The Grand County High School (GCHS) swimming team competed in the Region 12 Championship meet on Thursday, Jan. 23, in Price, where the boys placed third with 315 points, while the girls placed fourth with 251 points.
In the girls division, Emery won the meet with 467 points; Carbon had 408 and Richfield had 407. On the boys side, Richfield had 462 points and Emery had 401 points.
Despite placing third and fourth, the Red Devils accumulated 34 personal best swims, coach Brian Pierce said.
“The kids swam great this last Thursday,” he said. “...It was nice to see the kids’ hard work pay off for them. Region can sometimes be a stressful meet for the swimmers. The kids know it's their last chance of the season to drop time in their events to qualify for the state meet.”
GCHS had two swimmers win region individual championships. Pat Pakkarato won both the 200-yard individual medley (2:17.06) and the 100-yard butterfly (57.69), while Arthur Hawks won the 100-yard backstroke (1:04.38). Hawks also took fifth in the butterfly (1:08.38) Brendan Moore also took second in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.17), and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle (1:00.97).
The girls were led by Josie Wakefield, who placed third in the 100-yard backstroke (1:09.69), while also placing fifth in the 200-yard freestyle (2:25.45).
“Josie Wakefield was on fire Thursday, “ Pierce said. “She dropped over 10 seconds in her 200 freestyle and almost four seconds in her 100 backstroke.”
For the boys, Camron Stotz had a pair of top-five finishes, taking fourth in the 200-yard freestyle (2:09.12) and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle (6:04.28). Dallin Stucki also had an individual top-five, taking fourth in the backstroke (1:07.62).
For the girls, Zoe Warren finished fifth in the backstroke (1:16.58) and seventh in the butterfly (1:24.13). Kyla Jackman also placed fifth in the breaststroke (1:22.20), while Aly Bertoch placed sixth in the 500-yard freestyle (6:49.94).
In the boys relays, GCHS placed second in the 400-yard freestyle relay: Hawks, Stotz, Stryder Young and Pakkarato swam a 3:52.02; and they placed third in both the 200-yard medley (1:53.81) with Hawks, Moore, Pakkarato and Stucki; and the 200-yard freestyle with Young, Ricky Shumway, Ryder Murdock and Stotz.
In the girls relays, GCHS placed third in the 400-yard freestyle (4:33.37) with Wakefield, Jackman, Kiersten Kimmerle and Warren; and fourth in both the medley (2:13.01) with the same four girls; and the 200-yard freestyle (2:11.63) with Neelie Relph, Mallory Maughan, Mekker Relph and Bertoch.
“The kids showed up ready to swim on Thursday,” Pierce said. “...We will submit our entries for the 3A Championship meet... and then wait and see how many kids qualify for the state meet,” which takes place on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8, at Brigham Young University in Provo.