheldon Soloman, So., Diving.

Memorable Moments from the 2010 season

Matthew Mozdzen’s moment:  The Chandler senior qualified for the Division I 100-meter butterfly final in second place behind Salpointe’s Alex Leighton. However, Mozdzen beat out Leighton and two others in a close race to capture the Division I state title in 50.41 seconds. It was an All-American consideration time.

Brophy rolls again:   Even added competition couldn’t derail the powerful Brophy swim program. Even with new challengers like Chaparral and Horizon, the Broncos cruised to their 23rd consecutive swim state championship, and 33rd overall. Brophy scored 474.5 points, followed by Red Mountain and Salpointe.

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