With 11 swimmers competing – nine girls and two boys – the Sea Devils all earned multiple ribbons or medals at the two-day event, which took place at the Richfield City Pool on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20.
According to meet rules, each swimmer was only permitted to swim two individual events per day, plus relays.
Mary Kimmerle, 12, of Moab won the 11-12-year-old girls 50-yard freestyle in a personal-best time of 29.72 seconds, beating 14 other swimmers. Kimmerle was also first among 15 competitors in the 50-yard backstroke, recording a time of 33.77, more than seven seconds faster than her closest competitor in that race. Kimmerle won the 100-yard individual medley in a time of 1:15.24. Her closest competitor in that event was teammate London Richards, 12, who swam the medley in 1:22.65.
Kimmerle also won the 50-yard butterfly in 34.05 seconds, while London Richards placed second in that race with a time of 35.59 seconds. Both times were personal bests by about four seconds, according to Sea Devils head coach Penny Richards.
“Everyone has been improving so well this season,” coach Richards said. “We had 18 personal-best times just in the Friday night half of the meet alone. Our starts were great; our finishes were great. We had a terrific meet.”
London Richards won the 100-yard freestyle in a personal-best time of 1:12.37, beating 17 other swimmers in that event. Her older sister, River Richards, 14, won the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:42.85. London Richards also won the 50-yard breaststroke in a personal-best time of 40.15 seconds.
Also for the Sea Devils, Alexa Pierce, 14, won the 100-yard backstroke for girls age 13-14, recording a time of 1:11.57. Pierce placed second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1:02.45, as Savannah Weber of the Sanpete Dragons edged her by one-tenth of a second. Weber also beat Pierce in the 50-yard freestyle event by a similarly narrow margin (27.86 seconds to 28.13 seconds). They were the only two of the 15 swimmers in that event to complete the race in less than 30 seconds. Pierce also won the 100-yard individual medley in a time of 1:13.20.
In the girls age 8 and under category, Indiana Richards, 8, won the 25-yard butterfly in a time of 23.72, the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 46.69, the 100-yard individual medley in a time of 1:58.96, and the 25-yard breaststroke in a time of 32.78.
The Sea Devils swept the top three spots among 16 swimmers in the 25-yard breaststroke for girls age 9 and 10. In an extremely close race, Emree Olsen took first place with a time of 25.10 seconds, while Tava Walling placed second in 25.13 and Zoe Kosa was third in 25.35. All three girls, who are 10 years old, also teamed with 8-year-old Indiana Richards to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 3:02.25.
Moab’s girls 200-yard freestyle relay also placed first, with River Richards, London Richards, Delanee Olsen, and Alexa Pierce teaming up for the gold medal. In the 200-yard medley relay, Mary Kimmerle, River Richards, Alexa Pierce, and London Richards teamed up to take first place in a time of 2:22.17.
Moab also won the girls’ 400-yard freestyle relay in a time of 5:17.83, despite swimming it as an individual medley just for the added challenge. Mary Kimmerle swam backstroke, Delanee Olsen swam breaststroke, Alexa Pierce swam butterfly, and River Richards finished the race swimming freestyle.
For the Sea Devil boys, Braxten Pierce, 12, won the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 29.55 seconds. He also won the 50-yard butterfly in a time of 33.98 seconds and the 100-yard individual medley in a time of 1:17.17. He and teammate Drake Hackney were the only two Sea Devil boys at the meet and therefore didn’t have enough members for a full relay team. However, they did team up with two swimmers on Vernal’s team for the 200-yard medley relay, helping the Vipers to a second-place finish.
“Drake and Braxten both swam personal bests in multiple events, and did a really good job against tough competition,” coach Richards said.
Six of the 11 Moab swimmers who participated in the Richfield meet also competed in another invitational meet held in Fillmore on Thursday, July 18.
“Fillmore was a fun meet, but our times were not as good as they were in Richfield the very next day,” Richards said.
The Sea Devils’ next meet will be a season-ending home meet on Tuesday, Aug. 6.