Moab Sea Devils compete at Richfield Invitational
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Jul 24, 2014 | 1955 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
River Richards of the Moab Sea Devils swims the butterfly at a July 19 swim meet in Richfield. Photo by Jeff Richards
River Richards of the Moab Sea Devils swims the butterfly at a July 19 swim meet in Richfield. Photo by Jeff Richards
A total of 13 swimmers from the Moab Sea Devils competed in the Richfield Invitational on July 18 and 19.

Although team scores weren’t kept at the meet, Moab’s swimmers performed well, winning numerous medals and ribbons, and setting personal-best times in several events. The event attracted dozens of athletes from nine different teams. Each swimmer was allowed to compete in just two individual events each day, plus one relay per day.

“We had some great times. Most of our swimmers had at least one personal best,” said Sea Devils head coach Penny Richards. “We had a few disqualifications, but getting disqualified helps the kids learn. The medals and ribbons are fun for the kids to earn, but the best part for me is seeing them consistently improve and get faster. Their hard work has been paying off for them.”

Eight-year-old Nicholas Hren, Moab’s only male swimmer at the meet, took first in four events, winning the 25-yard backstroke, the 25-yard freestyle, the 25-yard breaststroke, and the 100-yard individual medley (IM). Hren swam the IM in 1 minute, 47.14 seconds, improving his personal best by more than five seconds.

For the Sea Devil girls, Rhiannon Hren, 8, won the 100-yard IM in her category, her time of 1:56.68 beating her previous best by more than four seconds. Hren also helped her teammates Geneva Richards, 6, Madeline Niesen, 6, and London Niesen, 8, to a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay for girls aged 8 and under. Rhiannon Hren also placed second in the 25-yard breaststroke with a time of 26.75 seconds.

Moab also won the 200-yard freestyle relay for girls in the oldest age category (15 to 18), with River Richards, 15, Delanee Olsen, 14, London Richards, 13, and Mary Kimmerle, 13, posting a winning time of 2:05.41. The same four girls also won the 200-yard medley relay on Saturday, posting a time of 2:22.39.

River Richards took first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:23.77. She also placed second in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:18.32 and second in the 100-yard IM with a time of 1:14.60, with both of those times being new personal bests.

Moab’s Indiana Richards, 9, took first place among 17 swimmers in the 50-yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 41.22 seconds. She also placed second in the 100-yard IM with a time of 1:46.48.

London Niesen achieved personal-best times in all four of her individual races, including a third-place finish in the 25-yard backstroke.

In one of the closest finishes at the meet, teammates Mary Kimmerle and London Richards both posted personal-best times in the 50-yard butterfly on Friday, with Kimmerle winning the event in a time of 32.69 seconds and Richards taking second in 32.72. The next day, in the 100-yard IM, London Richards took second overall with a time of 1:13.89, (almost exactly one second behind winner Savannah Weber of Richfield), while Kimmerle placed third with a time of 1:15.89.

Kimmerle also won the 100-yard backstroke in a personal-best time of 1:12.32 and placed second to Weber in the 100-yard freestyle, her time of 1:03.92 beating that of 11 other swimmers. London Richards won the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:19.87, and also placed second out of 13 swimmers in the 50-yard freestyle, posting a personal-best time of 29.72 seconds.

In the 25-yard backstroke for girls age 6 and under, Madeline Niesen took first with a time of 31.67 seconds, while Geneva Richards was second in 36.31. In the 25-yard freestyle, Geneva Richards took first in 29.04 and Madeline Niesen was second in 30.86. Later, Niesen won the 25-yard breaststroke in 44.80 while Richards was second in 46.86.

The other Moab swimmers who participated at the meet were Kiersten Kimmerle, 12, who placed third in the 50-yard breaststroke and established personal bests in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races; Emma Millis, 12, who cut her personal-best times in both the 50-yard backstroke and the 100-yard freestyle races; and Emree Olsen, 11, who swam four individual events and two relays, despite having her broken left arm in a cast. She swam the 50-yard backstroke in a personal-best time of 46.57.

“We have two more weeks of practices, followed by our end-of-season meet at Price on Saturday, Aug. 2,” coach Richards said. She thanked the swimmers and their parents for their dedication and support throughout the season.

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