PROVO — Two full days of competition. Nine of 11 events in the books. It all came down to two young sophomores for Viewmont Saturday at the 5A swimming championships.
Twin sisters Mariah and Mckenna Gassaway approached the starting blocks for the 100-yard breaststroke with a state championship hanging in the balance. Their team held a slight lead over Lone Peak entering the race, and a strong finish by both would seal the Vikings' win. A substandard performance would put the championship up for grabs entering the 400-yard freestyle relay — the final race of the competition.
Were they nervous?
"Oh, they were nervous. There were almost tears before they got up there because they knew they had to perform or we might get beat," answered Viewmont coach Steve Doman. "But we believed in both of them. We knew going in that it might come down to both of them and we liked our chances if that was the case."
Indeed, Doman's belief in the young twins was validated when Mariah touched the wall first with a time of 1:04.23. Mckenna ended up about 1 1/2 seconds behind to finish third.
Meet over. Championship secured.
"It was such an amazing feeling after the race knowing that we did it," Mariah said. "I was so thankful to do it with my sister there by me. I'm just so happy right now because we did it. We came through. We all came through today."
As one could imagine, the twins are pretty competitive, and taking second to a twin sister can be a bittersweet experience.
"I love it, but I also hate racing against my sister," Mckenna said. "It's great competition for me, but we're obviously competitive against each other. I didn't have my best race today, but I'm so happy for Mariah and for the team."
Mckenna didn't have much time to rest following the race with the 400-yard freestyle relay next up. She swam the second leg in that race and helped secure a third-place finish to give the Vikings the championship with 305 team points to Lone Peak's 293. Brighton finished third with 239.5.
While it was the twins who sealed the championship, it took the entire team to make it happen.
"We didn't have a lot of girls win, but we always placed high and all three relay teams really pulled through," Doman said. "I'm just so proud of every single one of them for the work they've put in, the obstacles they've overcome, and it's just an amazing feeling right now."
Nine is enough
If you enter the state championships with just nine swimmers you need all of them to perform. Fortunately for Brighton, it got just that from one of the smaller groups Bengal coach Todd Etherington has ever fielded for a state championship meet.
Brighton took the boys championship Saturday with 248.5 combined points. Lehi (219) took second, Lone Peak (211) third and Viewmont (210) fourth.
"This was one of the smallest, if not the smallest, groups I've ever brought here and to win it we had to have every single one of them pull through," Etherington said. "All nine of them stepped up and did exactly what we needed to win today. I'm proud of their effort and it's great to win another championship for Brighton."
When asked which specific swimmers stepped up most, Etherington was at a loss for words.
"I really can't pinpoint one, two or even three guys among the nine of them," he said. "It seriously took all nine of them equally to get this done and I really can't think of one's contribution that was greater than the other."
Indeed, Brighton punctuated its team effort with the final race of the meet — the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Bengals' relay team of Brian O'Neal, Kyle Hibler, Tyler Barrett and Brock Harries took first with a time of 3:15.66 — outdistancing second-place Lone Peak by almost three full seconds.
Bingham freshman brings home the gold
Fourteen-year-old freshman Lizzie Holmes hasn't yet attended Bingham High School, but she's already secured a state championship for the school.
The freshman won the state diving championship Saturday with a total score of 221.65 points. Cottonwood's Reagan Callaway (194.20) took second and Rowland Hall's Angela Foley (177.30) third.
"It was a really cool experience for me and I was so excited to hear my name called as the state champion," Holmes said. "I've worked real hard to get here and I hope I can do it some more."
She'll certainly have plenty of opportunities to do it some more with three years of eligibility remaining.
Lone Peak's Kimble Mahler won the boys diving championship.
