We were cautiously optimistic because we knew we had a lot of guys that were coming of age and they’ve really been working hard this season. —Desert Hills coach Shawn King
BOUNTIFUL — The big question coming into the high school swim season was could the Park City girls hang with 4A competition. The Miners, perennially strong in 3A, left little doubt they belonged, winning all four of the girls events contested Friday at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful.
The Miners charged from the blocks to win the 200-yard medley relay (Helena Djunic, Jessie Beyer, Katie Hale and Elise Beller), the 200-yard free (Helena Djunic), 200 IM (Elise Beller) and the 50-free (Katie Hale).
“I think moving up to 4A was something we struggled with all year,” Park City coach Mike Werner said. “The kids weren’t sure but we kept telling them every practice counts, every meet counts and you have to be willing to go because this is a whole new ball game.”
The Miners have a definitive lead over Desert Hills, 138-89.5, heading into Saturday’s finals.
Right from the start Park City looked locked in. The meet opened with the 200-meter medley relay and after trailing at the halfway mark, Katie Hale floored it on the breaststroke and Elise Beller swam the freestyle leg on a relay that broke the 4A record.
“We weren’t too worried about winning, we were aiming at the 4A record,” Hale said. “I’m just so proud of us as a team and relay and this started us off the right way.”
Hale later won the 50-free, while teammate Beller took the 200 IM title by over three seconds.
“I think we were all incredibly nervous about today because we were 3A last year,” Beller said. “Everyone was nervous about that but we all knew that we had put the work in.”
Like Park City, Desert Hills erupted from the start of the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. The quartet of Payton Plumb, Talon Shakespear, Ashton Anderson and Trevor Larson finished .12 in front of Juan Diego.
Larson, the anchor of that relay, put his arm in a sling immediately following the race to rest a torn labrum he’s been swimming with all season.
“Our mindset was it was going to be a tough race, we were only .02 seconds ahead of the next competition,” Larson said. “Everyone swam well but our breast-stroker, Talon Shakespear swam really well and won that race for us.”
The Thunder have never won a state swim competition but appear poised to bring home a title, holding a 121-83 lead over Mountain Crest.
“We were cautiously optimistic because we knew we had a lot of guys that were coming of age and they’ve really been working hard this season,” Desert Hills coach Shawn King said.
The Thunder got a big boost when sophomore Plumb captured a state title in the 200 IM.
“Early in the year the kid’s kind of committed to contending for a state title,” Kind said. “They told us they were going to be there for each other and they’ve been grinding through some hard stuff down there and trying to establish the right mentality.”
Herriman junior Ryan Bunn captured his second state title in the 200-free with a time of 1:43.62. Mountain Crest senior Cade Black won the 50-free title with a time of 21.54.
Action resumes Saturday morning in Bountiful.
4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At South Davis Rec Center
Boys Team Scores
1. Desert Hills, 121; 2. Mountain Crest, 83; 3. Juan Diego, 69; 4. Cedar, 61; 5. Park City, 61; 6. Lehi, 59; 7. Sky View, 44; 8. Spanish Fork, 43.
200 Medley Relay — 1. Desert Hills (Payton Plumb, Talon Shakespear, Ashton Anderson, Trevor Larson). 2. Juan Diego, 1:40.38; 3. Lehi, 1:40.47; 4. Cedar, 1:40.92; 5. Sky View, 1:42.28; 6. Mountain Crest, 1:42.36
200 Free — 1. Ryan Bunn, Hurricane, 1:43.62; 2. Austin Butler, Spanish Fork, 1:45.64; 3. Darwin Anderson, Sky View, 1:46.15; 4. Jack Troxel, Park City, 1:46.89; 5. Nic Tronson, Park City, 1:46.89; 6. Tate Jensen, Mountain Crest, 1:49.43.
200 Individual Medley — 1. Payton Plumb, Desert Hills, 1:56.32; 2. Cole Peterson, Park City, 1:58.52; 3. Alec Chournos, Bear River, 1:59.37; 4. Alexander Gustat, Juan Diego; 5. Garrett Dotson, Cedar, 2:02.93; 6. Jason Pittard, Lehi, 2:03.92.
50 Free — 1. Cade Black, Mountain Crest, 21.54; 2. Dennis Djunic, Park City, 21.77; 3. Ashton Anderson, Desert Hills, 21.91; 4. Keegan Wawrzyniak, Desert Hills, 21.92; 5. Carson Talbot, Uintah, 22.14; 6. Noah Ashton, Desert Hills, 22.20.
Girls Team Scores
1. Park City, 138; 2. Desert Hills, 89.5; 3. Sky View, 74; 4. Orem, 66; 5. Snow Canyon, 59; 6. Lehi, 58; 7. Ridgeline, 45; 8. Cedar, 42.5.
200 Medley Relay — 1. Park City (Helena Djunic, Jessi Beyer, Katie Hale, Elise Beller), 1:49.05; 2. Desert Hills, 1:51.84; 3. Orem, 1:52.30; 4. Sky View, 1:53.50; 5. Lehi, 1:54.78; 6. Cedar, 1:56.22.
200 Free — 1. Helena Kjunic, Park City, 1:53.76; 2. Megan Brimhall, Sky View, 1:57.28; 3. Kaylee Richards, Lehi, 1:58.56; 4. Trinity Schimbeck, Desert Hills, 1:59.78; 5. Danica Butler, Spanish Fork, 2:00.11; 6. Hailey Checketts, Ridgeline, 2:00.68.
200 Individual Medley — 1. Elise Beller, Park City, 2:09.16; 2. Addison Richards, Orem, 2:12.93; 3. Stephanie Dansie, Snow Canyon, 2:13.99; 4. Sarah Hansen, Desert Hills, 2:14.96; 5. Rachel Johansen, Lehi, 2:15.03; 6. Millie Miggin, Green Canyon, 2:16.46.
50 Free — 1. Katie Hale, Park City, 24.13; 2. Leah Gale, Orem, 24.62; 3. Mya Ottenschot, Desert Hills, 24.95; 4. Abby Whittington, Juan Diego, 25.06; 5. Lexi Stimpson, Sky View, 25.18; 6. Aspen Bonzo, Cedar, 25.20.