The Grand County High School swimming teams placed second in the boys division — breaking five school records — and third in the girls division at the Region 15 Swimming Championships, which took place on Thursday, Jan. 24, in Castle Dale.
Grand County High School (GCHS) senior Braxten Pierce broke records in the 100-yard butterfly and the 50-yard freestyle (swimming the first leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay), while sophomore Pat Pakkarato broke the school record in the 100-yard breaststroke. Pierce, Pakkarato and seniors Corbin Arbon and Connor Ainge broke the school record in both the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay events.
In the 100-yard butterfly, Pierce placed second at 55.44 — Emery senior Keldan Guymon took first at 53.62 — and in the first leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay, he swam a school record 23.51, helping the quartet to a winning time and school record 1:37.94, more than five seconds ahead of second place at the meet.
The same four swimmers took second in the 400-yard freestyle relay at a school record 3:35.31 (Emery took first at 3:32.37).
Pierce also swam in the 200-yard freestyle individual race, winning by nearly 10 seconds with a 1:50.87. Pakkarato’s school record time in the 100-yard breaststroke was 1:09.59, which placed him second in the meet. He also finished third in the 100-yard butterfly at 58.96.
Emery won the team title in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions. In the boys division, the Spartans scored 288.5 points, while GCHS took second at 261 and Richfield took third at 207.5. In the girls division, the Lady Spartans scored a dominant 435, while Richfield was a distant second at 248 and GCHS was third at 130 points.
The GCHS Red Devil boys also got individual contributions from Arbon and Ainge. Arbon took second in both the 50-yard freestyle at 23.84, and the 100-yard freestyle at 53.78. Ainge took third in both the 200-yard freestyle at 2:08.72, and the 500-yard freestyle at 6:16.43. The GCHS quartet of freshmen Arthur Hawks and Brendan Moore, and senior Alex Lacy and junior Dallin Stucki swam in the 200-yard medley relay, placing fourth at 2:00.77.
The girls had most of their scoring success in relays, placing third in both freestyle distances and fourth in the medley. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, juniors Kiersten Kimmerle and Josie Wakefield, sophomore Neelie Relph and freshman Zoe Campbell swam a 2:08.76.
In the 400-yard freestyle relay, freshmen Aly Bertoch, Leilani Kennedy and Campbell, and senior Sadie Farnsworth swam a 5:22.75. Kimmerle, Wakefield, Relph and senior Izzy Becerra swam together in the medley, clocking in at 2:28.80.
Kimmerle had top-five finishes in both of her individual events, taking fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:25.26, and fifth in the 50-yard freestyle at 30.23. Wakefield had a top-five finish also, taking fourth in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:14.80. She also took eighth in the 200-yard freestyle at 2:40.28.
The GCHS wrestling team competed against Carbon in Moab on Thursday, Jan. 26, winning four of the five matches wrestled for a 24-6 score. Seniors on the team were honored prior to the match.
The wrestling team will compete at the 3A Divisionals at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2, while the UHSAA Utah State 3A Swimming Championships are scheduled to take place on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Brigham Young University in Provo.
GCHS breaks five school records in pool; Wrestlers honored at senior night