It was the start the Sky View boys and girls swimming teams were hoping for, and the Bobcats maintained that momentum en route to another successful meet.
The Sky View boys and girls won the first event at the Cache Valley Invitational — the Lady Bobcats actually finished first and second in the 200-yard medley relay — along the way to sweeping the team competition last Saturday at Utah State. All six Region 11 programs were in action.
On the girls side, the Bobcats withstood a stiff challenge from the Riverhawks. Sky View won six of the 11 events and placed second in six others on its way to 409 points. Ridgeline was second with 369 points, followed by Green Canyon (296), Mountain Crest (277), Bear River (222) and Logan (209).
Meanwhile, Sky View reigned supreme in six events and pulled away from a pretty balanced field in the boys competition. The Bobcats racked up 386 points and were followed by the Mustangs (333), Wolves (313), Riverhawks (311), Grizzlies (230) and Bears (215).
“(Last Saturday) was like a team experience, and I think it’s really cool to see our team come together and be able to work our hardest to do our best as a team as a whole,” SV junior Jenna Gibbons said. “... I think we all like the bigger meets better because we have more time to talk, rest and be around each other, and I feel like it’s a lot more fun when you have more time to be around everyone. And it also helps you race better because you get to be with your friends.”
Three athletes captured gold medals in both of their individual events, and Gibbons was one of them. The junior beat all comers in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke with times of 27.17 seconds and 1:13.10, respectively. Gibbons is the defending 4A state runner-up in the 100 breast.
As expected, multi-time state champion Darwin Anderson prevailed in both of his individual swims for the Bobcats. Like Gibbons, Anderson showcased his versatility by touching the wall first in the 50 free (22.32) and 100 backstroke (55.04). The senior also anchored Sky View’s 200 and 400 free relay teams to victory.
Ridgeline’s Anthony Caliendo continued his strong season by powering his way to the top spot on the podium in the 100 free (50.75) and 200 free (1:51.87). Also prevailing for the Riverhawks were Carly Eubanks in the 200 free (2:03.47) and Hailey Rigby in the 100 butterfly (1:07.78).
It was the first meet for any of the Region 11 programs since Dec. 19, and Rigby liked what she saw from her team. A lot of Ridgeline’s top performers swam in off-events at the Cache Valley Invite.
“It was hard, but I think our coach prepared us really well over the break,” said Rigby, who was also the bronze medalist in the 50 free (27.37). “We did like a heck week (where) we had a lot of hard sets, but I felt really prepared for today, so that was really good. It was a good meet.”
Like Rigby, Eubanks completed a leg on Ridgeline’s victorious 200 free relay team. Eubanks also placed third in the 100 breast (1:15.64).
Although only three swimmers won both of their individual events, a few others came very close. Green Canyon’s Kaylee Coats was the gold medalist in one race and the silver medalist in another, as was Sky View’s Jackson DuBose and Allie Schwartz.
DuBose was triumphant in the 200 IM (2:12.15) and was only .12 slower than Mountain Crest’s Zach Roundy in the 100 breast with his time of 1:05.07. The junior is a key cog in what is a pretty deep Sky View squad.
“I think (our depth) is coming along way good actually,” DuBose said. “We’ve got a lot of good swimmers and those good swimmers are pushing everybody, so everybody’s improving and becoming a good swimmer as a result. So yeah, I feel good about where our team is at.”
Schwartz was the champion in the 200 IM (2:24.91) and challenged Gibbons in the 100 breast by clocking in at 1:13.69.
Coats came really close to winning the 50 and 500 free. The sophomore claimed the top spot on the podium in the 500 free (5:43) and was edged by Gibbons in the 50 free, 27.17 to 27.19.
It was another solid meet for Coats’ friend and classmate, Mia Huebner, who finished second in the 100 fly (1:08.50) and third in the 200 free (2:13.14). Huebner and Coats continually push each other in practice and at meets.
“If we’re next to each other, it’s really competitive and I feel like we do a lot better when we’re next to each other,” Huebner said. “And that’s super nice having someone on the team that can push you like that since we’re basically (even), except for the free. She’s got me in that.”
Mountain Crest was led by Roundy, who bested the competition in the 100 breast (1:04.95) and was the bronze medalist in the 100 fly (59.95).
“It’s really awesome and fun,” Roundy said when asked about winning an event at this meet. “There’s a lot of good competition in the breaststroke especially, and I think we all push each other to be the best that we can, and it’s just a really fun atmosphere. It was a fun meet.”
Three other Mustangs who fared well were Nick Erikson, Jake Black and Emilee Leishman. Erikson placed second in the 100 fly (59.71) and third in the 200 free (1:57.73), while Leishman accomplished the same feat in the 200 IM (2:34.50) and 500 free (5:56). Black was the runner-up in the 500 free (5:30) and was fourth in the 200 IM (2:22.00).
Logan’s top performer was Spencer Bernhardt, who earned the No. 2 position on the podium in the 200 IM (2:18.10) and finished fourth in the 100 breast (1:07.58). Grizzly teammate Zsofia Ugray was the gold medalist in a very competitive 100 free field (1:01.25).
Other local athletes who won individual events were Green Canyon’s Gavin Soule (100 fly, 58.88) and Nathan Seamons (500 free, 5:30), and Sky View’s Katelyn Wallace (100 back, 1:06.49). Seamons held off Black for his title by half a second.
A pair of Bobcats secured silver medals in both of their individual swims. Allison Dean was the runner-up in the 500 free (5:52) and 100 back (1:06.75), as was Jaxon Tueller in the 100 free (52.32) and 100 back (56.00).
Two other Sky View swimmers who finished in the top four in a pair of races were Tavin Dubon and Lauren Bassett. Dubon was fourth in the 100 fly (1:01.86) and 100 back (1:01.66), as was Bassett in the 200 free (2:15.95) and 500 free (5:57).
In addition to Coats and Huebner, three other Green Canyon athletes placed in the top four in two races. Stephen Bunnell was the bronze medalist in the 200 IM (2:18.24) and 100 back (1:00.81), Brayden Badger finished third in the 500 free (5:40) and fourth in the 200 free (2:01.23), and Maddy Hamp was third in the 200 IM (2:36.08) and fourth in the 100 back (1:08.09).
Other athletes who placed in the top four in an individual event were Green Canyon’s Cherstin Israelsen (fourth in 200 IM, 2:38.29), Abbey Erickson (fourth in 100 free, 1:01.87) and Tyson Farnsworth (third in 50 free, 24.52); Mountain Crest’s Abbey Scott (fourth in 100 fly, 1:12.02), Jaden Norman (third in 100 free, 53.58) and Ethan Stapley (third in 100 breast, 1:07.56); Ridgeline’s Ava Caliendo (second in 100 free, 1:01.69), Isaac Sorensen (second in 50 free, 24.35), Skyler Bragg (third in 100 free, 1:01.70) and Alexa Carlson (fourth in 100 breast, 1:19.08); Sky View’s Ellie Legler (second in 200 free, 2:12.72), David Higginbotham (second in 200 free, 1:53.88); Steven Jones (fourth in 100 free, 53.99) and Emily Jenkins (fourth in 50 free, 28.32); Logan’s Chessy Xu (third in 100 fly, 1:10.56) and Wesly Hellstern (fourth in 50 free, 24.73).
Sky View won five of the six relays. In addition to Anderson, other Bobcats who swam legs on a pair of triumphant relay squads were Dean, Schwartz, Wallace, Tueller and Higginbotham.