Pinnacle Swim & Dive Wins District Sixth Straight Year; Ranks Fifth In State

Pinnacle’s Swim & Dive teams secured the title of district champions this year after a season of dominant performances by the Pioneers despite a shortened season. Their sixth title in a row, Pinnacle’s boys and girls also saw 32 athletes participate in the Division I State Meet on November 5-6. 

Amongst the season’s best performances came from boys Benjamin Scott, Luca Gissendaner, Reagan Dresser, and Aaron Rosen, who shared the state’s best 200 Medley Relay Time this year at an astonishing 1:35.99, which would prove to be a large contributing factor in making Pinnacle the top boys relay team in Arizona for the first time in school history. But Girls Swim Captain, senior Allie Schwartz, wouldn’t hesitate to add that those four weren’t the only ones making large strides this year.

“I would have to say that despite the circumstances we’re still performing just as good as ever,” Schwartz said. 

The team also adjusted to life and competition in these unprecedented times. 

“The Phoenix pools were closed so we [Swim] had to move to McDowell Mountain Ranch,” Schwartz said.

The Dive Team practiced at an entirely different facility at Cactus Park, leading to extremely limited interaction between the two groups. As for further precautions, the school made sure that anyone in contact with an infected individual or showing symptoms took a COVID-19 take a test. In the pool, district guidelines allowed just two people in a line at any given time in order to avoid the spread. When not swimming, athletes constantly observed the mandate to wear masks. 

Swim Coach Eric Goldstone claims these measures were successful in preventing an outbreak. 

“Not a single swimmer was absent due to COVID,” Goldstone said. The coach of six years also took pride in the team’s success this year. “We once again fielded the largest team in the district, so we had a lot of athletes participating,” said Goldstone.

 In addition, Pinnacle placed fifth statewide, an incredible feat even by Pioneer standards. This victory came in part due to the team’s high morale that players kept.

 “COVID didn’t define our season, but how everyone stepped up and swam their best did,” said Goldstone.

Throughout the chaos, many players considered meets the bit of normalcy they missed, holding everything together. 

“We could swim all of our normal events and everyone’s spirit just seemed great when we were cheering each other on and counting,” Schwartz said. Another silver lining she spoke of was the addition of Mrs. Ditter to the coaching staff, the Swim team’s first female coach since Mrs. Layman’s departure.

Though many top athletes on the team hailed from the senior class this year, no doubt Swim & Dive Teams look forward to their reign of dominance in the years to come. The only question remaining now is whether or not 2021 will see the Pioneers win the district championship for the seventh time in a row.