Red Devils swim team prepares for state championships
by Jacque Garcia
The Times-Independent
Jan 25, 2018 | 499 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Red Devil swimmer Jarrett Reidhead takes his mark at the Jan. 20 swim meet.      Photo courtesy Patsy Stoddard/Emery County Progress
Red Devil swimmer Jarrett Reidhead takes his mark at the Jan. 20 swim meet. Photo courtesy Patsy Stoddard/Emery County Progress
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In their final meet of the regular season, the Red Devils swim team competed in a tri-meet at Carbon High School on Saturday, Jan. 20.

The GCHS boys won first place at the meet with a total of 160 points. Delta High School finished second with 156 points, while Carbon placed third with 141 points. The Grand County girls’ team took second place with 129 points, while the Carbon girls placed first with 229 points, and Delta finished third with 13 points.

In their last meet before their championship series begins, the swimmers had a final chance to work on their races.

“Some things that stood out to me in Saturday’s meet were the personal best times put up by Preston Barlow in both of his individual races, the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle, along with his lead off time in the 400-yard freestyle relay,” said head coach Brian Pierce. “He has worked really hard in practices and it shows.” In his 200-yard freestyle, Barlow finished third with a time of 2:27.99, and in his 100-yard freestyle, he placed seventh with a time of 1:07.26. Barlow went on to beat that time, already a personal best, when he led off the 400-yard freestyle relay, splitting his 100-yard freestyle in a time of 1:06.72. The relay team — consisting of Duncan Clark, Cody Johnston, Trayken Robertson and Barlow — placed third overall at the meet.

Though the team has competed fiercely throughout the season against various other high schools, the swimmers will finally have their chance to qualify for the high school state meet this week at the regional championship.

“I am looking forward to seeing the kids' times drop as the practices change to more technique, recovery, and refining the basics,” Pierce said regarding where the team’s focus is at this point in the season. “It’s always fun to see their reaction as all their hard work starts to pay off.”

According to Pierce, the Red Devils are prepared and excited to compete. “Right now our kids are swimming their fastest times of the year,” he explained. “Our girls’ team is young with only a couple years experience behind them, but they are looking forward to competing at the region championship. As for our boys’ team, they are a little more experienced and they swim well together. Their main focus is just swimming their races and swimming to the best of their ability.”

The regional qualifier will be held at 1 p.m. in Castle Dale on Thursday, Jan. 25. Based on their performance at this meet, swimmers will be selected for the state championship. The top 24 swimmers in each individual event will be selected to compete at the state championship. The first and second place swimmer in each event will automatically qualify for the state meet, and the remaining 22 spots will go to the swimmers who achieve the fastest times among the 3A teams.

“As a whole, our team’s main focus is swimming individual races and trying to qualify as many swimmers for the state meet as possible,” Pierce said. “This will be the last chance for them to get a qualifying time for State.”

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