The winter prep sports season began on Friday, Nov. 1 when the Grand County swim team hosted the first meet of the year at the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center. The Red Devils faced off against Millard, North Sanpete and Logan and they performed well, including first-place finishes in backstroke for both boys and girls, and a boys win in the butterfly.
Josie Wakefield took first for the Lady Red Devils in the 100-yard backstroke with a 1:15.60 finish; Zoe Warren took fourth place in that event with 1:19.43. Arthur Hawks locked up first place for the boys in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:06.40; Duncan Clark landed in ninth place with 1:19.42.
“Arthur Hawks and Josie Wakefield are both good and fast swimmers. We are glad they are back with us and we expect some good stuff from them,” coach Brian Pierce said following the meet.
Pat Pakkarato swam to a first place finish in the boys 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.46. He landed in fourth place in the 100-yard breaststroke. Brendan Moore took fifth place in the boys breaststroke with 1:13.51. Camron Stotz finished fourth in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:24.13. Stotz earned a third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle. Stryder Young came in fourth in that event.
The girls had two swimmers with a top-five finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. Kyla Jackman had a 1:28.16 swim time and took second place. Kiersten Kimmerle took third in 1:33.05 and earned an amazing photo finish conclusion to her race with the fourth-place finisher from Logan.
Kimmerle won third place with a razor thin margin, less than a second.
Zoe Campbell took sixth place in the girls 100-yard breaststroke in 1:38.17, which was about four seconds faster than her seed time.
The Red Devils boys and girls did better than “well” in the 100-yard freestyle. Hawks took second place, Moore secured third and Luke Shafer landed in ninth place for the boys. All three beat their seed times. For the girls, Warren won third place, Meeker Relph placed ninth and Julia Crane eked out an 11th-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle.
Kimmerle locked up fifth place in the 50-yard freestyle for the girls. Neelie Relph squeaked by in 11th place and missed a top-10 finish by .16 of a second. The competition was intense for the 9 through 12 spots. Clark picked up sixth place for the boys in the 50-yard freestyle.
In team action, Hawks, Moore, Pakkarato and Ricky Shumway took second in the 200-yard medley relay. Hawks, Moore, Pakkarato and Young nailed second place in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
On the girls side, Wakefield, Kimmerle, Warren and Neelie Relph took second place in the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays, for the Lady Red Devils.
“I think we did pretty good. It’s the first meet of the season. We’ve got a young team, we lost a lot of kids last year [to graduation],” said Pierce. “It’s a brand new season and we are just getting into the water and learning our strokes and making sure we’re doing it right. That’s what we’re focused on. We had some good times and some PRs [personal records]. It was a good meet.”