The Grand County High School swimming team placed in the middle of the pack in both the boys and girls divisions at the Cedar City January Invitational, which took place on Friday, Jan. 12, and Saturday, Jan. 13.
In the boys division, Grand scored 60 points for a seventh-place finish, while the girls scored 45 points for an eighth-place finish. Host Cedar City won the boys division with 324 points, while Bountiful won the girls division with 256 points. The boys finished ahead of region rival Richfield, while the girls finished two spots behind the Wildcats. Grand swimming coach Brian Pierce said each of the other schools at the meet was of 4A or higher classification.
Grand’s standout performer was Mary Kimmerle, who placed second in the 500-yard freestyle at 6:01.87; and third in the 200-yard freestyle at 2:11.18.
Kimmerle was also part of two relay events for Grand, swimming the anchor leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay behind Brooklin Hugentobler, Kiersten Kimmerle and Mona Taylor (ninth place, 2:05.25), and the 400-yard freestyle relay behind the same three swimmers, albeit in different order (10th place, 4:41.27).
Taylor finished 14th in the 100-yard freestyle at 1:09.58, while in the 50-yard freestyle, Hugentobler placed 23rd (30.29), Taylor finished 24th (30.50) and Grace Johnston placed 25th (30.52). Josie Wakefield placed 16th in the 100-yard backstroke (1:19.72) and Kyla Jackman placed 18th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:29.29).
For the boys, Braxten Pierce finished less than half a second out of first place in the 200-yard freestyle, swimming a second-place 1:56.81 behind Cedar City’s Wyatt Kjar’s 1:56.44. Corbin Arbon had a pair of top-10 finishes, taking eighth in the 100-yard freestyle (57.45) and ninth in the 50-yard freestyle (25.45). Alex Lacy joined him with an eighth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke (1:09.10) and a ninth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly (1:06.08). Tyler Moreau finished ahead of Lacy in sixth in the backstroke (1:08.87).
Arbon, Lacy and Moreau joined Connor Ainge for the 200-yard freestyle relay (eighth place, 1:46.59) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (eighth place, 3:58.63). In the 100-yard breaststroke individual event, Dallin Stucki placed 15th at 1:22.38.
“We had some good swims,” Brian Pierce said. “We always do in Cedar. That’s why we like going there.”
Brian Pierce said the team collected a total of 20 personal bests from swimmers such as Wakefield and Jackman for the girls and Lacy and Moreau for the boys. He said that for the rest of the season, the team’s focus will be putting swimmers in individual races where they have the best chance to qualify for state.
“We swam this meet for individual races, not so much relays,” he said. “We’re focusing on getting kids qualified for state. The theory is the better your competition is, the better you swim.”
Grand is next scheduled to swim at Carbon on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 3:30 p.m., which is the final meet before the Region 15 Championship meet on Thursday, Jan. 25, in Castle Dale.
Red Devils finish middle of the pack in both divisions