Girls 5A championship results
100-yard Butterfly: 1. Katie Smith, Lone Peak, 56.05; 2. Autumn Wolfgram, West, 57.09; 3. Hannah Hansen, Lehi, 58.84; 4. Grace Goddard, West, 59.61; 5. Marah Smith, Viewmont, 1:00.32; 6. McKenna King, American Fork, 1:00.55; 7. Grace Kroll, Bingham, 1:01.25; 8. Anna Graft, Brighton, 1:01.86
100-yard Freestyle: 1. Claire Jackson, Hunter, 53.55; 2. Maddie Christensen, Riverton, 54.91; 3. Emma Fruehan, Lone Peak, 55.10; 4. Kelly Burnham, Viewmont, 55.93; 5. Jentry McGregor, Westlake, 55.96; 6. Miranda Graves, American Fork, 56.72; 7. Mikell Rapp, Viewmont, 56.92; 8. Hailee Wiest, Brighton, 57.18
500-yard Freestyle: 1. Samantha Patterson, Lone Peak, 5:20.50; 2. Sam Buker, American Fork, 5:21.55; 3. Grace Goddard, West, 5:25.45; 4. Katy Daggett, Brighton, 5:30.27; 5. Madi Ramos, Viewmont, 5:31.16; 6. Jordan Verdejo, Lone Peak, 5:33.36; 7. Hannah Roberts, Bingham, 5:34.37; 8. Hannah Edwards, Brighton, 5:34.49
200-yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Viewmont (Mariah Gassaway, Mckenna Gassaway, Mikell Rapp, Sienna Smith) 1:40.88; 2. Hunter (Claire Jackson, Shae Simonson, Chelsea Weaver, Mikayla Bambrick) 1:43.03; 3. Westlake (Kenzie Ford, Amber Dock, Madeline Lauder, Jentry McGregor) 1:43.44; 4. Lone Peak (Samantha Patterson, Sarah Pulham, Jordan Verdejo, Emma Fruehan) 1:44.55; 5. Brighton (Hailee Wiest, Olivia Nelson, Hannah Edwards, McKenna Huntzinger) 1:45.05; 6. Jordan (Maddie Hill, Haley Wiese, Rhylee Faris, Sydney Hyer) 1:45.57; 7. West (Lauren Treiman, Yuxiao Wei, Julia Sherman, Elmira Sperling) 1:46.39; 8. Herriman (Courtney Scott, Erinn Smalley, Ciarra Green, Keira Daily) 1:46.40
100-yard Backstroke: 1. Abbey Sorensen, Riverton, 56.97; 2. Amelia Wolfgram, West, 58.12; 3. Elise Struthers, Lehi, 59.76; 4. Grace Kroll, Bingham, 1:00.48; 5. Natalie Davis, Lone Peak, 1:01.22; 6. McKenna King, American Fork, 1:01.28; 7. Rachel Wedge, Alta, 1:01.72; 8. Rachel Anders, Cottonwood, 1:02.23
100-yard Breaststroke: 1. Mariah Gassaway, Viewmont, 1:04.23; 2. Hannah Hansen, Lehi, 1:05.29; 3. Mckenna Gassaway, Viewmont, 1:05.95; 4. Ciera Orr, Bingham, 1:08.61; 5. Sam Buker, American Fork, 1:10.92; 6. Sarah Pulham, Lone Peak, 1:11.07; 7. Ava Binder, Brighton, 1:12.28; 8. Madeline Lauder, Westlake, 1:12.39
400-yard Freestyle Relay: 1. West (Autumn Wolfgram, Lauren Treiman, Grace Goddard, Amelia Wolfgram) 3:37.09; 2. Lone Peak (Jordan Verdejo, Natalie Davis, Samantha Patterson, Katie Smith) 3:38.54; 3. Viewmont (Marah Smith, Mckenna Gassaway, Kelly Burnham, Mikell Rapp) 3:40.53; 4. Bingham (Grace Kroll, Hannah Roberts, Ciera Orr, Liesel Bradshaw) 3:45.93; 5. American Fork (Miranda Graves, Shelby Graves, Sam Buker, McKenna King) 3:46.96; 6. Hunter (Claire Jackson, Shae Smonson, Chelsea Weaver, Mikayla Bambrick) 3:47.64; 7. Brighton (Hannah Edwards, Anna Graf, Olivia Nelson, Katy Daggett) 3:47.91; 8. Riverton (Abbey Sorensen, Bailey Hutchings, Brooke Lyon, Maddie Christensen) 3:48.16
Boys 5A championship results
