Swim-dive teams prove tough competitors in season opener


Corona’s swimming and diving team won its first meet with Central Region foe Gilbert Highland Oct.1. The boys team finished with 102 points to Highland’s 82, while the girls finished with 95 points to Highland’s 90.

Leading the way for the girls team were first place finishes in the 200 Girls Medley Relay, 200 Individual Medley, 100 Butterfly, 500 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke, 100 Breaststroke and diving competition.

Emily Lewandowski, Heidi Liou, Taylor Thorn and Erin Maloney finished first in the 200 Girls Medley Relay with a time of 2:02:80. Liou was also first with a time of 2:22.44 in the 200 IM while Lewandowski was second and Caroline Kennedy came in fourth.

Audry Stitt was first in the 100 Butterfly with a time of 1:08.63 and Malony finished second and Amy Foster came in sixth.  In the 500 Freestyle Corona’s Clare McClernon finished first with a time of 6:12.90 while teammate Megan Miller was fifth.

Corona took the first three places in the 100 Backstroke with Thorn finishing first at 1:07.34, McClernon second at 1:14.78 and Dena Khani third in 1:16.02. Corona also had the first three places in the 100 Breaststroke. Lewandowski was first in 1:14.11, Maloney second in 1:18.29 and Kennedy third in 1:19.44.

The girls team also finished strong in the following events: 200 Freestyle with Stitt second and Shannon Wheeler fifth; 50 Freestyle where Thorn finished second and Brittany White fifth; and the 100 Freestyle where White was third, Taylor Doren fifth and Wheeler finished sixth.

The Lady Aztecs had a second place finish in both the 200 Freestyle and 400 Freestyle relay races. Liou, Kennedy, White and Lewandowski in the 200 Free, and Stitt, Wheeler, Doren and Thorn in the 400 Free.

Heidi Liou also took home first place in the diving competition with a score of 173.70 while Carli Griese was fourth with 144.45.

The boys team did exceptionally well against Highland with nine first place finishes and seven second place finishes.

Bryan Liu, Ryan Telep, Gavin Haws and Preston Long took first in the 200 Medley relay, while Clay Meschke, Ben Miller, Ben Hauber and Scott Kvavle came in third in the same race.

In the 200 Freestyle, Connor Rawls was first with a time of 1:56.40, Alex Lampis-Slaughter second with 1:56.89, Matt Hurst fourth and Dylan Barr was sixth. Telep was first and Meschke second in the 200 Individual Medley with 2:07.07 and 2:14.90 times respectively.

The Aztecs took the first three finishes in the 100 Butterfly with Gavin Haws first with a time of 57.89. Rawls second at 58.91 and Hauber 1:04.18. Liu also took first place (50.60) in the 100 Freestyle, Long third and Hurst sixth.

Telep took first in the 500 Freestyle with a time of 5:02.34, Lampis-Slaughter was second, Frank Fan fifth and Barr sixth.

Liu kept his record intact by taking first in the 100 Backstroke in 1:01.75. Meschke was second and Nick Wilson was sixth. Long came second, Kvavle third and Matt Hayhurst fourth in the 40 Freestyle. Miller was fourth, Fan fifth and Brandon Brooks was sixth in the 100 Breaststroke.

The Aztecs also swam competitively in the relay races. Rawls, Haws, Telep and Liu were first in the 400 Freestyle relay. Hauber, Kvavle, Mischke and Lampis-Slaugher took third place in the same event.

Earlier in September, Corona participated in the Brophy/Xavier Invite Sept. 25-26 which is an Outside Qualifier meet meaning that times in this meet can qualify a swimmer for the state meet. Corona’s boys team finished sixth with 161 points while the girls team took ninth place with 89 points.

The boys team had one relay team and four swimmers qualify in four events for the state meet to be held May 3.

Corona’s 200-Yard Medley Relay team of Liu, Telep, Haws and Hayhurst took fourth place and qualified with at time of 1:43.20. Telep also qualified in the 200-Yard Individual Medley by taking third place with a time of 2:02.66.

Liu took fourth place in the 100 Butterfly with an outside qualifying time of 53.61. Two Aztecs qualified in the 100 Backstroke. Liu was third with an outside qualifying time of 55.13 and Telep was sixth and qualified with a time of 56.97.

On Sept. 24, Corona had a meet against Marcos de Niza. The Aztec boys beat Marcos 145 to 41 while the girls team won 105-81. Highlights of this meet included 11 first place finishers for the boys team and five first place finishers for the girls team.

