The Grantsville swimming program can no longer fly under the radar — especially not after the show the boys team put on Thursday at the Region 13 championships in Kamas.
The Cowboys finished second at the region meet behind only North Summit, thanks largely to the exploits of Zane Thomas and Ethan, Seth and Ben Smurthwaite. Those four combined to win three individual titles and two relays, setting the stage for what should be an exciting Class 3A state swim meet Feb. 7 in Provo.
Thomas, Ben Smurthwaite, Seth Smurthwaite and Ethan Smurthwaite kicked off the meet with a victory in the boys’ 200-yard medley relay, clocking in at 1 minute, 53.52 seconds — just .57 seconds slower than their fastest time of the season, set during a November meet against Tooele. Thomas, who won every event he entered, followed with a victory in the 200 individual medley, recording a season-best time of 2:13.40 that ranks third in Class 3A this season. Seth Smurthwate (2:16.63) and Ben Smurthwaite (2:21.38) were second and fourth, respectively.
Then came the most exciting finish of the meet, with Ethan and Seth Smurthwaite separated by the blink of an eye in the 100 butterfly. Ethan led Seth by .19 seconds after the first 50 yards, but Seth came roaring back before Ethan out-touched him by .02 seconds — 59.56 to 59.58. Ethan’s winning time was his best of the season and ranks him sixth in 3A.
Thomas and Ethan Smurthwaite went 1-2 in the 100 backstroke, with Thomas’ winning time of 59.55 putting him second in 3A behind only Emery’s Keldan Guymon. Ethan finished in 1:04.37.
The Smurthwaites and Thomas joined forces again for a victory in the 400 freestyle relay at the end of the meet, finishing in 3:38.43.
Ben Smurthwaite finished third in the 500 free in 6:13.24, while Justin Hall was fourth in the 200 free (2:15.90) and eighth in the 100 free (59.57). Jarrett Randall finished eighth in the 100 fly (1:10.33). The Cowboys’ 200 free relay team of Garrett Hogge-Warburton, Randall, Evan Thomas and Hall finished sixth in 1:48.61.
Grantsville’s girls finished sixth in the meet, just behind Summit Academy and well ahead of seventh-place South Summit as Rowland Hall rolled to the team title. Hadlee Begay won both of her events with relative ease, recording the fastest time in 3A this season in the 200 free (2:02.14) and winning by 11.06 seconds. She also won the 500 free in 5:30.40, 36.6 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor but more than eight seconds off her own 3A-leading time of 5:22.06, set at the Tooele Invitational in December.
Anika Higley finished seventh in the 200 IM (season-best 2:52.21) and Stephanie Jordan was eighth in the 100 back (1:20.49). Grantsville had a pair of sixth-place relay finishes as well, with Jordan, Kylee Haycock, Higley and Reagan Hunter finishing the 200 medley relay in 2:20.66 and Hunter, Arianna McKendrick, Jordan and Begay clocking in at 4:44.81 in the 400 free relay.
The top two region finishers in each individual event and the first-place relays automatically qualify for the state meet, scheduled for Feb. 7 on the Brigham Young University campus. The rest of the field for the state meet will be set based on the fastest times from meets throughout the season, with 24 competitors in each individual event and 16 relay teams.