100-yard Butterfly: 1. Jonathan Shawgo, Westlake, 51.79; 2. Brian O’Neal, Brighton, 52.88; 3. Hunter Neal, Copper Hills, 53.65; 4. Parker Wiest, Brighton, 54.78; 5. Christian Hogan, Viewmont, 54.80; 6. Jannik Dosch, Lehi, 56.09; 7. Devin Rencher, Viewmont, 56.26; 8. William Purdy, West, 56.38
100-yard Freestyle: 1. Steven Okelberry, American Fork, 47.10; 2. Regie Topham, Herriman, 47.17; 3. Brock Harries, Brighton, 47.57; 4. Andrew Anderson, Cottonwood, 48.37; 5. Aaron Cookson, Pleasant Grove, 48.98; 6. Hunter Neal, Copper Hills, 49.54; 7. Collin Horrocks, Bingham, 49.77; 8. Cade Rasmussen, Viewmonth, 50.00
500-yard Freestyle: 1. Ethan Pollock, American Fork, 4:41.21; 2. Drew Bonner, Viewmont, 4:48.30; 3. Kyle Darling, Hunter, 4:51.00; 4. Jacob Bushman, Riverton, 4:51.93; 5. Kade Hunter, Lone Peak, 4:55.59; 6. Spencer Kyle, Bingham, 5:03.15; 7. Brayden Corbridge, Hunter, 5:03.26; 8. Jayden Howell, Riverton, 5:04.52
200-yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Brighton (Brock Harries, Kyle Hibler, Tyler Barrett, Brian O’Neal) 1:28.35; 2. Lone Peak (Parker Freeman, Joseph Walker, Ryan Mickleson, Kade Hunter) 1:29.77; 3. Herriman (Regie Topham, Josh Leigh, Brayden Carlson, Donovan Feist) 1:30.21; 4. Lehi (John Morris, Ty Johnson, Landon Greenwood, Jannik Dosch) 1:30.97; 5. Hunter (Seth Kohler, Jaxzen Corbridge, Brayden Corbridge, Kyle Darling) 1:32.13; 6. Copper Hills (Braden Jensen, David Eisert, Spencer Thurman, Hunter Neal) 1:32.34; 7. Viewmont (Sam Purdy, Shad Wojciechowski, Taylor Shepherd, Drew Bonner) 1:33.29; 8. Fremont (Ryan Mayer, Tanner Wade, Trevor Allen, Matthew Roos) 1:33.70
100-yard Backstroke: 1. Levi Lassig, Herriman, 53.02; 2. Tyler Barrett, Brighton, 54.58; 3. William Purdy, West, 55.60; 4. Lex Clark, Brighton, 56.03; 5. Ty Johnson, Lehi, 56.24; 6. Alec Huff, Lehi, 56.55; 7. Grant Roberts, Bingham, 56.58; Collin Cribbs, Taylorsville, 57.46
100-yard Breaststroke: 1. Parker Freeman, Lone Peak, 59.79; 2. Jonah Simon, Cottonwood, 1:01.05; 3. Tyler Blackburn, Lehi, 1:01.47; 4. Spencer Dew, Lone Peak, 1:01.69; 5. Donovan Feist, Herriman, 1:02.32; 6. Ben Halls, Davis, 1:03.01; 7. Peter Nelson, Bingham, 1:03.23; 8. James Thompson, Layton, 1:03.48
400-yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Brighton (Brian O'Neal, Kyle Hibler, Tyler Barrett, Brock Harries) 3:15.66; 2. Lone Peak (Ryan Mickelson, Kevin Hamilton, Parker Freeman, Kade Hunter) 3:18.33; 3. Lehi (John Morris, Ty Johnson, Gavin Doel, Tyler Blackburn) 3:19.88; 4. American Fork (Rodrigo Merino, Jerimiah Harding, Ethan Pollock, Steven Okelberry) 3:20.27; 5. Viewmont (Cade Rasmussen, Shad Wojciechowski, Christian Hogan, Drew Bonner) 3:21.00; 6. Cottonwood (Andrew Anderson, Christopher Ferrin, Caleb Roundy, Jonah Simon) 3:21.05; 7. Hunter (Seth Kohler, Jaxzen Corbridge, Brayden Corbridge, Kyle Darling) 3:22.70; 8. Bingham (Peter Nelson, Spencer Kyle, Grant Roberts, Collin Horrocks) 3:22.99
Email: email@example.com Twitter: @BrandonCGurney
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company