A closer look at 2021 high school swimming championships

Swimmers race in the 500-yard freestyle at the 5A boys swimming state meet at the Wasatch Aquatic Center in Heber City on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.

Swimmers race in the 500-yard freestyle at the 5A boys swimming state meet at the Wasatch Aquatic Center in Heber City on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. | Annie Barker, Deseret News

It was a year of firsts during the high school swimming season

It was a year of firsts during the high school swimming season, with three of the combined eight boys and girls state championships going to programs that had never won titles before.

On the boys side, American Fork (6A) and Snow Canyon (4A) won titles for the first time in school history, while Olympus (5A) did the same on the girls side.

The other boys state champs were Olympus (5A) and Judge Memorial (3A), while on the girls side the state champs were Lone Peak (6A), Sky View (4A) and Carbon (3A).

Here’s a closer look at the eight state meets.

6A boys

In a very tight competition, in which seven teams all scored more than 150 points, it was American Fork that prevailed in the end racking up 216 team points for its first boys state title in school history.

Westlake was second with 203 points.

Depth was the key for American Fork, which had one individual victory as Caleb Wynn finished first in the 200 individual medley.

“For so long the boys have stood by and watched the girls get the glory,” said American Fork coach Kathy King. “They had been supportive and had no animosity whatsoever, but now the girls get to provide them that same support. I stress that we’re a family and we live like that.”

Individually, the top swimmer was Bingham’s Tanner Nelson who won the 200 and 500 freestyles with new overall state records in each.

Nelson’s time of 1:38.39 in the 200 free and 4:30.06 in the 500 free are the best swims in state history, and will give future distance swimmers a new target to shoot for.

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6A girls

Lone Peak’s youthful swimming squad, which featured six freshman at the state meet, captured the school’s first state championship since 2005 with a very narrow win over rival American Fork.

The Knights tallied 319 points for first place, just four ahead of American Fork.

“All year long we tried to focus on opportunities and what we were grateful for,” said Lone Peak coach Celeste Tiffany. “We chose to focus on a ‘can do’ mentality and the girls really took that mentality on and rose to the occasion.”

The catalyst for Lone Peak’s state title were the relays, as it won the 200 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay, and finished second in the 400 freestyle relay. That second-place finish in the 400 clinched the title.

Three of Lone Peak’s swimmers in that final relay were freshman, a win that denied American Fork a fourth straight title.

The lone double winner at state was Skyridge junior Katelyn Andrist, who won both the 200 and 500 freestyles. She set new 6A records in both events in the preliminaries, with times of 1:56.29 and 5:04.47, respectively.

5A boys

A year after winning its first title in school history, Olympus backed it up …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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