The 2019-20 high school swim season was successful by any measure for Tooele and Stansbury, with the Tooele girls claiming the Region 10 championship and the Stansbury boys finishing a hard-fought second.
On Saturday at Brigham Young University in Provo, the Buffaloes and Stallions were rewarded with a number of medals — and a bunch of personal-best times — as the season came to a close at the Class 4A state swim meet.
Tooele’s girls punctuated their seventh-place team finish with a school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as Sharon Seals, Annalee Beard, Myra Miller and Aspen Grgich put together a fourth-place time of 3 minutes, 50.55 seconds. That was the second THS record to fall during the meet, as Grgich set a new mark with her runner-up time of 2:00.26 in the 200 free.
“It was awesome,” Tooele coach Holly Tate said. “This has been the best experience of my life.”
Tooele also finished sixth in the 200 medley relay, as Beard, Miller, Grgich and Seals clocked in at 2:01.09.
Grgich made another trip to the medal podium with a fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (1:04.10). Beard medaled in the 100 backstroke with an eighth-place finish in 1:05.65, and she set a new PR in the 100 free with a 10th-place time of 58.67.
Seals picked up a pair of PRs in finishing ninth in the 200 free (2:07.73) and 500 free (5:49.55). Kylee Randle finished 12th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:16.94.
The Stansbury girls put together a solid effort, finishing ninth in the team standings despite illness that took a toll on one of its top swimmers. Caroline Wilson was a two-time medalist, finishing fourth in the 100 breast (1:11.38) and sixth in the 200 individual medley (2:25.97). Kally Morris finished seventh in the 200 IM (2:27.25) and 100 fly (1:05.40) to medal in both events despite not feeling well, coach Brittany Eldredge noted.
“To have both of our senior girls, Kally and Caroline, medaling, has just been so much fun to watch,” Eldredge said. “Kally Morris has been kind of dying all week — she’s had this cold and this flu thing that just won’t go away, but she still poured every ounce of her heart into every event that she’s done. Caroline Wilson has just been so good this year, and to see her win a fourth-place medal is amazing.”
The Stallions had a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay to open the meet, as Katelyn Taylor, Wilson, Morris and Trixia Fisher finished in 1:56.74. Fisher, Taylor, Wilson and Morris were fifth in the 200 free relay in 1:49.50. Taylor was 15th in the 100 back (1:08.52) and 16th in the 100 fly (1:12.89).
Desert Hills won the girls’ team title, followed by Sky View, Snow Canyon, Ridgeline and Green Canyon.
Tooele’s boys team finished 12th in the team standings, led by senior Cade McEachern and his two PRs. McEachern finished fourth in the 100 free in 50.27, and added a fifth-place finish in the 100 back (56.08) as the only male swimmer from Tooele County to medal in the 4A meet.
Harrison Stoddard finished 13th in the 500 free for Tooele with a personal-best time of 5:27.35.
The Buffaloes finished eighth in the 400 free relay, with the team of McEachern, Stoddard, Cooper Woods and Andrew Crane finishing in 3:41.06. Ryan Beard, Austin Chlubna, Woods and Cooper Tolbert were 12th in the 200 medley relay in 1:56.99, and Stoddard, Tolbert, Garret Pearson and Crane were 14th in the 200 free relay in 1:42.46.
“Annalee, Aspen, Myra, Sharon, Cade, Harrison — everybody that swam did amazing,” said Tate, in her first year as the Buffs’ head coach. “We had a lot more kids qualify for state this year than we have in the past few years.”
Tate, a former Tooele swimmer who went on to compete at the University of Utah, took over the program this season. She said she has big shoes to fill, though she is thankful to have legendary former THS coach Mel Roberts as a mentor.
The Buffs gave their first-year coach a ringing endorsement.
“It’s the brightest future we could possibly have,” Crane said. “We have (Tate) as our coach, and she’s the best coach in the state of Utah. Mark my words — Holly Tate is the best swim coach on this planet Earth.”
Stansbury’s effort was led by Isaac Adair, who finished 10th in the 100 fly in a personal-best 57.40 and 12th in the 50 free in 23.96. Xavier Jefferies was 13th in the 200 IM with a PR of 2:11.72 and 15th in the 100 back in 1:01.72.
Joshua Reynolds shattered his PR in the 100 breast with an 11th-place finish in 1:06.75 — his previous best was 1:09.08 at the Region 10 championships. He also finished 15th in the 200 IM with a PR of 2:12.64, a whopping 6.36 seconds faster than he’d ever gone before in competition.
Reynolds, Wyatt Barry, Jefferies and Adair were 12th in the 400 free relay in 3:41.06. The same foursome was 13th in the 200 free relay in 1:41.77.
“The boys are just dropping time like crazy — it’s so fun,” Eldredge said. “Josh Reynolds just keeps getting faster every time he swims. Xavi Jefferies, same thing. I could not be more proud of my boys this year.”
Eldredge, who is stepping down as the Stallions’ head coach, said the future is bright for the Stansbury boys, noting that Jefferies and Reynolds are juniors and Barry and Adair are sophomores.
“I was blessed with some really good talent this year,” she said. “All these boys that I had in consolation heats should be in finals next year.
“I’m excited to watch — I won’t be coaching, but I will definitely be involved somehow. I just love these kids with all my heart. It’s like having 40 additional kids that live in my heart, if not my house.”
Desert Hills won the team title, with Sky View in second. Snow Canyon was third, and Juan Diego and Mountain Crest completed the top five.