HYRUM — A combination of star power and depth was more than enough for Sky View’s boys swimming team to end Mountain Crest’s four-year stranglehold atop the region standings.
It’s been a special season for standout Darwin Anderson and the rest of his teammates as the Bobcats coasted to team glory at the Region 11 Championships on Saturday at the Stang Aquatic Center.
The Bobcats won eight of the 11 events and accumulated 325 points to the Mustangs’ 246. Ridgeline was third was 188 points, followed by Green Canyon (167), Logan (133) and Bear River (93).
“For the boys, it’s something they’ve been working for since I started coaching them,” SV head coach Marcus Singleton. “... It was the depth that really mattered. I mean, we’ve seen some amazing time drops from almost every single swimmer, and it was a really incredible meet and we saw some amazing times.”
To make matters better for the Bobcats, their girls also reigned supreme. Sky View swept both region titles for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign.
Anderson continues to prove he is one of the best — if not the best — swimmer in the Beehive State this season, regardless of classification. The senior lowered both of his Bobcat records in the 200-yard IM (1 minute, 54.96) seconds and 500 freestyle (4:35.76). The future BYU athlete won the 200 IM by a 14-second margin and the 500 free by an eye-popping 47 seconds.
Additionally, Anderson anchored Sky View’s 200 and 400 free relay teams to victory. Jackson DuBose also swam a leg on both of those squads, which clocked in at 1:32.71 and 3:24.86, respectively.
“I just feels great and especially with the team to support us,” Anderson said. “... I might have the fastest split on those relays, but I’m not the one that wins them. It’s always my teammates that give me the chance to do as great as I do. We have such a fun team.”
David Higginbotham and Ryan Robinson competed on the 200 free relay foursome for the Bobcats, as did Steven Jones and Jaxon Tueller on the 400 free relay team. Sky View swept all three relay titles as Tueller, Robinson, Tavin Dubon and Higginbotham combined forces to prevail in the 200 medley (1:42.14).
Not only did Tueller showcase his talents on a pair of victorious relay squads, he was triumphant in both of his individual swims. Tueller captured gold medals in the 200 free (1:51.56) and 100 backstroke (54.65).
“It’s so much fun,” Tueller said. “We’ve been working so hard all season and just to see everything pay off and everyone to do their best, it’s just so awesome. It’s been super fun. ... We wouldn’t have won without all of the hard work (coaches) Marcus (Singleton) and Susan (Anderson) have put into this season.”
Tueller and Anderson were two of five Bobcats who finished in the top four in both of their individual events in the boys competition. Higginbotham claimed the gold medal in the 100 butterfly (56.29) and was the runner-up in the 100 free (50.05), DuBose posted the second-fastest time in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.80) and was the bronze medalist in the 200 IM (2:08.61), and Dubon placed third in the 100 back (1:00.45) and fourth in the 100 fly (1:00.20).
Two other Bobcats earned the right to stand on the No. 3 spot of the podium in an individual event — Jones in the 200 free (1:55.85) and Robinson in the 100 breast (1:04.94).
It was a solid meet for the Mustangs, who placed second in seven of the 11 events. Mountain Crest’s lone title was secured by Zach Roundy in the 100 breast (1:04.68). Roundy was also the runner-up in the 200 IM (2:08.05).
“We’re performing really well,” MC junior Jake Black said. “... However we place in the region overall, I think we’ll still be really happy with what we did in the individual events.”
Black was rock solid for the Mustangs as he powered his way to silver medals in the 100 fly (58.35) and 500 free (5:22). Mountain Crest teammate Nick Erikson was the runner-up in the 200 free (1:52.56) and third in the 100 free (51.97).
“It feels really good,” Black said. “I mean, I’ve been working towards this since the beginning of the season and all summer too, so it is kind of (rewarding) to see my hard work translate into the competitions and see what I get out of it.”
Caleb Jacobsen placed second in the 50 free (23.96) for the Mustangs, who finished in the top three in all three relays, including second in two. Four Mustangs recorded the fourth-fastest times in an individual event in Jaden Norman in the 100 free (52.33), Brayden Jarrett in the 500 free (5:38), Kai Phillips in the 100 back (1:00.70) and Ethan Stapley in the 100 breast (1:05.03).
Ridgeline was led by Anthony Caliendo, who was outstanding Saturday. The junior joined Anderson and Tueller as the only three boys to earn a pair of individual titles. Caliendo touched the wall first in the 50 free (22.61) and 100 free (49.66), and established new personal records in both races.
“It was amazing,” Caliendo said of completing the 100 free in less than 50 seconds for the first time. “I was so happy to (accomplish) that. I’ve been riding that 50-flat for a long time and I kind of went back up to a 51, but after taper I finally broke that 50-second (barrier), and I’m so happy.”
In the process, Caliendo was able to get a measure of revenge against SV’s Higginbotham, who had defeated his Ridgeline rival in the previous two invitationals in the 100 free.
“I love and respect David a lot. He’s a cool man, but that felt good to take back the 100 free,” said Caliendo, who teamed up with Joe Tenny, Isaac Sorensen and Porter Frandsen to break the program record in the 200 medley relay (runner-up clocking of 1:45.90).
Another local athlete who fared well was Green Canyon’s Stephen Bunnell, who was the runner-up in the 100 back (58.59) and placed fourth in the 200 IM (2:13.03). Gavin Soule was the bronze medalist for the Wolves in the 100 fly (58.56), as was Nathan Seamons in the 500 free (5:29).
Logan’s Parker Dahle placed third in the 50 free (24.00). Green Canyon’s Tyson Farnsworth was fourth in the 200 free (1:57.21), while teammate Brayden Badger was fourth in the 50 free (24.03).
Next up for the Region 11 competitors is the 4A State Championships, which will take place Feb. 7-8 at BYU.