Simply put, it was a memorable day for several high school swimmers from Cache Valley.
A wealth of local athletes shined on Day 1 of the 4A State Championships, which was contested Friday at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful. The preliminary rounds took place Friday, and the finals are scheduled for Saturday — from 8:30-10:30 a.m. for the girls and 12:15-2:15 p.m. for the boys.
If Friday’s qualifying races are indeed an accurate indicator, both Ridgeline and Sky View teams should be in contention for trophies on Day 2 of the meet. Desert Hills won both state titles a year ago, but didn’t finish in the top two in both team competitions at the Region 9 Championships two weeks ago.
An impressive 12 local girls qualified with a top six time in both of their individual events, led by Sky View’s Jenna Gibbons, Ridgeline’s Carly Eubanks and Green Canyon’s Kaylee Coats. Gibbons is the No. 1 seed in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100 breaststroke after posting times of 1 minute, 2.13 seconds and 1:07.18, respectively. The senior is the defending state champion in the 100 breast.
Eubanks is seeded first in the 50 freestyle (25.02) and second in the 100 free (54.57), while Coats is seeded first in the 500 free (school record time of 5:27.13) and second in the 200 free (2:01.54). Coats and Eubanks will also have a legitimate chance of anchoring at least one of their relay teams to a state title Saturday. Eubanks is the defending co-state champ in the 100 free, a title she shared with then-Snow Canyon senior Gretchen Snelders.
In addition to Gibbons, six other Sky View girls posted top six qualifying times in both of their individual swims. Those Bobcats are Allie Schwartz (second in the 200 IM, 2:17.71; fifth, 100 breast, 1:11.34), Allison Dean (third, 200 free, 2:03.54; fourth, 100 backstroke, 1:03.31), Sarah Olsen (third, 500 free, 5:34; sixth, 200 free, 2:22.23), Lauren Bassett (sixth, 500 free, 5:46; sixth, 200 free, 2:07.23), Keira Mannewitz (fifth, 50 free, 26.45; fifth, 100 free, 58.73) and Ellie Legler (second, 500 free, 5:33; fifth, 200 free, 2:06.98).
Indeed, it was a great day for the Lady Bobcats, who captured the 4A runner-up trophy a year ago, as did the Sky View boys.
“We had a great first day with the boys and girls,” Sky View head coach Marcus Singleton said. “We had some amazing swims and time drops all around. We are set up perfectly for the finals tomorrow. Every swimmer has represented Sky View well. I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
Another Ridgeline girl who had an excellent day was Hailey Rigby, who qualified with the best time in the 200 IM (2:17.54) and second-best time in the 100 fly (1:03.47). Rigby lowered her own school record in both events in the process.
Green Canyon’s Rylie Corry is seeded third in the 100 fly (1:03.54) and fourth in the 50 free (26.42), while teammate Mia Huebner is seeded third in the 100 breast (1:10.95) and fifth in the 200 IM (2:19.49). Huebner broke the school record in the 100 breast at the Region 11 meet two weeks ago.
“Great start to state,” Green Canyon head coach John Kane said. “They girls did really well and so did the boys. A lot of best times and a lot of kids making it back to the finals tomorrow.”
Other local girls who posted a top six time in Friday’s preliminary rounds were Sky View’s Jacey Meacham in the 100 fly (fifth, 1:05.66), and Ridgeline’s Mackenzie Hansen in the 100 free (sixth, 58.87) and Navie Powell in the 100 back (sixth, 1:05.82).
Region 11 female swimmers recorded eight of the top 11 qualifying times in the 200 free, 10 of the top 14 in the 200 IM, eight of the top 10 in the 100 fly, six of the top 10 in the 500 free and five of the top 10 in the 100 back.
Leading the charge for the local boys on Day 1 were Ridgeline’s Anthony Caliendo and Sky View’s Jaxon Tueller. Caliendo is seeded first in the 50 free (22.05) and second in the 100 free (school record time of 48.06), while Tueller is seeded first in the 100 back (54.90) and second in the 200 free (1:51.99). Caliendo and the Riverhawks are also the top seed in the 200 free relay (1:31.72).
It was a breakout performance on Day 1 of the meet for Ridgeline’s Isaac Sorensen, who is seeded second in the 100 fly (53.50) and fourth in the 200 IM (2:04.67). Sorensen is now the school record-holder in both events.
“We had a good first day,” Ridgeline head coach Taryn McEuen said. “Kind of mixed on the girls side. We beat three team records. Boys killed it. They broke five team records and swam so well. Pleased overall, but looking forward to faster times tomorrow.”
Sky View’s Jackson DuBose and Tavin Dubon qualified in the top six in both of their individual events, as did Logan’s Spencer Bernhardt. Jackson is seeded third in the 200 IM (2:04.04) and fifth in the 100 breast (1:02.11), Dubon is seeded fifth in the 100 fly (55.66) and sixth in the 100 back (57.64), and Bernhardt is seeded fourth in the 100 breast (1:02.04) and fifth in the 200 IM (2:05.64).
“Today was an awesome meet for my swimmers,” Logan head coach Korryn Bernhardt said. “They left everything they had in the pool and came out with big personal bests. I’m excited that all of my swimmers are moving on to the finals tomorrow. I have really great kids and, as a coach, I couldn’t be prouder.
The Green Canyon boys were led by Tyson Farnsworth, Nathan Seamons and Stephen Bunnell. Farnsworth is seeded sixth in the 100 fly (55.98), Seamons is seeded sixth in the 500 free (5:10), and Bunnell is seeded fifth in the 100 back (57.21).
Mountain Crest’s Jake Black is seeded fifth in the 500 free (5:09) and he also advanced to the A final in the 200 free. Those athletes and relay teams that posted a top eight qualifying time will compete in the A finals, while those seeded 9-16 will compete in the B finals. Mountain Crest’s Zach Roundy also punched his ticket to the A final in both of his individual races.
“The build-up to state has been awesome this year with all the craziness,” MC head coach Karson Christensen said. “I was extremely pleased with how the athletes swam today. Despite all the reasons that could’ve made it so they didn’t have a good season, they persevered and have done great. I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings.”
Other local boys who recorded a top six time in Friday’s preliminary rounds were Ridgeline’s Cole Dustin in the 100 back (fourth, 57.13) and Joe Tenny in the 100 breast (sixth, 1:02.52). Tenny lowered his own Ridgeline record in the 100 breast.
Region 11 male swimmers clocked in with five of the top eight qualifying times in the 200 IM, four of the top eight in the 500 free, eight of the top nine in the 100 back and five of the top 10 in the 100 breast.