The defending champion Grand County Swim team “broke 34 PRs [personal records] and had some really fast swims” at the Region 12 Championship meet on Thursday, Jan. 23, in Price, coach Brian Pierce said in an e-mail to The Times-Independent.
Richfield, Emery, Carbon, Gunnison Valley, South Sevier, and North Sevier also sent teams to the meet. The boys came in third out of seven schools, the girls took fourth. The Red Devils team landed in fourth place overall in the tournament.
According to Pierce, the Region 12 Championship can be stressful because swimmers know “it’s their last chance of the season to drop time in their events to qualify for the state meet,” but Pierce added: “The kids showed up ready to swim on Thursday and it was nice to see hard work pay off for them.”
Pat Pakkarato took the Region 12 title in the boys 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly. Arthur Hawks struck gold and was the Region 12 champ in the 100-yard backstroke. Hawks landed in fifth place with the 100-yard butterfly. Brendan Moore snapped up second place in the boys 100-yard breaststroke.
Pierce declared Josie Wakefield was ironically, “on fire.” She “dropped over 10 seconds in her 200 freestyle and almost four seconds in her 100 backstroke,” Pierce said. Wakefield took third in the girls 100-yard backstroke and fifth in the 200-yard freestyle.
Camron Stotz picked up fourth in the 200-yard freestyle and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle. Dallin Stucki earned fourth place in the boys 100-yard backstroke.
Fifth place in the girls 100-yard backstroke went to Zoe Warren, Kyla Jackman took the fifth spot in the girls 100-yard breaststroke, fifth place in the boys 100-yard butterfly went to Hawks, and Moore picked up fifth place in the 100-yard freestyle. Sixth place in the girls 500-yard freestyle belonged to Aly Bertoch.
“The ‘A’ relays for both the boys and girls continue to drop time,” Pierce said. As a team, Hawks, Stotz, Pakkarato and Stryder Young locked up second place in the boys 400-yard free relay. Wakefield, Warren, Jackman and Kiersten Kimmerle earned third place in the girls 400-yard free relay.
“We will submit our entries for the 3A championship meet this Tuesday [Jan. 28] and then wait to see how many kids qualify for the meet by Thursday,” Pierce said.
The USHAA State Championship is set for Feb. 7-8 at Utah Valley University in Orem.