MURRAY East High swimming stars Shelby Bull and Winifred Lau both took one for their team Tuesday morning.
Bull, a highly-decorated senior who has won a number of individual and relay state-championship medals, and Lau, a precocious sophomore who won twice individually at state last year, are among the very best prep swimmers in Utah and will star at next week's 4A championship meet.
However, with their team attempting to get as many swimmers qualified for state as possible at the Region 6 meet Tuesday, Bull and Winifred willingly did what their coach asked to assist in the effort.
Swimmers may participate in two individual events and two relays or one individual event and three relays at any given meet, and East coach Mark Gray asked Bull and Lau to only swim once individually, which in turn gave more opportunities to others to qualify.
The move paid off, as East got a number of outstanding swims from its "bubble" kids, which should be enough to get several of them into state.
"We got some girls in the breaststroke that we were trying to get in. We got some girls in the back, and I believe we've got a girl in the 100 free," said Gray. "So we (met) several of our goals to try and get some of those girls qualified. That"s what we were here for, and I think those kids did a good job."
And despite using the region meet to try out other swimmers in a number of different events, East's girls team, the defending 4A champs, nonetheless emerged with a comfortable 516-404 win over second-place Murray. On the other hand, Murray rolled to a dominating win on the boys side, beating East 583-326.
Lau would've preferred to swim twice individually but pointed out she was just fine with helping her teammates.
"I don't mind because I would rather have a team accomplishment than just (a) personal (accomplishment), because the team overrides the personal," she said.
Bull, Lau and teammate Lindsay McSweeney each won once individually at the Region 6 meet, and the Leopards swept all three relays.
Murray had a number of outstanding swims to finish second, and Highland (213 points) impressively edged out Olympus (186), Cottonwood (185), Cyprus (183) and West (169) for third place.
Individually, Olympus freshman Rachel Spencer won twice individually.
Meanwhile, Murray's boys team, on top of getting some of its bubble kids in, hoped to hone in its three relays before next week's championship showdown between themselves and Springville and Snow Canyon.
To that end, the Spartans got the job done. Murray convincingly swept all three relays on the boys side, shaving off time in two of them.
"We really wanted to drop because we really want to get our points up in those two (relays) and beat Springville," said junior Samuel Hammond. "I think we did pretty good (in the relays), and we should do better next week."
Added coach Jared Huff about dropping time in the relays: "That's something we haven"t been able to do all season, so I was glad we were able to do it here."Tyler Johnson won twice individually for Murray, and the Spartans also got one individual win each from Andrew Brinker, Hammond and Nathan Ruben.
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