Corona’s  200 Medley Relay team of Liu, Telep, Gavin Haws and Hayhurst were first while Meschke, Miller, Fan and Lampis-Slaughter were second. The Aztecs 200 Freestyle Relay team of Meschke, Haws, Long and Kvavle took first, Fan, Miller, Alex Smith and Hauber were second and Nick Wilson, Jeff Bell, Matt Wattel and Brandon Haws was fourth.

In the 400 Freestyle Relay, Corona’s Rawls, Liu, Gavin Haws and Telep took first place while the team of Kvavle, Hauber, Hayhurst and Lampis-Slaughter took second.

In individual races, Telep was first, Rawls second and Hurst third in the 200 Freestyle. In the 200 Individual Medley, Liu was first, Lampis-Slaughter second and Hauber fifth.

Other notable individual results included a first place finish for Long in the 50 Freestyle, second place for Hayhurst and a third place finish for Kvavle. The Aztecs also took the first three places in the 100 Butterfly: Gavin Haws, first, Rawls second and Meschke was third.

Long finished first, Kvavle second and Miller fourth in the 100 Freestyle while Lampis-Slaughter was first, Hayhurst second and Barr third in the 50 Freestyle. Liu took another first place finish in the 100 Backstroke while Meschke was second and Wilson fifth. Telep was first, Miller second and Hurst fifth in the 100 Breaststroke.

The Aztecs had diver Charlie Haulde finish first with 171.20 points.

Not to be out done, the girls team had five first places finishes and nine second places finishes in their meet with Marcos.

The Lady Aztecs finished first in the 200 Medley Relay when Amanda Watts, Lewandowski, Julie Vandeberg and Liz Stuart came in first while Dena Khani, Maloney, Baker-Slama and Doren were third in the same race.

In other relay action, Corona’s team of Thorn, Stuart, Lewandowski and Vandeberg took second in the 200 Freestyle relay while Amy Foster, Doren, White and Liou took third in the same race. The Lady Aztecs also came in second in the 400 Freestyle Relay with teammates Foster, Stuart, Liou and Thorn. Fourth place went to Stitt, Khani, Andrea Urias and Megan Miller.

Stitt took second in the 200 Freestyle while Foster took third and Wheeler was fourth. Watts took a strong second place finish in the 200 Individual Medley while Maloney came in third and Baker-Slama was fourth.

Vandeberg was first and Thorn was third in the 50 Freestyle. Thorn also swam to a first place finish in the 100 Butterfly while Stitt finished second in the same race. Vandeberg was second and Foster fifth in the 100 Freestyle. Lewandowski was second, McClernon third and Maloney was fourth in the 500 Freestyle.

Amanda Watts swam strong to finish first in the 100 Backstroke while teammate White came in second. The Lady Aztecs finished the meet strong with Lewandowski taking first, Kennedy second and Baker-Slama fourth in the 100 Breaststroke.

The girls team had a first and second place finish in the diving competition when Heidi Liou came in first with 174.90 points and Carli Griese was second with 154.35. Newcomer Haily Vanderberg was fifth in the diving competition.

Up next for Corona’s girls and boys swim/dive team was Mountain Pointe on Oct. 8 at the West Chandler Aquatic Center and Oct. 13 at Basha. The City Meet will be Oct. 24 and the Regional meet Oct. 30-31.


Boys Cross Country

Corona’s boys cross country team continuing to have its best season ever with a fifth place finish in both the Sweepstake (varsity) and open races at the Queen Creek Twilight Cross Country Festival this past Friday night, Oct. 2. The top 20 teams in the state ran in this meet held at the Toka Stick Golf Course in Mesa.

Garrett Baker-Slama finished 11th out of 134 varsity runners in this three mile run with a time of 15:18.4. Jared Hirschl finished 24th, Wade Hooke finished 43rd, Jake Whitney 44th, Michael Seall 79th, and Josh Coulter 91st.

Central region Mesa Mountain View’s boys team was first, followed by Catalina Foothills, Brophy Prep, Rio Rico and then Corona.

The Aztecs runners in the Open category three-mile race finished fifth behind Mesa Mountain View, Desert Vista, Highland and Red Mountain high schools.

