PROVO — With perennial swimming powerhouse Viewmont looking to repeat in both the boys' and girls' team competitions, it has a target on its back with the rest of 5A taking aim. However, after the first day of meets, the 2016 state competition looks as though it may prove different than 2015.
After the first four events Thursday at the BYU pool, Viewmont holds an extremely narrow lead over Brighton in the boys' team competition while the Bengals lead in the girls' competition.
While anything can happen on day two, the Bengals are confident and poised to not let 2016 be a repeat of 2015. After the races, Brighton head coach Todd Etherington was quick to praise his team for their solid effort Thursday night.
“The girls are doing a really nice job, they are racing very well,” he said. “We haven’t been leading after the first day in a long time so you’ve got to feel pretty good when you still have opportunities to swim.”
On the boys' side, while the team competition is a close battle, the most exciting moment of the night was a record-breaking one as Brighton’s 200 medley team broke the state record on its way to victory.
Brighton’s four-man squad of seniors Brock Harries, Parker Wiest, Brian O’Neal, and sophomore Jack Binder improved upon their 2015 time, which also won state, by nearly three full seconds to break the state record with a time of 1:34.71.
“Coming out of region, we were 0.7 seconds off the state record so we all had that in the back of our minds coming into state,” Harries said.
“We said this is our last state meet so we might as well go out with a bang and try our hardest,” Wiest added. “I think we knew we were going to get (the record) we just didn’t think it would be by that much. Over a second, that was crazy.”
In the team competition, the Vikings hold the lead thanks to solid, point-earning (the top 16 swimmers in each individual event earn at least one point) performances in each of Thursday’s races.
The 200-freestyle was big for the Vikings as Drew Bonner and Zach Julien took first and second, respectively, to give their team a solid lead. Brighton, however, cut the lead in the last two events of the night as Binder took second in the 200 IM behind Cottonwood’s Jonah Simon and O’Neal and Harries took second and third, respectively, behind Westlake’s Kimble Petersen in the 50 Freestyle.
On the girls' side, Brighton’s consistency allowed it to carry the lead into Friday thanks to an outstanding performance from freshman Rachel Butler.
Butler took first in the girls' 200 IM with a solid time of 2:08.43, beating a slew of seniors in the process. Fellow freshman Kyrie Sutherland of Fremont was close behind to take second.
In the other individual events, there were strong performances from upperclassmen, as West senior Autumn Wolfgramm blew away the competition in the 200-freestyle, winning by over two seconds while senior Kenzie Ford of Westlake won the 50 freestyle.
In the girls' 200-medley, Cottonwood’s young team came up big to upset a Viewmont team that featured three of the four girls that were on last year’s first-place team. Rachel Anders was the lone senior on the four-person squad along with sophomores Rhyan White, Katelyn Price, and Hannah Dibb.
The last leg of the 5A state championship will begin Friday at 7 p.m.
Girls team scores (through 4 events)
1. Brighton, 96. 2. Viewmont, 86. 3. West, 82. T-4. Sky View, Cottonwood 74. 6. Jordan, 55. 7. Bingham, 51. 8. Westlake, 46.
1. Cottonwood (Rhyan White, Katelyn Price, Rachel Anders, Hannah Dibb), 1:50.66. 2. Viewmont, 1:50.71. 3. Brighton, 1:52.01. 4. Sky View, 1:52.46. 5. Jordan, 1:52.96. 6. Bingham, 1:54.30. 7. Fremont, 1:56.69. 8. West, 1:58.44.
1. Autumn Wolfgram, West, 1:54.70. 2. McKenna G. King, American Fork, 1:56.78. 3. Natalie Davis, Lone Peak, 1:57.95. 4. Shelby E. Graves, American Fork, 2:00.05. 5. Emily Speth, Sky View, 2:00.69. 6. Hannah G. Roberts, Bingham, 2:01.65. 7. Millie Miggin, Sky View, 2:02.10. 8. Haley Wiese, Jordan, 2:02.65.
1. Rachel E. Butler, Brighton, 2:08.43. 2. Kyrie J. Sutherland, Fremont, 2:09.68. 3. Mariah Gassaway, Viewmont, 2:10.14. 4. Marah Smith, Viewmont, 2:10.34. 5. Kenzie Chesler, Lone Peak, 2:14.91. 6. Sydney Hyer, Jordan, 2:16.05. 7. Ava N. Binder, Brighton 2:17.92. 8. Rachel Anders, Cottonwood, 2:18.09.
1. Kenzie E. Ford, Westlake, 23.95. 2. Claire N. Jackson, Hunter, 24.27. 3. Fane Wolfgramm, West, 24.41. 4. Mckenna Gassaway, Viewmont, 24.53. 5. Katelyn Price, Cottonwood, 25.10. 6. Lexi Stimpson, Sky View, 25.37. 7. McKenna Fowler, Westlake, 25.58. 8. Emily Dixon, West, 25.81.
Boys team scores (through 4 events)
1. Viewmont, 102. 2. Brighton, 101. 3. Lone Peak, 87. 4. Cottonwood, 85. 5. Mountain Crest, 50. 6. Sky View, 45. 7. Riverton, 40. 8. Copper Hills, 35.
200 medley relay
1. Brighton (Brock Harries, Jack Binder, Parker Wiest, Brian O’Neal), 1:34.71.* 2. Cottonwood, 1:35.36. 3. Viewmont, 1:37.99. 4. Lone Peak, 1:39.60, 5. Mountain Crest, 1:39.97, 6. Sky View, 1:43.55. 7. Fremont, 1:43.84. 8. Copper Hills, 1:44.25.
1. Drew Bonner, Viewmont, 1:42.17. 2. Julien Zach, Viewmont, 1:44.82. 3. Mitchell Simmons, West, 1:46.75. 4. Devin Bunnell, Pleasant Grove, 1:46.97. 5. Christian Simon, Cottonwood, 1:47.52. 6. Jacob Bushman, Riverton, 1:48.20. 7. Dallin K. Bunnell, Pleasant Grove, 1:48.76. 8. Bryant W. Karratti, Lone Peak, 1:49.21.
1. Jonah Simon, Cottonwood, 1:56.46. 2. Jack C. Binder, Brighton, 1:57.76. 3. Spencer Dew, Lone Peak, 1:58.31. 4. Zach Sannar, Viewmont, 1:58.57. 5. Benjamin Verdejo, 2:00.00. 6. Trevor Maxfield, Riverton, 2:01.10. 7. Colin Dailey, Cottonwood, 2:01.31. 8. Payson Cunningham, Syracuse, 2:02.69.
1. Kimble R. Peterson, Westlake, 21.56. 2. Brian A. O’Neal, Brighton 21.61. 3. Brock B. Harries, Brighton, 22.10. 4. Landon Spring, Sky View, 22.32. 5. Joshua O. Ries, Lone Peak 22.35. 6. Braden Jensen, Copper Hills, 22.45. 7. Kieth Clawson, Taylorsville, 22.82. 8. Parker A. Wiest, Brighton, 22.85.