The final tune-up for the Region 11 Championships was certainly a memorable one for the Sky View swimming program.
The Bobcats swept both titles at the two-day, 13-team Highland Invitational, which concluded last Saturday. The Sky View girls handily reigned supreme with 367 points, which was 104 more than runner-up East, while the Bobcats received a pretty good challenge from the Mountain Crest boys before prevailing by a comfortable 333-291.5 margin.
“When I read the scores to the team on the bus, I could see the surprise on all of their faces as I read through to second place, and loud cheers when I read the first place for each category,” SV head coach Marcus Singleton said. “I’m sure the bus driver wasn’t super happy with the loud cheering.
“To get a sweep like this really takes everyone. We had several first-place finishes in the individual and relay events. In every event, we had several in the top 16 who scored points. ... Our motto really since I started coaching has been ‘every point counts.’ We have gone into every meet believing this and will go into region believing it too.”
Two Bobcats left Salt Lake County with three gold and one silver medals. Jenna Gibbons beat all comers in the 50-yard freestyle (26.97 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:09.95), as did Darwin Anderson in the 200 free (1:42.35) and 500 free (4:42). Anderson in the defending 4A state champion in both of those events and has yet to taste defeat in any individual events as a senior.
Additionally, Gibbons and Anderson anchored the Sky View medley (boys) and 200 free (girls) relay teams to victory, and helped propel another relay squad to the No. 2 spot on the podium. Other Bobcats who completed legs on the first-place relay foursomes were Jaxon Tueller, Ryan Robinson, David Higginbotham, Emily Jenkins, Lauren Bassett and Dana Kim.
Higginbotham swam his way to a championship in the 100 free with his time of 50.61. The senior also finished fourth in the 100 butterfly (55.76).
In addition to Gibbons, Anderson and Higginbotham, five other Bobcats placed in the top five in both of their individual events. Allison Dean finished second in the 100 backstroke (1:06.22) and fourth in the 500 free (5:51); Allie Schwartz was the bronze medalist in the 200 IM (2:22.48) and 100 fly (1:05.53); Jackson DuBose placed fourth in the 200 IM (2:11.90) and 100 breast (1:05.15); Tueller powered his way to third in the 500 free (5:14) and was fifth in the 200 free (1:53.70); Robinson posted the fifth-fastest times in the 200 IM (2:12.74) and 100 breast (1:06.30).
The Sky View girls received strong swims from Ellie Legler in the 500 free (third, 5:47), Katelyn Wallace in the 100 back (tied for third, 1:06.34) and Jenkins in the 50 free (fourth, 27.55).
“It truly has been a great season as I’ve watched each swimmer learn and improve,” Singleton said.
The Mountain Crest boys didn’t capture any titles, but had 10 top five performances. Zach Roundy led the way for the Mustangs as he was the runner-up in the 100 breast (1:03.84) and the bronze medalist in the 200 IM (2:09.33).
As well as Roundy fared, it was a balanced team effort for the Mountain Crest boys. Six other Mustangs earned a spot in the top five in an individual event in Caleb Jacobsen (third in the 100 free, 52.03), Ethan Stapley (third in the 100 breast, 1:04.02), Nick Erikson (fourth in the 50 free, 24.18), Jake Black (fourth in the 500 free, 5:27) and Jaden Norman (fifth in the 100 free, 52.43).
“Mountain Crest had a fantastic weekend,” MC head coach Thomas Williams said. “Not only did the swimmers perform well, but we had a lot of fun. I’m really proud of the team and look forward to region next week.”
Ridgeline had a solid meet as it placed third in the girls competition with 254 points and fifth on the boys side (173). Anthony Caliendo continues to show his mettle for the Riverhawks as he was the runner-up in the 100 free (51.54) and was fourth in the 200 free (1:53.26).
Hailey Rigby finished fifth in the 50 free (27.57) and 100 breast (1:14.63) for Ridgeline, while Savannah Christensen was fifth in the 500 free (5:56). Additionally, the Lady Riverhawks placed in the top four in a pair of relays.
The Green Canyon boys placed sixth (170), while the girls were seventh (181.5). The Wolves were led by Kaylee Coats and Mia Huebner. Coats was the silver medalist in the 100 free (57.77), and Huebner secured a position in the top six in the 200 IM (fourth, 2:25.64) and 100 breast (sixth, 1:15.62).
Green Canyon’s Nathan Seamons touched the wall with the fifth-best clocking in the 500 free (5:36).
Several local athletes finished sixth in an individual events. Those competitors were RHS’s Christensen (200 free, 2:10.79), MC’s Jacobsen (200 free, 1:58.92), RHS’s Ava Caliendo (50 free, 27.66), MC’s Erikson (100 fly, 58.70), MC’s Norman (100 back, 1:00.06), SV’s Wallace (100 free, 1:00.32) and SV’s Bassett (500 free, 6:01).
Cache Valley swimmers completely dominated a handful of freestyle races. Four local athletes finished in the top five or six in the boys 200 free, girls 50 free, boys 100 free, girls 500 free and boys 500 free. Also, four of the top five placers in the boys 100 breast compete for local programs.
The Region 11 Championships will take place Saturday at the Stang Aquatic Center in Hyrum.