Nov. 16, 2005 - While Catalina Foothills High School was busy claiming its sixth straight boys and girls swim titles, another area school was making some history of its own. Mountain View High School swim teams are gaining some notoriety in the Class 5A Division II with their best showing ever.
The boys finished off their year eighth overall in the state meet. Making the most waves for the Mountain Lions boys was Ian Wishnies, 14, who was the only freshman to appear in the state meet in the 200-individual medley and the 100-butterfly. Before reaching the state finals, the All-State Honors Band alto sax player became the first boy in Mountain View history to win a regional championship, which he did in the 200-IM. At the state meet, Wishnies finished sixth in the 200-IM with a time of 2 minutes-7.88 seconds and seventh in the 100-butterfly.
The girls finished the year 12th overall. Kayla Ward won a regional title in the 500-freestyle, which advanced her to the state meet. At state she finished 11th with a time of 5 minutes-39.01-seconds.
Lest we forget
Also flying under the radar for both Marana high schools this fall were the members of the girls golf team and a cross country runner. The girls golf team finished the state meet tied with Yuma Kofa High School for third with a two-day total of 776. Three Mountain View golfers finished in the top 15: Geneva Mackey, eighth overall (174), Nicole Gentry (10th, 177) and Jennifer Candanoza (15th, 182). The boys finished seventh overall with 637 points. Matt Stonehouse and Jared Baldwin led the way, finished tied for 12th, with 153 points.
In cross country, Marana High School's Brian Farnsworth shook off a hip injury that has plagued him for the last 10 months to finish strong at the Class 4A Division I state meet. The junior finished 15th overall, with a time of 18 minutes-55 seconds, and was beaten only by Mitch Kessler of Catalina Foothills (18:04) among Northwest and Foothills runners on the boys side.
The hearts and wallets of Harelson Elementary School opened up Nov. 9 as parents, students and teachers gathered to raise money to support a popular former teacher.
Dozens turned out to show their support for Mike St. John, who retired from the school two years ago to fight chronic, non-alcohol-related liver disease.
The "White Elephant" raffle held at Harelson Elementary, 826 W. Chapala Drive, earned more than $3,000 toward St. John's medical expenses.
The money will fund St. John's charter flight to Stanford University, where the former teacher is on the top of a liver transplant list.
The fundraiser is an effort to repay the generosity of a man who dedicated more than two decades to the K-6 school.
My one-and-a-half cents
I know this may appeal to no one in our readership, but the opportunity to write NCAA and more specifically, University of Arizona men's basketball history, is one too ripe to resist.
This hoops season, the students of the UA finally got what they've been clamoring about for some time now: A student seating section at men's basketball games.
At Duke University, they have the Cameron Crazies. At Maryland, they hurl expletives at the opposing side. Central Michigan's "Rose Rowdies" sway to the right during foul shots while behind the basket. You could pretend to read a newspaper and feign interest in the opposing team, but that has been done before, and besides, everyone knows that students only read the "Daily Wildcat" while in class.
To separate from the humdrum, unoriginal flailing of the arms and become a true sixth-man, students need to develop a routine so original that opposing teams are left shaking their heads.
The "Nice Shot, Buddy!" chant after missed free throws is adequate, but tame. The golden opportunity to do something for the greater good and a chance to go down in history is yours, UA student body. Take advantage of a clean slate.
My suggestion: find some way to incorporate rubber chickens.