Sea Devil swim team takes second at Vernal meet
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Feb 13, 2014 | 2826 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Moab Sea Devils pose with medals after a meet in Vernal on Feb. 8. From left: Ridge Murdock, Braxten Pierce, Geneva Richards, Nicholas Hren, Trayken Robertson, London Niesen, London Richards, Tava Walling, and Indiana Richards.                                                    Photo by Jeff Richards
The Moab Sea Devils pose with medals after a meet in Vernal on Feb. 8. From left: Ridge Murdock, Braxten Pierce, Geneva Richards, Nicholas Hren, Trayken Robertson, London Niesen, London Richards, Tava Walling, and Indiana Richards. Photo by Jeff Richards
Despite having just nine swimmers, the Moab Sea Devils youth swim team took second place out of four teams at the Swim Your Heart Out invitational meet held Feb. 8 at Vernal.

  Host team Vernal Vipers, which had nearly three dozen swimmers, placed first overall with 2,561.5 points, while the runner-up Sea Devils scored a total of 933 points. Third place went to the Castle Valley Barracudas of Price, who had 589.5 points, and the Mako team from Ephraim placed fourth with 454 points.

  “Although we had less than half our team there, our swimmers did a great job in their last meet of the fall-winter season,” said Sea Devils coach Penny Richards. “Several of our kids had personal bests in multiple events.”

  Among them was London Richards, 12, who took first in five individual events, the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard individual medley, the 50-yard breaststroke, the 500-yard freestyle, and the 50-yard butterfly. Her time in the butterfly race was 33.84 seconds, which was a personal best by nearly two seconds and nearly nine seconds faster than her winning time in that same race in Vernal a year ago, her mother and coach Penny Richards said.

  Also for the Moab girls, Tava Walling, 11, placed first in the 100-yard freestyle and fourth in both the 50-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle events, and also placed in a handful of other races.

  Eight-year-old Indiana Richards also won several medals, including first-place finishes in the 25-yard freestyle, the 100-yard individual medley, the 25-yard backstroke, and the 25-yard butterfly. Teammate London Niesen, 8, placed second in the 25-yard butterfly and third in the 25-yard breaststroke.

  Geneva Richards, 5, won the 25-yard butterfly for girls age 6 and under, recording a time of 41.10. She also won multiple other medals and ribbons.

  For the Moab boys, 13-year-old Braxten Pierce won the 50-yard butterfly in a personal-best time of 32.28. He also won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke, in addition to placing second in the 50-yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 26.79 and second in the 100-yard breaststroke.

  Ridge Murdock, 12, placed first in three events: the 100-yard individual medley, the 50-yard breaststroke, and the 50-yard butterfly. Also, Nicholas Hren, 8, won six first-place medals for Moab: the 100-yard individual medley, the 25-yard freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly events, and the 50-yard freestyle.

  Trayken Robertson, 12, also placed in several races, the highest being third place in the 50-yard backstroke.

  “All of these swimmers have come a long way this season,” said coach Richards.

  Moab also won two relays at the meet. The first was the mixed medley relay for ages 11 and 12, which featured Sea Devils Robertson, Murdock, London Richards, and Walling. They won the race in 2:38.08, narrowly edging the second-place Vipers “A” team, who finished in 2:38.98. Moab also placed first in the mixed 100-yard freestyle relay for ages 8 and under. In that race, Indiana Richards, Geneva Richards, Niesen, and Hren combined for a winning time of 1:46.43, nine seconds faster than Vernal’s second-place team.

  After an end-of-season party at their Feb. 11 practice, the Sea Devils will take a break of about six weeks during soccer season, then begin their spring and summer season in early April, Richards said.

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