Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Rowland Hall-St. Mark's Connor Barton

He didn't obsess over the fact that he has outstanding times in seven of eight individual events, or that he has the top-ranked time in five of them. What about being the leading candidate for 3A boys Swimmer of the Meet? Forget about it.

Instead, what sprang to mind when Rowland Hall senior Connor Barton was asked about his goals for the 2007-08 prep swim season was something else altogether.

To be fair, Barton first mentioned that he wants to repeat as 3A champ in the 100 fly and possibly pursue a high school All-American time. However, his thoughts quickly turned to the only event for which he isn't a championship contender — the 100-yard breast.

He's currently ranked ninth in 3A with a time of 111:14. A lot of swimmers in Utah would be thrilled with the time.

Not Barton.

"I just really want to focus on being well-rounded in all my events," he said. "I'm the worst breaststroker ever. I'm so bad. So maybe I can get a decent time in that."

Barton won't swim the 100 breast during next February's 3A state meet, but he said one of his goals this year will be to improve his breaststroke swim.

By how much?

"I'm just looking," he joked, "for a time that my friends won't make fun of me for."

The way Barton swims, don't be stunned if he manages to put up what he would deem a respectable breaststroke time by February. And once he reaches the state meet, expect the star senior to shine. Barton will lead Rowland Hall's small but stellar swim teams, as the Winged Lions attempt to do as well as they can individually and perhaps chase a fifth-place finish in 3A.

From a coach's point of view, having a star athlete is obviously a huge asset, as is having an average athlete who is a great leader.

And what if the star athlete is a great leader? Well, that's pretty much a coach's dream.

Barton fits that bill.

"It's nice to have him leading the way, not only time-wise, but he was elected to be one of the team captains," said co-head coach Sara Watchorn. "So he's taking on that role, especially at meets. He really gets the team going together, as well as Chandler Schlegel.

"It's been great that he can be our fastest swimmer and also be a good team leader."

Barton, who plans to swim collegiately, has been scoring a lots of points for Rowland Hall since he was a freshman, but it's pretty clear that this is his team now.

His thoughts on being a captain?

"It's nice to help out the team, and I think a lot of it's just I've been swimming this for so much longer than these kids, so I have lots of tips on technique that I can help out with," he said. "And with such a small team, I think the captains play an important role."


Rowland Hall swimming

There's no question that senior Connor Barton will lead the way for Rowland Hall's boys team this season, as he will probably win twice individually and will be a key cog on the two relays he participates in.

There are a trio of talented juniors — Jesse Wood, Noah Ford and Javier Peralta — that will aim to provide depth behind him.

Wood is currently ranked sixth in the 100 back.

Rowland Hall's girls team is composed of Chandler Schlegel, Adrienne Murphy, Danielle Therson and Jessa Grey.

Murphy, a freshman, is currently ranked 12th in the 100 breast.

Rowland Hall is being coached this year by Sara Watchorn, a former Rowland Hall swimmer who set the state record in the 50 free back in the '90s.

Watchorn has the title of "co-head coach" alongside Mark Gray, who is also the head coach of East High. However, Watchorn runs most of Rowland Hall's practices, giving Gray the opportunity to focus on East.


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