Using first-place points to combat overall depth, Ogden managed a one-point first-day lead over two-time defending champion Murray in the 3A girls' state high school swimming meet Friday at BYU.
Meanwhile, the two-time defending champion Murray males were having no problems posting an early - and substantial - margin over all comers in the the 3A boys' meet, which is being conducted simultaneously.The two meets conclude today, with the remainder of the finals set to begin at 5 p.m.
"The first day always sets the tone," said Ogden Coach Mick Mikolash of the Tigers girls' performances. "We should take four more golds tomorrow, while Murray is going to take a lot of seconds and thirds with their depth. It's going to be a dogfight."
Murray's Larry Swim, the coach with the apropos name, agreed. "In the girls, it's just going to be a fight down to the end."
However, in the boys' 3A team competition, Murray built up a 26-point lead after Friday's finals, with the Spartans earning 78 points to Springville's 52 and Cedar's 46.
Judge and Cedar leaped to early leads. However, Murray's 24-point performance in the boys' 200 IM - a second by Gary Horton and a fourth by Derek Fonnesbeck - put the Spartans on top, where they stayed through the remainder of the evening.
And speaking of the boys' 200 IM, South Summit's Bryce Maxell took top honors with a time of 2:02.56, beating Horton by .11 seconds. Although South Summit isn't a 3A school, any 1A or 2A competitors must step up and join the 3A ranks for state competition.
Ogden's Alissa Tribe successfully defended her individual title in the 50 free, with her 25.45 time edging the 25.75 posted by Carbon's Tina Gentry. And Tiger teammate Monae Marshall won the other individual crown for Ogden, edging Springville's Amyee Hatfield by more than 3 seconds in the 200 IM.
The closest finish of the day was the boys' 50 free - where only one-hundredth of a second separated first and second. Springville's John Bate took first with a time of 22.08, just .01 better than Murray's Paul Cazier and .4 ahead of Springville's Bruce Lewis.
In the day's relay event, the 200-yard medley, Murray took first in both the boys' and girls' competition, with Ogden second in the girls and Judge second in the boys. The girls' squad of Venessa Barton, Katrina Hawkins, Becky Kester and Julie McCallister finished in 2:00.85, while Cazier swam a rallying anchor leg for Spartan teammates Horton, Fonnesbeck and Dan Sedar.
In other individual events, Bear River sophomore Dannette Daniels won the girls' diving finals by a 27-point margin over runner-up Melinda Scott of Uintah, and Kristen Prier earned a first-ever individual championship for West as she claimed a 5-second winning margin with a time of 2:00.95 in the 200 freestyle.
The state swimming championships are co-sponsored by the Utah High School Activities Association and First Security Bank.