In their biggest swim meet yet this season, the Grand County High School (GCHS) swimmers competed at the Tooele Invitational tournament, Dec. 15 and 16 against nine other teams. The Red Devils finished eighth after the completion of both days.
Many of the teams at the meet were class 3A teams, giving GCHS the opportunity to see what the competition will look like in the coming championship season. The Red Devil boys and girls placed eighth out of ten overall. The boys scored 133 points in total, and the girls scored 94 points. With the home pool advantage, Tooele boys and girls took first place overall, scoring 360 and 483 points, respectively.
“It went really well ... a lot of swimmers got medals and awards,” said Red Devils swim team member Isabel Becerra of the meet.
Some of the Red Devils’ best performances were in the relay events. The boys placed third in the 200-yard freestyle relay with swimmers Tyler Moreau, Braxten Pierce, Corbin Arbon and Jarett Reidhead. They completed the event with a time of 1:46.18, swimming a close race against the Millard High School relay team, who placed second with a time of 1:45.17. North Summit High School took a decisive first in the event with a time of 1:39.99.
The GCHS girls out-paced Millard during a close race in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Red Devils relay team, made up of swimmers Mary Kimmerle, Grace Johnson, Brooklin Hugentobler and Kiersten Kimmerle, placed sixth in the event with a time of 4:50.81. They beat the Millard team, which finished seventh with a time of 4:52.19, by just over a second. Uintah High School won the event with a time of 4:08.51.
For Becerra, the team’s performance at this meet was about more than just points earned or races won. “A lot of people dropped time,” she said. Becerra, a GCHS junior, joined the team last year for the first time, when she did not know how to swim. “I was scared to put my head in the water,” she explained, “The coaches ... were so patient with me.”
Now, Becerra swims the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke. At the Tooele meet, she achieved a personal best in the 50-yard freestyle, and placed 49th out of 66 swimmers with a time of 39.45 seconds.
The Red Devils will not compete again until after the holidays, giving them plenty of time to concentrate on their training. Without any meets to swim, the team will focus on getting in more yardage at their practices. “It’s to help us get better, so we don’t hate it,” Becerra said of this training phase.
The GCHS swim team will compete next on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at Emery High School in Castle Dale.