Grantsville senior Hadlee Begay has been a dominant force since the first time she competed in a high school swim meet as a freshman, winning six individual Class 3A state championships over the past three seasons.
Thus, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that in the final Region 13 championship meet of her illustrious career, Begay was right at the top of the list again as she prepares for the state meet later this month. Last Friday at the Wasatch Aquatics Center in Heber, the three-time defending Class 3A girls 500-yard freestyle champion recorded a winning time of 5 minutes, 37.22 seconds in the event — a whopping 19.57 seconds ahead of runner-up Alora Lynn of Summit Academy. Earlier in the meet, she won the 100 butterfly in 59.86, finishing 1.59 seconds ahead of Rowland Hall’s Grace Smith. Begay was the 100 fly state champion in 2018 and 2019 before winning the 200 free title in 2020.
Sophomore Mary Armantrout also had a strong day, finishing third in the 200 free (2:23.03) and 100 backstroke (1:13.96). The Grantsville girls finished fifth of seven teams in the meet with 209 points.
Judge Memorial won the girls team title with 404 points, followed by North Summit (347), Morgan (303) and Rowland Hall (228). South Summit (163) and Summit Academy (149) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Grantsville senior Ben Smurthwaite finished second in the boys’ 200 individual medley with a time of 2:13.68, which was 14.5 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Justin Milliner of Morgan and 15.73 second behind winner Nico Morton of Judge Memorial. The Cowboys added third-place finishes in the 200 free relay (1:50.77) and 400 free relay (3:58.51).
Grantsville was fifth in the boys team standings with 159 points. Judge Memorial (426) won the team title, with North Summit (354) in second and Morgan (322) in third. South Summit (273) was fourth, with Rowland Hall (90) and Summit Academy (31) rounding out the results.
The Class 3A state championship meet will take place Feb. 12-13 at Brigham Young University in Provo. On Feb. 12, the preliminary girls heats will be from 5-6:45 p.m., followed by the boys’ preliminaries from 8:15-10 p.m. On Feb. 13, the girls’ championship heats will be from 4:30-6:15 p.m., followed by the boys’ heats from 7:45 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Spectators will not be allowed at the state meet. Information regarding a live stream of the state meet will be posted on the Utah High School Activities Association’s web site, www.uhsaa.org, ahead of the event.