The Grand County High School swimming team concluded its season at the UHSAA Utah State 3A Swimming Championships at Brigham Young University in Provo on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and 8, where the Red Devil boys finished fifth and the girls finished 11th.
The boys, coming off a state championship win last season, mustered a fifth-place finish this year, scoring 135 points. Union won the state title with 213, followed by Judge Memorial with 212, Richfield with 210 and North Summit with 169.
GCHS swimming coach Brian Pierce was named boys Coach of the Year for the second straight season, coaching this young squad to countless personal bests after losing a slew of seniors from last year's championship season.
“The teams excelled at state earning new personal records over the two days,” Pierce said. “The girls were amazing and the boys maintained a solid place inside the top five.”
Pat Pakkarato was the Red Devils' highest-placing finisher, taking second in the 100-yard butterfly at 56.24, and third in the 200-yard individual medley at 2:13.17. He was joined as a medalist by Arthur Hawks, who took fifth in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:02.04; and by Brendan Moore, who placed eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a school-record 1:07.93. Pakkarato, Hawks and Moore were joined by Stryder Young taking fifth and setting a new school record in the 200-yard medley relay at 1:50.88.
In addition to those finishes, Dallin Stucki narrowly missed a medal in the backstroke, taking ninth at 1:04.71; he also finished 14th in the individual medley at 2:27.14. Camron Stotz earned a pair of top-16 finishes, taking 13th in the 200-yard freestyle at 2:05.88; and 14th in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:58.87.
Josie Wakefield earned the girls' only individual medal, taking fifth in the 100-yard backstroke with a personal best 1:07.40. She also earned a personal best in the 200-yard freestyle, taking 11th at 2:25.20 She was nearly joined by Kyla Jackman, who just missed out on a medal in the 100-yard breaststroke, taking ninth with a personal best 1:21.51.
In girls relays Wakefield, Jackman, Zoe Warren and Neelie Relph took eighth in the 200-yard medley at 2:13.98; Wakefield, Relph, Kiersten Kimmerle and Warren took eighth in the 400-yard freestyle at 4:27.57; and Kimmerle, Zoe Campbell, Aly Bertoch and Relph took 11th in the 200-yard freestyle at 2:03.30.
The boys earned another fifth-place in the 200-yard freestyle relay, as Dallin Stucki, Ricky Shumway, Moore and Stotz swam a 1:43.98. The quartet of Hawks, Stotz, Young and Pakkarato were disqualified in the 400-yard freestyle.
Although they didn't result in top-16 finishes at state, Pierce said almost all the girls had personal records, including Kimmerle in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke; Mekker Relph in the 100-yard freestyle; Jackman in the 100-yard freestyle; Bertoch in the 200-yard freestyle; Warren in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke; and Campbell in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke.