Lee Williams, Kingman Academy swim teams ready for state competition

Lee Williams’ Marco Narvarte, left, and Kingman Academy’s Nic Depner are two of four local swimmers that qualifed for the Division III State Championship.

Miner File Photo

Lee Williams’ Marco Narvarte, left, and Kingman Academy’s Nic Depner are two of four local swimmers that qualifed for the Division III State Championship.

KINGMAN – Lee Williams’ Chase Walther, Diego Narvarte and Marco Narvarte along with Kingman Academy’s Nic Depner are headed to the Division III State Championship Friday at the Dady Aquatic Center in Paradise Valley. Depner qualified in all of his events, but can only compete in two at state.

“I am pleased with Nic going to state,” said Academy swim coach Teri Rose “Our expectations were to qualify in every event. The top tier of kids at the state level are kids Nic swims against all year. We know going in who’s going to do what from various schools.”

Depner enters state competition as the fourth seed in the 200-yard freestyle and the No.7-seed in the 100 backstroke.

Marco Narvarte leads the trio of Volunteers as he is the second seed in the 50 freestyle and the No. 13-seed in the 100 butterfly after being the lone Lee Williams state qualifier last season. Diego Narvarte earned the No. 10-seed in the 100 breaststroke and the 20th-seed in the 100 backstroke. Walther rounds out the Lee Williams competitors with the No. 21-seed in the 100 butterfly.

“I could not be more pleased with the performance of these three boys,” said Volunteers head coach Caleb Presnal. “The times that they have posted so far will be surpassed at the state meet. I am really excited about how well they are going to do.”

Rose also believes Depner can succeed at state for the Academy.

“Nic should at least hold his fourth place in the 200 freestyle and put up a great race if he can go second or third,” she said. “We are looking for a time improvement to coincide with his club times. He’s gone up against a few of the 100 backstroke kids already this season at qualifying meets. We know what we are up against. The third through eighth places are going to be hotly contested. I am really looking forward to that particular race.”

The Academy might have had its relay teams qualify for state, but Division III only allows for 24 individuals and 16 relays. Division I and II, meanwhile, allow for 32 individual qualifiers and 24 relays.

“With over 50 schools represented in Division III, two-thirds of schools don’t even have a chance to go to state,” Rose said. “Our relays came in at No. 22 and 23 overall, which would have qualified us for state if Division III allowed the same amount of participants as Division I and II.”