The best boys swimming team in Ridgeline history pushed Sky View to the brink, but the Bobcats were ultimately undaunted.
A combination of star power and depth allowed the Bobcats to defend their Region 11 title. Sky View edged Ridgeline by 13 points, 301 to 288, at the region meet, which was contested Saturday at the Stang Aquatic Center in Hyrum.
Mountain Crest had enough of its own star power to hold off Green Canyon for third place, 194-172. Rounding out the field was Logan (106) and Bear River (91).
“To be able to defend the boys title was what we worked for all season,” SV head coach Marcus Singleton said. “We had so many awesome swims today on both the girls and boys sides. It was a great day to be a Bobcat. Our focus will now be geared towards state.”
The Bobcats were led by Jaxon Tueller, Jackson DuBose and Tavin Dubon, who all secured a top three position in both of their individual events. Tueller reigned supreme in the 200-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke with times of 1 minute, 50.93 seconds and 54.97, respectively. DuBose claimed a gold medal in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.81) and a silver in the 200 IM (2:07.60), while Dubon was second in the 100 back (57.53) and third in the 100 butterfly (56.41).
Not only did Tueller shine in both of his individual swims, he was able to accomplish one of his main goals.
“It feels amazing to break 55 in my 100 back because I’ve been stuck at a 56 all season and to finally break that barrier felt like such a relief,” he said.
“And then also winning the 200 free was the greatest and most ideal way the meet could have played out.”
DuBose would have also won the 200 IM if it wasn’t for Logan’s Spencer Bernhardt, who beat him by less than a half second. DuBose did get revenge against the Grizzly senior in the 100 breast by less than two-10ths of a second.
“It was really fun,” DuBose said. “Spencer is a good kid and he’s a super fun competitor. It was fun to race against him and to kind of see what we were going to be able to do today. We really pushed each other.”
DuBose made it a point to thank Singleton and the rest of the Sky View coaches, plus his teammates, for helping the Bobcats achieve their primary objective.
“It was super fun to see all of the improvements that we were able to make throughout the season, and I’m super happy that we were able to do so well today,” he said.
Sky View, which got fourth-place finishes from Broc Johnson in the 200 free (1:58.27) and 500 free (5:21), had just enough depth to hold off the Anthony Caliendo-led Riverhawks. Caliendo powered his way to first place in the 50 free (22.13) and 100 free (48.48), and anchored Ridgeline’s 200 medley and 400 free relay teams to victory. The Riverhawks won all three of the boys relay races and broke school records in the medley and 4x100.
Up until this season, the Riverhawks were not a factor in the region title race, but they have made tremendous strides during the 2020-21 campaign.
“We are very happy about what we have done in the short time we have been here. It seems like there’s never enough time,” Caliendo said. “I think we wish we could continue for years to come to use our coaches’ guidance and teammates’ spirits to grow here in the pool and as humans.”
Caliendo was a little disappointed with his times in the 50 and 100 free, but “ending the meet with such a huge record breaker (in the 4x100) was the best feeling ever.” He was joined in that team by Cole Dustin, Joe Tenny and Isaac Sorensen. The foursome clocked in at 3:22.86. Those same four athletes also reigned supreme in the medley relay (1:42.18).
Ridgeline’s victorious 200 free relay team was comprised of Luke Eubanks, Benjamin Checketts, Sam Dayton and Porter Frandsen. They finished with a time of 1:35.37.
Two other local boys who sparkled were Logan’s Bernhardt and Mountain Crest’s Jake Blake. Bernhardt powered his way to a gold medal in the 200 IM (2:07.23) and was the aforementioned runner-up in the 100 breast (1:02.99), while Black bested his competition in the 500 free (5:09) and posted the second-fastest time in the 200 free (1:54.40).
Bernhardt took a lot of pride in wrestling away one of the individual titles from Sky View and Ridgeline.
“It feels really good because they both have really good swimmers,” he said. “There’s also Joe Tenny on Ridgeline, as well as DuBose on Sky View, and it was close for both races. ... I give credit to my coaches because they’ve trained me hard these past few months and it really paid off today.”
Bernhardt went on to say he was “content” with how his region career ended. Likewise, Blake was pleased with how he performed — although this was not his final region meet.
“I felt really good,” Black said. “I set the goal last year to take first in the 500 and it became a realty today, and I was super happy with how I did. Additionally, I was also really happy about my performance in the 200 free. I decided to focus on that race about midseason, opposed to the 100 fly, and I was happy with the amount of time I have dropped since then.”
Mountain Crest’s Zach Roundy and Jaden Norman also finished in the top four in both of their individual swims, as did Green Canyon’s Stephen Bunnell. Roundy placed second in the 500 free (5:17) and third in the 200 IM (2:08.41), Norman was second in the 100 free (52.42) and fourth in the 50 free (23.88), and Bunnell finished third in the 100 back (57.67) and fourth in the 200 IM (2:08.82).
Another athlete who fared very well on the boys side was Green Canyon’s Tyson Farnsworth, who touched the wall first in the 100 fly with his time of 55.52, to edge Ridgeline’s Sorensen, who broke the school record (55.76). Farnsworth was also the silver medalist in the 50 free (23.01).
In addition to the aforementioned swimmers, other local swimmers who placed in the top four in an individual race were Ridgeline’s Eubanks in the 200 free (third, 1:55.69), Dustin in the 50 free (third, 23.79), Dayton in the 100 free (third, 52.68) and Tenny in the 100 breast (third, 1:03.12), and Sky View’s Ben Walters in the 500 free (third, 5:18), Colby Bair in the 100 fly (fourth, 58.84) and Clayton Nye in the 100 back (fourth, 57.84). Tenny and Dayton both broke Ridgeline records.