Red Devils post improved times at Tooele swim meet
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Jan 02, 2014 | 804 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GCHS assistant coach Wendy Young (far right) discusses meet results with swimmers (from left) Alexa Pierce, Sadie Bown, Jayelen Knowles and Duncan Reidhead at Tooele on Dec. 21.                                                         Photo by Penny Richards
GCHS assistant coach Wendy Young (far right) discusses meet results with swimmers (from left) Alexa Pierce, Sadie Bown, Jayelen Knowles and Duncan Reidhead at Tooele on Dec. 21. Photo by Penny Richards
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Grand County High School’s swimmers made a strong showing at the Tooele Invitational high school swim meet on Dec. 20 and 21.

  “It was a great meet for the whole team,” said GCHS head coach Brian Pierce. “Everyone had at least one personal best time in an individual event, and some swimmers saw huge drops in time[s].”

  The event featured a dozen schools, ranging from 2A (Grand’s classification) to 5A schools such as Lehi and Westlake. Grand’s 13 swimmers earned enough points to place ninth overall at the meet, Pierce said.

GCHS freshman Alexa Pierce placed second among 27 swimmers in the 100-yard butterfly and second among 40 swimmers in the 100-yard backstroke – the highest individual finish by a Red Devil swimmer. Pierce’s time in the butterfly race was a personal-best 1 minute, 4.76 seconds, more than four-tenths of a second better than her previous best of 1:05.20. Her backstroke time was 1:06.62, just two hundredths of a second slower than her personal best.

  Also for the Lady Devils, junior Robin Willscheidt placed fifth among 39 competitors in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing in 1:19.15, a personal best by more than three seconds. In that same race, freshman River Richards of Grand took ninth place, recording a personal-best time of 1:22.27. Willscheidt also recorded a personal-best time of 1:11.94 in the 100-yard freestyle, placing 31st among 78 swimmers in that event.

  In the 200-yard individual medley, Richards shaved nearly eight seconds from her previous best, taking 10th place among 23 competitors, with a time of 2:47.60. Richards also swam the first leg of the 4x100 freestyle relay in a personal-best time of 1:09.40.

  GCHS freshman Jayelen Knowles also swam personal bests in both her individual events, recording a time of 2:33.78 in the 200-yard freestyle and a time of 7:11.60 in the 500-yard freestyle. Those times were improvements of 1.55 seconds and 2.85 seconds, respectively, coach Pierce said.

  Also dropping time for the Lady Devils were sophomore Sadie Bown and junior Cora Johnston. Bown cut 3.05 seconds from her previous best in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:56.91 and shaved 2.08 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle for a personal-best time of 1:19.74. Johnston cut her time in the 50-yard freestyle event from 35.84 seconds to 34.59, taking 42nd place overall in the field of more than 90 competitors. Johnston also swam the 100-yard freestyle in 1:19.05, cutting five seconds from her previous best.

  For the Red Devil boys, senior Jackson Knowles knocked more than three seconds off his previous best time in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing in 1:00.97 and placing sixth overall among 29 competitors at the Tooele meet. Knowles’ time marks the fastest time in that event among 2A boys this year, coach Pierce said. Knowles also swam the 200-yard freestyle in 2:07.46, cutting more than a second from his previous best of 2:08.65 and taking 11th place among 33 swimmers.

  In the boys’ 100-yard freestyle, GCHS junior Duncan Reidhead broke the one-minute barrier for the first time with a time of 57.71 seconds, placing him 18th in the field of 75 competitors. Reidhead also swam the 200-yard individual medley in 2:33.04, a personal improvement of 6.69 seconds.

  In the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke event, GCHS senior Treyton Helquist and junior C.J. Hren both had personal-best times, with Helquist taking 12th place among 45 competitors with a time of 1:15.22 and Hren finishing 26th with a time of 1:20.54. Helquist also dropped more than five seconds from his best time in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing in 1:10.80.

  GCHS sophomore Drake Hackney improved his time in both of his individual events, finishing the 100-yard backstroke in 1:17.16, and the 200-yard individual medley in 2:49.28. The latter race marked an improvement of 2.51 seconds. Hackney also swam the first leg of the 4x100 freestyle relay in a personal record time of 1:04.31.

  Wiley Sheldon, a GCHS senior, cut 1.92 seconds from his previous best in the 100-yard backstroke, posting a time of 1:19.36. Also, freshman Ethan Clark improved by more than two seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, recording a time of 34.59 seconds.

  “The kids worked hard this past week at practice,” Pierce said after the Tooele meet. “They spent a lot of time working on drills improving their turns, starts, and streamlines. We added a couple of extra practice sessions filming and reviewing their stroke techniques, and I think it helped.”

  The team’s next meet will be at Castle Dale on Saturday, Jan. 4.

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