The Grand County High School swim team hosted the season opening meet at the aquatic center in Moab last Friday afternoon – with the boys winning the event and the girls placing third.
Five schools participated in the meet: the GCHS Red Devils, Richfield, Logan, Gunnison Valley and North Sevier.
The Grand County boys won their section with a team rank of 465. Logan was a close second at 463. The boys aggressively defended their home turf and won 7 of the 11 events in which they participated.
Braxten Pierce placed first in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle. Pat Pakkarato won the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard breaststroke. Alex Lacy won the 100-yard butterfly.
As a team, Pierce, Pakkarato, Lacy and Conner Ainge placed first in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Lady Red Devils came in third with a team rank of 254. Richfield dominated the event with a score of 475. Kiersten Kimmerle came in third in the 200-yard freestyle and Josie Wakefield took fourth. Wakefield also placed second in the 100-yard backstroke.
As a team, Kimmerle, Wakefield, Neelie Relph and Grace Johnston finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Before the final results came in, boys coach Brian Pierce voiced excitement. “This was a good meet, I’m happy ... a lot of (personal records) were broken.”
Pierce told The Times-Independent the first meet of the season is an opportunity for a swimmer to improve his or her technique; a swimmer literally has to dive in and see how they compare to other swimmers. “Times are great, but if you don’t have technique, your time won’t improve,” Pierce said.
Girls coach Wendy Young said she was also pleased with the results of the first meet, saying, “It’s going to be an exciting season.”