Red Devils win season-opening swim meet at Delta
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Nov 14, 2013 | 1011 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GCHS freshman River Richards finishes one of several races during the swim team’s first meet of the season. The Red Devil team took first place overall at the event in Delta on Nov. 9. Photo by Wade Snow
GCHS freshman River Richards finishes one of several races during the swim team’s first meet of the season. The Red Devil team took first place overall at the event in Delta on Nov. 9. Photo by Wade Snow
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The Grand County High School swim team competed its first meet of the season on Friday, Nov. 8 at Delta, Utah. The Red Devils finished first overall among the teams at the meet, scoring 72 total points to Grantsville High’s 62 and host team Delta’s 49. A fourth school, Millard High, had just two swimmers at the meet and scored 2 points.

Grand coach Brian Pierce said the Red Devils had 15 swimmers – eight boys and seven girls – at the competition, including several who were swimming in their first-ever high school meet. Although Grand’s female swimmers outscored Granstville 41-30, Grantsville’s boys managed to edge Grand, 35-31.

“Everyone really did great, especially for our first meet of the year,” said Pierce. “It was nice to have a full team there; we didn’t have one empty race.”

“It’s hard to single anyone out, because they all contributed, both individually and in the relays,” Pierce added.

“We had several swimmers get personal best times in their races,” added assistant coach Wendy Young.

Unlike the 25-yard pools used by most Utah schools, Delta’s pool is 25 meters in length, meaning the times recorded at that meet will be converted later to the shorter yardage equivalents for future comparisons and rankings, the coaches said.

Grand started off the meet with a victory in the girls 200-meter medley relay, with River Richards, Robin Willscheidt, Alexa Pierce and Jayelen Knowles finishing in a time of 2:34.97, more than 11 seconds ahead of second-place Grantsville.

Grand’s boys took second in the 200-meter medley relay, with Duncan Reidhead, Drake Hackney, Jackson Knowles and C.J. Hren combining for a time of 2:16.72. One of Grantstville’s relay teams took first in that event with a time of 2:09.68.

Jayelen Knowles, a freshman, won the girls 200-meter freestyle in 3:03.30, more than 30 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, Hannah Plumb of Delta. Knowles’ teammate, Sadie Bown, finished third in the event with a time of 3:48.78.

In the boys 200-meter freestyle, Jackson Knowles, a senior, placed first with a time of 2:30.74.

In the girls’ 200-meter individual medley, Richards, a freshman, took second with a time of 3:16.41. In the girls 50-meter freestyle, Grand’s fastest competitor was sophomore Mandolin Wilkinson, who placed third out of 18 swimmers with a time of 40.52.

In the boys 50-meter freestyle, Grand’s Duncan Reidhead, a junior, placed third among 19 competitors with a time of 29.74.

Alexa Pierce, a freshman, won the girls 100-meter butterfly with a time of 1:14.82. Jackson Knowles won the boys 100-meter butterfly in 1:13.68.

In the girls 100-meter freestyle, Wilkinson placed fourth with a time of 1:31.33, just missing a top-three finish by slightly more than two seconds.

Reidhead won the boys 100-meter freestyle with a time of 1:07.43. Teammate Wiley Sheldon, a senior, placed fourth in that event with a time of 1:26.08.

In the longest event of the meet, the 400-meter freestyle, Jayelen Knowles won the girls race in a time of 6:35.44. For the GCHS boys, freshman Alan Snow took second in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 6:19.17.

Grand took fourth in the girls 200-meter freestyle relay, with Bown, Savanna Christensen, Wilkinson and Willscheidt recording a time of 3:16.51.

Grand’s boys took first in the 200-meter freestyle relay, with Reidhead, Hren, Hackney and Jackson Knowles recording a time of 1:59.93, narrowly edging runner-up Grantsville, which had a time of 2:00.24.

Pierce won the girls 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:18.13. In the boys 100-meter backstroke, Sheldon placed second with a time of 1:34.33, and teammate Snow was third with a time of 1:38.17.

Willscheidt and Richards swept the top two spots, respectively, in the girls 100-meter breaststroke, with Willscheidt recording a time of 1:35.63 and Richards finishing in 1:40.50. In the boys 100-meter breaststroke, Hackney placed fourth with a time of 1:34.46.

The meet ended with the 4x100 meter freestyle relays. Grand’s girls won their race handily, their time of 5:20.97 clocking in at nearly one minute faster than second-place Delta’s time of 6:17.77. Swimming in that event for Grand were Richards, Willscheidt, Knowles and Pierce.

In the boys 4x100 meter freestyle relay, Grand placed fourth with a time of 6:04.18. Competing in that race for the Red Devils were Sheldon, Ethan Clark, Treyton Helquist and Snow.

“It was really great to see the kids do so well this early in the season,” coach Pierce said. “I look forward to seeing their times drop as they continue to progress throughout the year.”

Grand’s next meet will be the Cedar City Invitational scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16. Sixteen teams are scheduled to compete in the two-day event, with the first four events beginning at 5 p.m. Friday evening and the remaining seven events starting on Saturday morning at 9:30. All Utah high school meets follow the same event schedule in the same order.

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