High school swimmers continue to make improvements midway through 2013 season
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Dec 19, 2013 | 759 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GCHS senior Treyton Helquist competes in the 100-yard breaststroke at Price on Dec. 14. Photo by Jeff Richards
GCHS senior Treyton Helquist competes in the 100-yard breaststroke at Price on Dec. 14. Photo by Jeff Richards
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As it reaches the midway point of its season, the Grand County High School swim team has continued to improve.

The Red Devils competed in a head-to-head meet against Carbon in Price on Saturday, Dec. 14. Although the Carbon Dinos outscored Grand 156-117 to win the meet, GCHS head coach Brian Pierce said he was pleased with his team’s overall performance.

“We’re still improving, our times are dropping, and we’re getting stronger as a team,” Pierce said. “We did our best, but you can’t PR [set a personal record] in every race.”

Several Red Devil swimmers did improve on their previous best times in certain events, including sophomores Sadie Bown and Mandi Wilkinson. Bown swam the 100-yard freestyle race in 1 minute, 21.82 seconds, shaving approximately two-and-a-half seconds from her previous best time. She also knocked more than five seconds from her time in the 200-yard freestyle, posting a time of 2:59.96. Wilkinson swam the 50-yard freestyle in 33.62 seconds, more than a second better than her previous best of 34.74. Also in the 50-yard freestyle event, GCHS junior Cora Johnston bettered her personal best time by exactly two seconds, posting a time of 35.84.

For the Red Devil boys, senior Jackson Knowles achieved a personal best in the 100-yard butterfly, posting a time of 1:04.04. His previous best was 1:04.68, set at Cedar City on Nov. 15. In addition, fellow senior Treyton Helquist nearly matched his personal bests in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke at the Carbon meet. Freshman Ethan Clark showed improvements in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle, shaving approximately 11 seconds and 14 seconds off his times in those respective races.

Also at Price, several other Red Devils came within a second of their best times in one or more events, including C.J. Hren, Duncan Reidhead, River Murdock and Drake Hackney for the boys, and Alexa Pierce and River Richards for the girls. GCHS freshman Jayelen Knowles improved on her time in the 200-yard freestyle by a half-second, posting a time of 2:35.33. Knowles also swam a strong 500-yard freestyle race, posting a time of 7:18.42 and narrowly missing overtaking first-place winner Ali Heath of Carbon, who finished in 7:17.98. 

Pierce said that he and assistant coach Wendy Young have been working with the swimmers on their turns and starts.

“There are always things we need to work on,” Pierce said. “We’re having a good season so far, but we need to stay focused and keep improving throughout the second half of the season.”

This weekend, the Red Devils are scheduled to compete at the Tooele Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20-21. After the holiday break, Grand’s next scheduled event will be a divisional meet hosted by Emery High School in Castle Dale on Jan. 4.

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