Corona runner Arturo Guzman led his team in the race coming in sixth out of 366 runners with a time of 16:26.6. He was followed by Dylan Barr in 14th place, Jeff Morrison in 73rd, Jonathon Lai 76th, Stephen Kuluris 81st,  and Justin Yang 97th. Also finishing the race for the Aztecs was Jansen Colella, Keith Wagner, Daniel Chung, Conrad Laboy and Matthew Ykema.

Girls Cross Country

The girls cross country team was without two of its top runners, Danica Ganje and Dani LeMiux who were out sick, but the Lady Aztecs were able to finish 11th in the three-mile Sweepstakes race.

The varsity girls team was lead by Christina Freeman finishing at 36 out of 115 runners with a 19:12:4 time. Also finishing for the Lady Aztecs was Sydney Buck 45th, Ellen Dunn 74th, and Tori Papp right behind her in the 75th position.

Corona’s younger runners fared better in the open category where 243 runners competed in the girls three-mile open run.

Kristin Stroble lead the Lady Aztecs crossing the finish line in fifth place with a 20:05.3 time while fellow teammate Hannah Lewis finished next in sixth place in 20:05.1. Cyndia Yu, Alyssa Ramsland and Alison Mundine also helped the Aztecs earn points to finish in fifth place behind Highland, Mountain View, Desert Vista and Xavier Prep.

Both the girls and boys teams competed Oct. 7 in a duel meet against Gilbert Highland and Mesa high schools. Up next will be the Conley Invitational held Oct. 10 at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. The Aztecs will then compete in the Tempe All-City Meet again at Kiwanis Park before the regional and state meets.



Corona entered region play hoping to have its football team back on track after winning their first game of the season against North Canyon Sept. 17. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Corona lost a close league game to new Central region foe Mesquite 14-19 which sent the large Corona homecoming crowd home not happy with the outcome. Corona then lost last Friday, Oct. 2, to another member of the new Central region, Mesa Mountain View, 21-35. The Aztecs are currently 0-2 in region play and 1-3 overall.

Corona, who is now in the same region as Mountain View, had only beaten the Toros once in the school’s history and is now 0-4 this decade

The key matchup for the Corona and  Mesa Mountain View game, Oct. 2, was supposed to be the duel of the running backs—Mountain View’s Jacom Brimhall and Corona’s Michael Lange—who both rushed over 1,000 yards last season.

Instead it was a game of halves: Mountain View came out and scored 28 unanswered points in the first half; Corona scored 21 unanswered points in the second half before Mountain View was able to hold on to win 35-21.

The Aztecs were outmatched during the first half. The Toros potent offense not only scored 28 points—14 per quarter—but their defense limited Corona’s offense to only 81yards in the first half.

That was the first half. The second half was a totally different game. The Aztecs returned from half time like a new team. They put up 21 unanswered points before the Toros were able to stop the Aztecs and save their homecoming celebration from ruin.

The Aztecs rallied behind re-energized quarterback Cartwright who completed 9 of 12 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns during that period.

With 8:47 left in the third quarter and the rain staring to fall, Cartwright threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Billy Johnson to score the Aztecs first points of the game. Senior Dylan Harris added the point after kick to make the score 28-7.

The Aztecs struck again with 1:04 left in the third quarter on another touchdown pass from Cartwright to Johnson thus ending the third quarter only down two touchdowns, 28-14 after Harris made another point after kick.

The Aztec defense was also inspired during the third quarter and holding the Toros offense to a total of 16 yards. Kyle Benson had a season-high 11 tackles and four assisted tackles to end the game with a team high 15 tackles. Sione “Tony” Letoi had six tackles in the game on defense.

The Aztecs were able to score their third unanswered touchdown when the defense recovered a fumble in Mountain View territory. Cartwright’s 1-yard touchdown run and Harris’s extra point pulled the Aztecs within one touchdown with 11:23 left in the game.

After Corona cut the lead to 28-21 with 21 unanswered points, Mountain View was able to put together a time-consuming series of 10 plays to drive down the field 80 yards and score with 6:30 left in the game. This final touchdown had the Toros up by 14 points at 35-21 and basically put the game out of reach for the Aztecs.

The Mesquite game, Sept. 25, was a close one most of the first half. Corona’s defense allowed the Wildcats to only score two field goals while the Aztecs scored a touchdown when Michael Lange rushed six yards after taking a handoff from quarterback Chase Cartwright. The Aztecs took their only lead of 7-6 on the point after kick by Josh Von Allworden.

