The Grand County Red Devils’ swim team kicked off the new year by hosting back-to-back swim meets on Jan. 4 and 5 at the Aquatic Center in Moab.
On Friday, Jan. 4, North Summit, South Summit, and Emery paid a visit to Moab. The boys’ team took second in that multi-meet. The girls placed third. The following day the Red Devils took on North Summit and South Summit. Both the boys and girls teams landed in second place in that tri-meet.
Apply any cliché you want to Braxten Pierce. Call him “king of the waves” or “lord of the deep end.”
No hack nickname can properly credit Pierce for his consistent, crushing control of long distance events. He took first in the 200-yard individual medley at the multi-meet and he took first in the 500-yard freestyle at the tri-meet. Pierce also took second in the 100-yard backstroke at the multi.
Corbin Arbon continues to dominate the 50-yard freestyle. He took first out of 33 at the multi-meet. Arbon secured second in the 50 at the tri-meet with a final time of 24.46; Pat Pakkarato took third in that event, literally right behind Arbon with a finish time of 24.78. Arbon picked up second place in the 100-yard freestyle at the multi. He also scored second in the 100-yard backstroke at the tri-meet. Alex Lacy got third in that event.
Pakkarato recently moved to Utah and he has the ability to be a swimming superstar like Arbon and Pierce. Pakkarato took second in the 100-yard butterfly at the multi-meet and won first place in the 100-yard breaststroke at the multi-meet and the tri-meet.
Preston Barlow locked up third place in the 500-yard freestyle at the tri-meet; Cameron Stotz picked up fourth and Stryder Young took fifth in that event. Conner Ainge took fourth in the 100-yard freestyle out of 20 other swimmers at the tri-meet.
In team action, Ainge, Pierce, Arbon, and Pakkarato earned first in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the tri-meet; Lacy, Trayken Robertson, Brendan Moore, and Cody Johnston took fourth.
The Lady Red Devils also kicked off the new year in Grand style. Josie Wakefield won second in the 100-yard backstroke at both meets. The backstroke seems to be Wakefield’s event; her power has skyrocketed in the past few weeks.
Kiersten Kimmerle took third place in the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard freestyle at the tri-meet; she got fourth in the 100-yard freestyle at the multi-meet.
Grace Johnston scored third in the 50-yard freestyle at the tri-meet. Neelie Relph took fourth in the 200-yard freestyle at the tri. Zoe Campbell picked up fourth place in the 100-yard breaststroke, also at the tri-meet.
As a team, Relph, Wakefield, Johnston, and Kimmerle took first in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the tri-meet; Izzy Becerra, Sadie Farnsworth, Aly Bertoch, and Campbell landed at second.
Saturday was also Senior Recognition Day at the Aqua Center. Eleven seniors received balloons and candy and were recognized for their years of dedication to the swim team.
Head Coach Brian Pierce was happy with the results from both meets. Swim season is a little more than half over and Pierce acknowledged plenty of work still needs to be done.
The swim team will be in Cedar City for the Cedar City Invite on Friday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 12.