In addition to the host team, the Vernal Vipers, the Castle Valley Barracudas from Price also competed at the meet, as was a single swimmer from the Sanpete Dragons team.
“We had several more swimmers that couldn’t make it to the Vernal meet, but those that were there all swam very well, and many of them cut their best times in multiple races,” said Sea Devils head coach Penny Richards.
The meet began and ended with mixed relay events. Moab’s first victory of the day was in the 200-yard medley relay for swimmers age 13 and older. Moab’s all-female team of Mary Kimmerle, Lexi Pierce, River Richards, and Jayelen Knowles took first place in that event with a time of 2 minutes, 21.75 seconds.
In the girls’ 50-yard freestyle event, 12-year-old Kimmerle and 11-year-old London Richards took the top two spots out of 11 swimmers, with Kimmerle placing first with a time of 32.49 seconds. Richards finished in 33.53, more than two seconds better than her previous best time.
Later, the same two Moab swimmers took first and second in the 50-yard butterfly. Richards’ time of 38.63 edged out Kimmerle, who finished in second-place with a time of 39.30. Kimmerle also placed first in the 100-yard individual medley and in the 50-yard backstroke, while Richards took first place in the 50-yard breaststroke and second in the 100-yard individual medley.
The Moab boys had just two swimmers at the meet: 12-year-old Braxten Pierce and 11-year-old Trayken Robertson. Pierce placed first in the 500-yard freestyle, completing the race in 7:13.19, nearly two minutes ahead of his closest competitor. Pierce also won the 50-yard backstroke, the 100-yard butterfly, and the 200-yard individual medley events.
Robertson took fourth in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1:45.76, more than 14 seconds better than his previous best time in that race.
In other Sea Devils action, Indiana Richards, 7, won the 25-yard butterfly event for girls age 8 and under, posting a personal best time of 29.89 seconds. She also swam a leg in the 200-yard mixed freestyle relay for 11- and 12-year-olds. That relay team swam to a third-place finish. Her teammates in the race were London Richards, Robertson, and Kimmerle.
River Richards, 13, won the 100-yard backstroke for girls 13 and over, posting a personal best time of 1:24.59. She also placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:29.16.
Lexi Pierce, 14, won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1:03.25. She also anchored the winning mixed 200-yard freestyle relay at the end of the event, joining teammates Braxten Pierce, River Richards, and Knowles in posting a first-place time of 2:08.92, slightly more than a second ahead of Vernal’s top relay team.
Also swimming for the Sea Devils was the event’s youngest competitor, 4-year-old Geneva Richards. She swam three races, including the 25-yard freestyle, which she finished in 38.26, improving her personal best time by more than three seconds.
After taking a short break the Sea Devils plan to begin practicing again in March for the upcoming spring and summer season, coach Richards said.
Several Moab team members are also planning on attending a just-for-fun family swim meet in Price from 10 a.m. until noon on Feb. 16. Suggested registration fees are $2 per person per event, or $20 per family for and unlimited number of events. The proceeds will go to assist longtime Price swim coach and mentor Stu Foster, who is receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer.
For more information about the Moab Sea Devils swim team program, contact coach Penny Richards at 435-260-9686, or the Moab Recreation and Aquatics Center at 435-259-8226.