The Wildcats came right back, though, and scored a touchdown with .28 seconds left in the half to take a 13 to 7 lead over the Aztecs.

Neither team was able to score in the third quarter. At 5:29 into the fourth quarter the Aztecs found themselves on third down needing five yards. Corona quarterback Cartwright’s pass was intercepted by Mesquite’s Rob Dalton who ran it back for a touchdown. The Aztec defense stopped Mesquite’s two-point after pass but they still found themselves down 12 points with just over five minutes to play in the game.

Corona ran two plays and was able to score a touchdown at the 5:03 mark on a second down and 10 pass from Cartwright to Billy Johnson for 82 yards.

Neither team was able to score again. The Aztecs lost their homecoming game to Mesquite 19-14.

On a positive note, the Corona offense was able to move the ball through the air when Cartwright completed 13 of 24 passes for 182 yards. Billy Johnson was the leader in catches with three receptions for a total of 111 yards. Kyle Benson also had three receptions for 34 yards.

Unfortunately, the Aztecs ground game suffered in their loss to the Wildcats. Corona’s team was only able to rush 39 yards on 22 tries with seven of the tries and eight of the yards coming from quarterback Cartwright.

Corona’s defense fared better compiling 93 tackles. Alan Stitt was credited with 15 tackles, Josh Von Allworden 13, Zac Jubie 10 and Mark Kinney, Kyle Winstead and Kyle Benson all 9 tackles each.

Up next Corona will face another new Central region foe, Gilbert, at home, Oct. 9. On paper the teams appear to be pretty evenly matched since both teams sport a 1-4 record and both average about 19 points a game. The Tigers may have the psychological advantage initially after coming off their first win last week. Gilbert was able to defeat Central region foe Dobson 35-32.



Currently ranked No.13 in 5A power points, the Corona del Sol girls volleyball team is looking to finish the rest of the Central region strong enough to make it into the state tournament at the end of the season.

As of Oct. 5, the Lady Aztecs had a 14-9 overall and 3-2 Central region record. They have not performed as well as expected in tournament play and have placed ninth in both of the ones they have played in so far. Halfway through the new Central region schedule, the Corona del Sol girls volleyball team find themselves in the middle of pack having won and lost some meaningful matches.

The Lady Aztecs are currently in third place in the Central region after beating Mesquite, Mesa Mountain View and Dobson but losing to Basha and Gilbert. The will face the sixth Central region school, Gilbert Highland, Oct. 6.

The Lady Aztecs were able to take only one game—game three—in their match at home Sept. 22 against the Gilbert Lady Tigers, ranked fourth in 5A power points after having only lost to defending state champions Xavier. Gilbert made some adjustments and ended up winning the match 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21).

Corona’s Bethany Jorgensen finished the match leading her team in kills with 10 kills on 19 attempts. Cassie Rhonda was next with eight kills on 17 attempts and Katherine Gatz had seven kills on 10 attempts. Junior middle blocker Hailey Tropsa lead the team with two solo blocks while sophomore setter Cassie Fish racked up 22 assists and a service ace.

Other Corona players serving aces against the Lady Tigers were Sydnie Lemieux with 2, Rhonda 2, Haley Kesteloot 2 and Stephanie Kennedy 2. Kesteloot also had 11 of the teams 31 digs in the game against Gilbert.

Corona next played long-time rival Desert Vista, Sept. 24. The Lady Aztecs came out strong winning the first game 25-19. After a back and forth second game, the Thunder managed to get up two points to win 24-26. Corona seemed to not be able to make the adjustments after that close second game and ended up losing games three and four (18-25, 16-25) and thus the match 1-3.

The Lady Aztecs next faced off against Basha where they played four relatively evenly matched games where the margin of victory for either team was three or less points on all but one game. Corona was not able to get the breaks and ended up losing the match 1-3 after a close 27-29 fourth game. Corona easily won its home match Oct. 1 against Dobson 3-0.

Corona faced their last new Central region foe, Gilbert Highland, Oct. 6 on the Hawks home court in what looked to be an easy win for the Lady Aztecs on paper but it is hard to predict volleyball matches.

Up next, the Lady Aztecs was due to start their run through the second half of the Central region schedule with a match at Mesquite Oct. 8, a non-conference match at Sunrise Mountain Oct. 9, a region match at home against Mountain View Oct. 20 and then another regions match at Gilbert Oct. 22.



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