PROVO — Skyline entered the 4A state swimming championships as the defending champion for both the boys and girls sides. And unless other teams step up in big ways on Saturday, the Eagles will likely stand as two-time defending state champions come next year.
Through four events on Friday at Brigham Young University, Skyline holds big leads in both competitions. The boys dominated throughout, garnering 152.5 total points, more than doubling Highland (72), its nearest competitor.
As for the girls, a late surge in the 50-yard freestyle event helped the Eagles compile 132.5 points, a full 47.5 ahead of Highland (85.)
"I'm very pleased with how things went today," said Skyline coach Joe Pereira. "But we know this thing is far from over. There's some very good teams we're competing against and we need to make sure we don't let up tomorrow because we know our competition won't."
Highlighting the boys side, Skyline's Adam Shelton won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.02 seconds, and the 200-yard medley relay team of Will Newbold, Cole Jackman, Alex Zini and Mathew Beseris, also won gold in the meet's first competition of the day.
The girls competition was relatively tight until the final 50-yard freestyle, in which Skyline managed first-, fifth- and seventh-place finishes to gain significant distance in the combined point total.
Taking the 50-yard gold medal for Skyline was sophomore Aleah Griffin, who came out of lane two to swim a winning time of 24.90.
"She's a great closer," Pereira said of Griffin. "So if we can get her out fast, it's tough to beat her coming home and that was the case in today's race."
Other standouts for the girls included the Kearns 200-yard medley relay team which took the gold with a time of 1:51.51, East's Meghan Rainier winning the 200-yard freestyle (1:54.02) and Maple Mountain's Makayla Cazier taking down the 200-yard individual medley with a personal best of 2:05.67.
"I beat my best time by about four seconds, so I couldn't be happier," Cazier said. "I knew I swam a really good race, but when I looked and saw my time I was a bit surprised but so happy."
Cazier lost out in the same race as a freshman last year to Highland's Zoe Phillips, but turned the tables this year, even though Phillips managed to improve her gold medal-winning time of last year by about a third of a second.
"I love Zoe and have looked up to her a lot," Cazier said. "She's always pushed me to be better, even though we aren't teammates, and beating her is really an amazing thing for me because she's such a great swimmer."
Other gold medalists for the boys on Friday were Timpanogos' Anthony Puertas, who won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:57.39 and Box Elder's Jaron Nelson, who won the 200-yard freestyle with a very impressive time of 1:40.92.
"I wanted the state record, and didn't quite get there, but I couldn't be happier with how I swam today," Nelson, who beat his nearest competition by almost two and a half seconds, said. "I expected to win, but probably not by as much as I did."
Nelson is a senior and is more than happy to swim his best time going out.
"I stepped up from last year, worked hard, so this is something I'm real happy about," Nelson said. "As a team we had a good day, so we're all hoping to keep it going tomorrow."
The final day of competition for the 4A swimming championships will begin Saturday at 3 p.m. at BYU.
4A state swimming meet
Girls 4A results (through 4 events)
200-yard medley relay: 1. Kearns (Kimerly Biesinger, Lily Plaudis, Harley Hamlin, Deja Martz), 1:51.51; 2. Skyline, 1:51.77; 3. Corner Canyon, 1:53.84; 4. Judge Memorial, 1:54.88; 5. Highland, 1:57.01; 6. Wasatch, 1:57.05; 7. Woods Cross, 1:58.04; 8. Maple Mountain, 1:58.82
200-yard freestyle: 1. Meghan Rainier, East, 1:54.02; 2. Claire Brooks, Skyline, 1:57.32; 3. India Phillips, Highland, 2:00.73; 4. Arden Tesch, Highland, 2:00.89; 5. Kiki Karahalios, Skyline, 2:02.32; 6. Shelby Bulkley, Payson, 2:03.05; 7. Ashley Pickford, Corner Canyon, 2:03.12; 8. Kimerly Biesinger, Kearns, 2:04.52
200-yard individual medley: 1. Makayla Cazier, Maple Mountain, 2:05.67; 2. Zoe Phillips, Highland, 2:06.36; 3. Lily Plaudis, Kearns, 2:11.47; 4. Madelyn Flower, Murray, 2:12.89; 5. Caroline Yannelli, Judge Memorial, 2:17.52; 6. Erin Morgan, Judge Memorial, 2:18.74; 7. Gabrielle Ciet, Hillcrest, 2:20.15; 8. Sabrina Schum, Alta, 2:21.21
50-yard freestyle: 1. Aleah Griffin, Skyline, 24.90; 2. Claire Kieffer, Wasatch, 25.21; 3. Ashley Scott, Alta, 25.33; 4. Abby Hendricks, Wasatch, 25.56; 5. Bailey Bills, Skyline, 25.58; 6. Kali Barlow, Corner Canyon, 25.81; 7. Shelby Dibble, Skyline, 25.98; 8. Emma Harlan, Maple Mountain, 26.13
Team standings: 1. Skyline, 132.5 points; 2. Highland, 85; 3. Kearns, 78; 4. Judge Memorial, 66; 5. Corner Canyon, 62; 6. Wasatch, 60.5; 7. Maple Mountain, 53; 8. Murray, 33
Boys 4A results (through 4 events)
200-yard medley relay: 1. Skyline (Will Newbold, Cole Jackman, Alex Zini, Mathew Beseris), 1:38.41; 2. Highland, 1:40.86; 3. Box Elder, 1:41.84; 4. Timpview, 1:42.44; 5. Salem Hills, 1:42.71; 6. Uintah, 1:43.44; 7. Hillcrest, 1:43.83; 8. East, 1:44.12
200-yard freestyle: 1. Jaron Nelson, Box Elder, 1:40.92; 2. Chad Patterson, Wasatch, 1:43.33; 3. Will Newbold, Skyline, 1:44.84; 4. Austin Snow, Kearns, 1:48.23; 5. Parker Gardner, Skyline, 1:48.66; 6. Nick Pryor, Highland, 1:48.83; 7. Jacob Anderson, Springville, 1:48.94; 8. Blake Pearson, Kearns, 1:49.31
200-yard individual medley: 1. Anthony Puertas, Timpanogos, 1:57.39; 2. Wyatt Graham, Salem Hills, 2:00.04; 3. Cole Jackman, Skyline, 2:01.34; 4. Jack Swanson, East, 2:01.44; 5. Talmage Corey, Olympus, 2:01.99; 6. Alex Gilson, Corner Canyon, 2:02.38; 7. Mitchell Neuenschwander, Woods Cross, 2:04.72; 8. Nathan Van Buren, East, 2:04.72
50-yard freestyle: 1. Adam Shelton, Skyline, 21.02; 2. Josh Skabelund, Timpview, 21.24; 3. Brigham Harrison, Timpview, 21.56; 4. Patrick Nordstrom, Highland, 21.90; 5. Luke Glissmeyer, Woods Cross, 21.96; 6. Mathew Beseris, Skyline, 22.26; 7. Erick Mosteller, Skyline, 22.67; 8. Bennett Harvey, Provo, 22.69; 8. Ian James, Wasatch, 22.69
Team standings: 1. Skyline, 152.5; 2. Highland, 72; 3. Timpview, 63; 4. Box Elder, 58; 5. East, 48; 6. Kearns, 47; 7. Salem Hills, 45; 8. Wasatch, 38