SALT LAKE CITY — The state swim meet is back in familiar confines.
A complete renovation of BYU’s Richards Building pool last year forced the 6A, 5A, 4A and 3A state meets to be held at smaller sites. This week the excitement returns to BYU.
The 3A state meet is a one-day event slated for Thursday, while the 6A, 5A and 4A meets span two days on Friday and Saturday.
The usual suspects of contenders will be in the hunt for state titles once again, but perhaps the biggest stories will come from individual pursuit of state records.
Three swimmers in particular will be looking to break the overall state record in their specialty this weekend, including two who are looking to lower their own record.
Among them is Lone Peak’s Jordan Tiffany. Two weeks ago at the Region 4 championships, the junior broke the 100 butterfly state record which was set by Brighton’s Long Gutierrez back in 2013.
Before Gutierrez famously went on to swim for Mexico in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, he set the Utah fly record with a time of 48.68. Tiffany edged him at the Region meet with a time of 48.66.
Tiffany might lower that time this weekend at BYU, but he’s also closing in on the 200 individual medley state record as well. He posted the third-best time in state history (1:52.31) at the Region 4 meet, and is within striking distance of Jake Taylor’s record time of 1:51.74 that he set for Mountain Crest in 2009.
On the girls side, Brighton senior Rachel Butler and Timpview sophomore Rachel Oyler are two to watch. Butler already owns the state record in the 200 individual medley which she set at last year’s state meet, but she’s also within striking distance of the 500 freestyle state record.
Oyler’s times this season in the 50 free and 100 fly are among the top seven best in state history, and she’s poised to lower them even further.
Two other swimmers, Cottonwood’s Emma Walker in the 100 breaststroke and Sky View’s Jake Walters in the 100 backstroke, are a threat to post top 5 times in their respective events this weekend.
Here’s a class-by-class look at some of the team favorites:
A year ago, Lone Peak’s boys topped Pleasant Grove for the state title while American Fork’s girls edged Lone Peak.
Those were the same results at the Region 4 championships two weeks as both teams return to BYU as the favorites.
Along with Tiffany, Josh Griener, Kevin Dew and Parker Clegg will be key swimmers for the Knights.
American Fork’s girls have a mix of senior leadership led by Amelia Edwards and Sara Edwards and then a strong group of underclassmen led by sophomore Allie Hill. At the region meet, American Fork edged Lone Peak by just 19 points which could make for an exciting finish at state.
Here’s a look at the individual defending state champs in 6A:
200 free — Devin Bunnell, Pleasant Grove
200 IM — Jordan Tiffany, Lone Peak
100 fly — Jordan Tiffany, Lone Peak
500 free — Devin Bunnell, Pleasant Grove
200 free — Lily Plaudis, Kearns
50 free — Abby Frazier, Layton
100 fly — Summer Shreeve, Lone Peak
500 free — Allie Hill, American Fork
100 breast — Lily Plaudis, Kearns
Brighton’s defending champion boys team is the favorite to repeat again, but the girls title seems much more unpredictable.
Defending champion Cottonwood was hit hard by graduation after last season and finished third at the Region 7 meet two weeks ago. That meet was won by Brighton, which should compete for the state title a year after an 11th-place finish at state.
Along with its star swimmer Butler, Brighton has a strong group of underclassman contributors (Ainsley Warren, Mary-Hannah Romrell, Sophie Miyagishima) and a key senior in Halle O’Neal.
Skyline’s girls were the runner-up to Cottonwood last year and, led by Becca Goodson, Caroline Luman and Abby Bowler, might be the slight favorite this season.
A year ago at the state meet Brighton beat Cottonwood by 34 points, but at the recent region meet the Bengals won by a more convincing 74 points.
Leading the way for Brighton is Daniel Detjen, Nick Thompson, Sean Farrenkopf and Quentin Tyler, who were all individual region champs.
Skyline’s boys could factor into the team race as well.
Here’s a look at the individual defending state champs in 5A:
200 IM — Blayze Kimble, Cottonwood
100 back — Cameron Green, Springville
100 breast — Blayze Kimble, Cottonwood
200 IM — Rachel Butler, Brighton
50 free — Rachel Oyler, Timpview
100 back — Emma Walker, Cottonwood
Park City’s girls and Desert Hills' boys head into the state meet as defending state champs, and dethroning either will be a difficult task.
Desert Hills won last year’s state title with just two senior contributors, and returns a very strong team headlined by Payton Plumb and Ashton Anderson. Both won their two individual events at the Region 9 championships, and Plumb was named Co-Swimmer of the Meet at last year’s 4A state meet.
Plumb ranks in the top four in the entire state in four individual events, and at state he’ll race in the 100 back and 200 IM. The junior owns the best time in the entire state in the 50 free, but he won’t be swimming that event at state.
Juan Diego and Sky View pose perhaps the biggest for Desert Hills.
On the girls side, star power and depth is what makes Park City so strong.
Helena Djunic and Elise Beller are the defending state champs in two events and will score big points for the Miners again. At region, the Miners only won four of eight individual events, but it dominated the relays and finished with 300 more points than second-place Tooele.
Desert Hills dominated the Region 9 meet, led by Mya Ottenschot, Trinity Schimbeck, Caitlin Romprey and Sarah Hansen, and will hope to challenge Park City for the title.
Here’s a look at the individual defending state champs in 4A:
200 free — Ryan Bunn, Hurricane
200 IM — Payton Plumb, Desert Hills
100 fly — Nic Tronson, Lehi
500 free — Darwin Anderson, Sky View
100 back — Jake Walters, Sky View
200 free — Helena Djunic, Park City
200 IM — Elise Beller, Park City
100 free — Helena Djunic, Park City
500 free — Elise Beller, Park City
100 back — Caitlin Romprey, Desert Hills
100 breast — Addison Richards, Orem
Emery’s boys and Rowland Hall’s girls head into this Thursday’s state meet as the slight favorites to defend their titles.
Both won their respective region titles last week and return a strong contingent of swimmers.
Emery is led by Keldan Guymon, the defending state champion in two events, and Deegan Minchey.
Emery narrowly beat Grand at the Region 15 meet two weeks ago, while North Summit also has a strong team heading into the state meet.
On the girls side, Rowland Hall featured mostly underclassmen swimmers last year, and headlining that group is Ella Vitek.Comment on this story
Carbon and Emery won the other 3A region titles two weeks ago and could challenge Rowland Hall.
Here’s a look at the individual defending state champs in 3A:
200 free — Braxten Pierce, Grand
50 free — Keldan Guymon, Emery
100 free — Keldan Guymon, Emery
500 free — Braxten Pierce, Grand
200 free — Rachel McMaster, Beaver
50 free — Ella Vitek, Rowland Hall
100 fly — Hadlee Begay, Grantsville
100 free — Drew Roper, Millard
500 free — Hadlee Begay, Grantsville
100 back — Drew Roper, Millard