Desert Hills earns team wins, breaks relay records in swim season opener

Swimmers compete in the boys 100-yard butterfly at the Greg Fernley Invitational, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The high school swim season kicked off last weekend with the popular Greg Fernley Invitational at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center Nov. 2-3.

All seven Region 9 schools participated in the two-day meet, which attracted several hundred swimmers from 20 schools from around the state.

Senior Amber Graves of Snow Canyon High competes in the 100-yard butterfly at the Greg Fernley Invitational, St. George, Utah, Nov. 2, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Desert Hills High School had the highest team scores in both the girls and boys categories. The Thunder boys, the reigning state champions, won all three relay races, setting a new state 4A record time in each.

“It’s always a big, intimidating meet to open the season, but our swimmers handled the pressure and performed above expectations,” said Dani Caldwell, one of Desert Hills’ coaches. “Our boys achieved their goals of setting three new state records in the relays.”

In the 200 medley relay, the Thunder’s Payton Plumb, Keegan Wawrzyniak, Ashton Anderson and Christian Rettie posted a time of 1:36.92, winning the race by nearly six seconds. The previous 4A record in that event was 1:37.26, set by Mountain Crest in 2010.

The same four boys also competed in the 200 free relay, winning in a time of 1:26.46, breaking the previous 4A record of 1:26.61, set by Skyline in 2015.

Senior London Richards of Cedar High competes in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Greg Fernley Invitational, St. George, Utah, Nov. 2, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Then, in the last event of the meet, the 400 free relay, Wawrzyniak, Anderson and Plumb were joined by Gavin Crawford in posting a winning time of 3:10.82, knocking four-tenths of a second off the previous 4A state record of 3:11.21, set by Timpview in 2017.

Plumb, a junior, also won his lone individual event, the 200-yard individual medley (200 IM), with a time of 1:56.00. On a similar note, Anderson won the his only individual event, the 100 free, beating more than 160 other racers with a time of 47.76.

According to Utah high school rules, each athlete may compete in no more than four events in one meet, either two relays and two individual events or three relays and one individual event.

Desert Hills’ girls also made a strong showing in the relays, winning both the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay, and placing second in the 200 free relay.

Other top individual performances by Region 9 athletes included the following.

Senior Nicole Christensen of Snow Canyon won the 200 free in a time of 2:01.07. Sophomore Kela Hansen of Desert Hills was fourth in that same race with a time of 2:07.38.

Christensen also placed second out of 192 swimmers in the 100 free, posting a time of 56.09.

Swimmers compete in the girls 100-yard butterfly at the Greg Fernley Invitational, St. George, Utah, Nov. 2, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

In the girls 50 free, an event that attracted 280 racers in nearly three dozen heats, Desert Hills had three of the top five fastest times. Sophomore Caitlin Romprey won the race in a time of 25.40, senior Trinity Shimbeck placed fourth in 25.94 and senior Mya Ottenschot took fifth in 26.03.

Shimbeck also placed third overall in the 100 free, posting a time of 57.62.

Hurricane senior Ryan Bunn won the boys 50 free in a time of 22.46, edging Desert Hills’ Wawrzyniak, also a senior, who placed second with a time of 22.57. A total of 200 swimmers competed in that race. Bunn also took second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 53.22.

Freshman Kylie Barber of Snow Canyon placed third in the girls 100 butterfly with a time of 1:00.53. Her teammate, sophomore Cambira Callaway, placed third in the 500 free with a time of 5:27.76.

Freshman Grant Gibbs of Snow Canyon took second in the boys 100 free with a time of 51.11.

In the girls 100 backstroke, Romprey of Desert Hills placed second with a time of 56.64, while Cedar High senior Elisa Price took third with a time of 1:00.20. Cedar’s Carson Brown, also a senior, placed second in the boys 100 back with a time of 56.77.

In the girls 100 breaststroke, senior Sarah Hansen of Desert Hills placed third with a time of 1:10.16.

Region 9 swimmers took spots 2-5 in the boys 100 breaststroke, with Hurricane’s Ethan Kochel taking second in 1:03.28, Snow Canyon’s Max Barnett placing third in 1:03.81, Cedar’s Leon Weingartner taking fourth in 1:04.55 and Cedar’s Reuben Dotson placing fifth in 1:04.56.

The next local high school swim meet will be an invitational event in Cedar City on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10.

2018 Greg Fernley Invitational boys team scores

  1. Desert Hills 314
  2. Brighton 280
  3. Murray 252
  4. Kearns 231
  5. Cedar 221
  6. American Fork 220
  7. Skyridge 212
  8. Snow Canyon 205.5
  9. (tie) Mountain Crest 202.5
  10. (tie) Westlake 202.5
  11. Viewmont 153.5
  12. Hurricane 136
  13. (tie) Bountiful 120
  14. (tie) Cyprus 120
  15. Canyon View 117
  16. Ridgeline 84
  17. Dixie 52
  18. Woods Cross 38
  19. Pine View 23

2018 Greg Fernley Invitational girls team scores

  1. Desert Hills 349
  2. American Fork 309.5
  3. Brighton 260
  4. Ridgeline 238.5
  5. Snow Canyon 231.5
  6. Bountiful 228
  7. Kearns 219
  8. Woods Cross 194
  9. Cedar 151
  10. Skyridge 133
  11. Cyprus 125
  12. Murray 124
  13. Westlake 116.5
  14. Canyon View 107
  15. Dixie 105.5
  16. Pine View 100
  17. Mountain Crest 90
  18. Viewmont 53.5
  19. Beaver 23
  20. Hurricane 14

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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