The Grand County High School swimming team continues to improve upon its previous best times, setting 26 personal bests and another seven season bests at the Tooele Invitational, which took place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15.
The boys team placed fifth overall, third among schools in the 2A/3A division, scoring 195 points. Host Tooele scored 262.5, while Emery scored 252, Millard scored 227 and Stansbury scored 221.
Grand County High School (GCHS) senior Braxten Pierce led the Red Devils, contributing 40 points to the team score with two individual wins in addition to participating in two relays. Pierce won the 200-yard freestyle with a season-best 1:54.10. He also won the 500-yard freestyle at 5:18.88.
Sophomore Pat Pakkarato also had a prolific meet, pitching in 33 points, placing second in the 100-yard butterfly at 1:00.40, and third in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:09.88. Senior Corbin Arbon had a hand in 24 points, placing fourth in the 50-yard freestyle at 24.50, and ninth in the 100-yard freestyle at 56.28. Senior Connor Ainge placed 12th in both the 100-yard freestyle (57.93), and the 200-yard freestyle (2:12.71).
“The men’s team had a great meet this weekend,” GCHS swimming coach Brian Pierce said. “As a whole they swam really well together.”
Coach Pierce said he continued to try swimmers in events they hadn’t previously swam, including senior Trayken Robertson in the 100-yard butterfly. Robertson placed 15th in the event at 1:15.35.
“Trayken Robertson did an outstanding job swimming the 100 butterfly for us for his first time ever,” coach Pierce said. “The 100 fly is definitely one of the harder events to swim. You have to have a lot of timing, strength and endurance for that event. We will use him again in that event in the future.”
The boys took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay at 1:40.20 with the combination of Arbon, Pakkarato, Ainge and Pierce. In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Pierce, Pakkarato, Ainge and freshman Arthur Hawks placed fifth at 3:48.21. Hawks also impressed in the 100-yard backstroke, taking ninth at 1:09.90.
The girls swimming team placed 11th in Tooele, scoring 47 points. Host Tooele won the event with 395 points, followed by Emery in second at 322 points, and Carbon in third at 311 points.
“The women’s team is still quite young, but getting better each meet,” coach Pierce said.
Kiersten Kimmerle placed 15th in the 50-yard freestyle at 32.37, and 16th in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:25.58.
“Kiersten Kimmerle worked hard in practice this week and it showed,” coach Pierce said, adding that she dropped almost four tenths of a second off her personal best.
Right behind Kimmerle in the 50-yard freestyle was Grace Johnston in 16th at 32.49. Aly Bertoch placed 29th in the event at 35.46. In the 100-yard backstroke, Josie Wakefield placed 10th at 1:18.64.
The Red Devil swimmers are scheduled to compete head-to-head with Emery in Castle Dale on Thursday, Dec. 20, beginning at 3:30 p.m., which is their final meet of 2018. They return to their home pool for a multi-team meet on January 4, 2019.
Red Devils set 33 personal bests
“As a whole they swam really well together.”