The Moab Sea Devils community youth swim team placed third out of five teams at the Sanpitch Winter Splash invitational meet held in Gunnison, Utah on Saturday, Dec. 3.
The host team Sanpete Dragons won the meet handily, racking up a total of 1,562 points in combined boys and girls events. The runner-up Vernal Vipers racked up 1,145 points. Despite having just nine swimmers, all of whom were girls, the Moab Sea Devils earned a total of 718 points at the meet, slightly edging the Castle Valley Barracudas of Price, who finished fourth with 716.5 points. Fifth place went to the upstart team from Beaver, who scored 419.5 points with only three female swimmers.
The meet was the first-ever competitive meet for two of Moab’s swimmers, 13-year-olds Kendyll Cox and Grace Johnston, both of whom swam and placed in several events.
“It was a great first meet for both of them,” said Sea Devils head coach Penny Richards. “They established some base times that they will be able to improve on throughout the season.”
Two other 13-year-olds with prior experience also competed for Moab at the meet, namely Zoe Campbell and Kyla Jackman. They joined Cox and Johnston in placing third in the 200-meter medley relay for age 13 and over with a time of 3 minutes, 32.50 seconds, to lead off the meet.
Individually, Jackman also placed first in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:58.53. Johnston and Cox placed third and fifth, respectively, in that same event.
The meet’s top point earner was 8-year-old Geneva Richards, who swam a total of seven individual events and two relays. She placed first in both the 25-meter freestyle and the 25-meter breaststroke. She also swam the middle two legs of the 100-meter medley relay, teaming with Mia Kimmerle, 8, and Nora Maloney, 10, to take first place in that event. Geneva Richards also earned three second-place awards and two fourth-place finishes. The Gunnison event marked the second-ever meet for both Kimmerle and Maloney.
“When you convert their times from meters to yards, they actually had multiple personal bests at Gunnison,” coach Richards said of Kimmerle, Maloney and Jackman.
Mia’s older sister, Megan Kimmerle, 11, also established new personal bests in her four individual events at Gunnison. Her best placing was a second-place finish in the 50-meter butterfly, which she completed with a time of 53.27 seconds.
Also for Moab, Indiana Richards, 11, swam five individual events, taking home two second-place awards and three third-place finishes. Her most notable finish was a personal-best time of 1:39.67 in the 100-meter individual medley, coming in second to her cousin, Lydia McMaster, 11, of Beaver, who won with a time of 1:35.91.
The Sea Devils were missing six other female swimmers and one male swimmer who were unable to attend the meet. Moab’s next scheduled meet will be at Price on Jan. 21.