Grand County High swimmers gearing up for state 2A meet
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Feb 13, 2014 | 665 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GCHS swimmers pose with their medals after taking second place overall at the 2A Southern Division Championship Meet in Castle Dale on Jan. 25. The team is now gearing up for the state meet at BYU on Feb. 13. Pictured are (back row, from left) River Murdock, Duncan Reidhead, Ethan Clark, Drake Hackney, River Richards, C.J. Hren, Wiley Sheldon, and Treyton Helquist, and (front row) Sadie Bown, Jackson Knowles, Mandy Wilkinson, Alexa Pierce, Jayelen Knowles, and Cora Johnston.
Photo by Jeff Richards
GCHS swimmers pose with their medals after taking second place overall at the 2A Southern Division Championship Meet in Castle Dale on Jan. 25. The team is now gearing up for the state meet at BYU on Feb. 13. Pictured are (back row, from left) River Murdock, Duncan Reidhead, Ethan Clark, Drake Hackney, River Richards, C.J. Hren, Wiley Sheldon, and Treyton Helquist, and (front row) Sadie Bown, Jackson Knowles, Mandy Wilkinson, Alexa Pierce, Jayelen Knowles, and Cora Johnston. Photo by Jeff Richards
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The entries for the state 2A championship swim meet have been finalized, and the Grand County High School Red Devils are hoping to medal in several individual events and place fourth or even higher as a team.

  The event, which starts at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at Brigham Young University in Provo, is scheduled to be streamed live on the Internet via a link on the uhsaa.org website. Fans can also receive real-time scoring updates using the free Meet Mobile smart phone application.

  “Last year, we competed with 3A schools and didn’t qualify anyone for state,” said GCHS head coach Brian Pierce. “This year, we have 14 of our 15 swimmers qualify – seven boys and seven girls – and all of them will be swimming two individual events and either one or two relays.”

  Earning the top seed in both her individual events was freshman Alexa Pierce, who will compete in both the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke races.

  Fellow freshman River Richards is the No. 3 seed in the 200-yard individual medley as well as the No. 4 seed in the 100-yard breaststroke. Also for the Lady Devils, junior Robin Willscheidt is the No. 3 seed in the 100-yard breaststroke and the No. 7 seed in the 100-yard freestyle.

  Also competing in the 100-yard freestyle for the GCHS girls will be junior Cora Johnston, who is seeded ninth, and sophomore Mandy Wilkinson, who is seeded 10th. Johnston also earned the No. 15 seed in the 50-yard freestyle, and Wilkinson is seeded 12th in that same event.

  The Lady Devils also have two swimmers qualified in the longest race of the meet, the 500-yard freestyle. Freshman Jayelen Knowles is seeded fifth in that race, while teammate Sadie Bown, a sophomore, is seeded ninth. Both Knowles and Bown are also scheduled to compete in the 200-yard freestyle as well, with Knowles seeded sixth and Bown eighth in that race.

  Each individual event features up to 18 competitors, in three heats of six swimmers. Medals will be awarded to the top six finishers in each individual race, in addition to the top three placers in relay events.

  For the GCHS boys, senior Jackson Knowles is seeded first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:00.26. He is also seeded third in the 200-yard freestyle.

  Junior sprinter Duncan Reidhead is seeded seventh in the 50-yard freestyle, an event in which less than one second separates the best times of the No. 2 seed (24.33 seconds) and Reidhead’s spot at No. 7 (25.22 seconds). Reidhead is also seeded eighth in the 100-yard freestyle.

  GCHS senior Treyton Helquist is entered as a No. 3 seed in the 100-yard breaststroke and a No. 16 seed in the 100-yard freestyle. Wiley Sheldon, also a senior, has the 18th and final seed in the 100-yard freestyle, as well as the No. 14 seed in the 100-yard backstroke.

  Also competing in the 100-yard backstroke for the Grand boys will be sophomore Drake Hackney, who qualified as a No. 10 seed. Hackney will also swim the 200-yard individual medley as a No. 13 seed.

  GCHS junior C.J. Hren is scheduled to swim the 50-yard freestyle as the No. 11 seed, in addition to the 100-yard freestyle as the No. 12 seed. In addition, sophomore River Murdock is seeded 15th in the 200-yard freestyle and 17th in the 100-yard backstroke.

  In addition, freshman Ethan Clark is expected to be an alternate for a relay spot at state, Pierce said.

  Earlier this week, the Red Devils worked on starts, turns, and other technical improvements during their final few days of practice leading up to the state meet.

  Coach Pierce said that he hopes the Red Devils will be competitive in the relay events as well. “Some of the relays will be right after an individual event, but we still hope to see a strong race with all four swimmers in each relay,” he said. “We are focusing on one race at a time and hoping for the best in each event. If we do great individually, then we will do great as a team.”

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