Despite holding three athletes out of competition due to an issue involving the Arizona Interscholastic Association, the Pusch Ridge Christian Academy swim team made quite an impression on the state level last Saturday.
The Lions currently hold six state records in the 1A/2A/3A grouping. After Saturday's state championships at Kino Aquatic Center in Mesa, the Bleyl family is responsible for three of them.
Senior Erin Bleyl broke her own state record time in the 200-yard freestyle by more than a second, finishing at 1:55.96. Bleyl also came in first in the 100-yard backstroke, and pushed the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams to dual third-place finishes.
Bleyl's accomplishments in the water, in addition to those of fellow relay team members, sophomores Bre Purcell (second in the 200-yard freestyle and third in the 100-yard backstroke), and Grace Daugherty (third in the 100-yard breaststroke), propelled the Pusch Ridge girls to a third-place state finish.
On the boys' side, a younger Bleyl also changed some ink in the record books.
Erin's younger brother Daniel shattered the previous high marks in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke, finishing with times of 54.52 and 57.15 seconds, respectively. He helped launch the Pusch Ridge boys to a second-place state finish, and gave statewide competition something to think about in the coming years.
The sophomore was also first in the water in team competition, heading up Pusch Ridge's 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle teams, both of which finished second overall.
Junior Michael Aguilar, who notched a second-place time in the 100-yard breaststroke, and sophomore Nate Stump, with a third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, contributed heavily to the boys' state runner-up performance.