Sea Devil swimmers take first in Vernal
by Jeff Richards
contributing writer
Jun 13, 2013 | 778 views | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Braxten Pierce competes in the butterfly competition during the Moab Sea Devils first-place win at Vernal. Photos by Jeff Richards
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The Moab Sea Devils youth swim team took first place at the Summer Splash Invitational meet held at Vernal on Saturday, June 8. The Sea Devils, which had a total of 20 swimmers at the event, scored 1,795 team points, while the host team Vernal Vipers came in second with 1,386 points.

The Castle Valley Barracudas of Price were third with 1,025 points, and the San Rafael Stingrays of Emery County placed fourth with 428 points.

“It was a fun meet, and everyone did a great job,” said Sea Devils head coach Penny Richards.

The score breakdown was the same among the four teams when divided into the girls and boys categories, with the Moab girls earning 861 points and the Moab boys earning 500. The remaining points came from relay events.

“We earned quite a few first-place medals this time,” Richards said, noting that Moab swimmers took the top spot in 37 of the 56 events at the meet.

Mary Kimmerle, 12, placed first out of 15 swimmers in her age category in the 50-yard freestyle, recording a time of 30.81 seconds, while teammate London Richards, 12, placed second with a time of 34.02. Those same two swimmers also posted first- and second-place finishes, respectively, in the 100-yard individual medley, the 50-yard butterfly, the 100-yard freestyle, and the 50-yard breaststroke. Kimmerle also won the 50-yard backstroke event with a time of 37.44, a half-second faster than her previous best.

Also for the Sea Devil girls, Alexa Pierce, 14, won the 500-yard freestyle event with a time of 6:35.29. Pierce also placed first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:15.48, first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 29.00 seconds, and first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:43.39. Pierce placed second in the 100-yard backstroke, an event won by teammate River Richards, 14, who finished in a time of 1:23.15.

Also in the 13 and over age category, Robin Willscheidt, 15, won the 100-yard breaststroke, her time of 1:26.77 edging River Richards’ second-place time of 1:28.80. Willscheidt also won the 50-yard butterfly and the 100-yard individual medley events.

In the girls age 8 and under category, Indiana Richards, 8, won three individual events, including the 25-yard backstroke. In the backstroke event, she placed first out of 11 competitors, with a time of 26.73. She also won the 25-yard butterfly and 100-yard individual medley events. Filling in for her injured 5-year-old sister Geneva Richards, who had broken her arm two days earlier, Indiana Richards also swam the last two legs of the mixed 100-yard medley relay, earning yet another first-place medal. She was joined in that race by teammates Cadence Kasprick and Rhiannon Hren. They recorded a time of 1:55.75, narrowly edging the Barracudas’ time of 1:56.07. Moab’s other 8-and-under mixed relay team (Megan Kimmerle, 7, Nicholas Hren, 7, Olive English, 8, and Ainsleigh Kasprick, 5) placed third in the same event.

Also for the Sea Devil girls, Rhiannon Hren placed first in the 25-yard breaststroke in a time of 29.63. Anika Scherer, 10, placed second in her age category in the 25-yard breaststroke, recording a time of 25.74. Aspen English, 12, placed third in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 47.61.

For the Sea Devil boys, Braxten Pierce, 12, won multiple races, including the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 29.55 seconds, more than six seconds faster than his closest competitor. Pierce also won the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 1:07.36, the 100-yard individual medley in 1:17.45, the 50-yard butterfly in 36.35, the 50-yard breaststroke in 41.16, the 50-yard backstroke in 35.92, and the 500-yard freestyle in 6:51.31.

C.J. Hren, 16, placed first in the 100-yard freestyle in the 13 and older category, posting a personal best time of 1:03.65. He also took first place among six swimmers in the 50-yard freestyle race, posting a time of 27.40.

In the boys age 9-10 category, Cedar English, 10, won three first-place medals for Moab. He won the 25-yard freestyle, the 50-yard freestyle, and the 25-yard backstroke events. Nicholas Hren won several races in the 8 and under category, including the 25-yard freestyle, the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard individual medley, and the 25-yard backstroke.

Moab’s relay teams took the top two spots out of five teams in the 13 and older mixed 200-yard freestyle relay event at the end of the meet. The Sea Devils also won the mixed 100-yard freestyle relay for swimmers age 8 and under, and the mixed 200-yard medley relay for swimmers age 13 and older.

Also competing for the Sea Devil boys at the meet were Trayken Robertson, 12, Chris Hren, 13, and Drake Hackney, 15, each of whom also earned points for the team.

Prior to the June 8 meet, the last time the Sea Devils had taken part in a meet in Vernal was on Feb. 2, when the Moab team placed third overall with just nine swimmers. This time around, the Sea Devils not only had more than twice as many participants, they turned in faster performances across the board.

“Everybody did well. I’m encouraged by the consistent improvements that we’re seeing in our times,” said coach Richards. She said she also plans to coach several of the team’s swimmers at the Utah Summer Games in Cedar City later this month.

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