Stansbury High School swimming, like the whole school, entered its fourth year of existence, and with that the team looks to its seniors to lead the charge in the water.
Head coach Dan Peterson has been with the program since the beginning, and he knew building a swim program from the ground up would be difficult. Now that he has an experienced group of swimmers, as well as older swimmers who will be competing in their first or second years, Peterson feels like his team can be competitive and make waves.
“I knew it would take three to four years to develop some kids that would be able to get to a level where they were really competitive,” Peterson said. “We’re in that fourth year, so we should see some of that hard work pay off that they put in.”
The leadership and competitiveness falls on seniors Ryan Brown, Jonathan Buckendorf, Jonathan Steele, Nathan Bruce, Michael Ence, Logan Andrus and Ron Topman for the boys team. Kailyn Hinston, Kirsten Asher, Danielle Williams and Hanna Taggart are the leaders for the girls team.
Stansbury is spending the early races finding where certain kids fit in what events. Peterson said he has a pretty good idea what events suit which swimmers best, but it’s nice to have the early races to see the swimmers’ times improve and possibly move them around accordingly.
“We know where certain people are going to be,” Peterson said, “but in swimming there are four individual freestyle events. Maybe they’re a freestyler, but what of the four do we want to put them in? Which is the best for them?”
Related to that challenge, Peterson said he has swimmers who race well in multiple events. To make sure his swimmers don’t get burned out he has to decide which events the swimmers compete best and place them in those events. “You kind of find that out as the season goes on and where they rank in the state,” he said. “You see what’s the best place for them to be.”
Peterson said he’s impressed with all his swimmers early on, but in the team’s meet against West High School, he felt that Bruce stood out the most with his improved times.
“He went a lot faster than he did finishing up last year,” Peterson said. “We have some kids in that same ballpark that are either at where they finished or a little faster than what they were at the state championships. So just getting started and being faster is a good thing.”
With the team still being new, breaking school records is a yearly occurrence, but Peterson said the kids still like to see those records come down. He said it helps the swimmers push harder and continually want to break records.
“It’s nice to see them put in that time and have it pay off,” he said. “That keeps them motivated a little bit when they see that.”
The Stallions have competed in two meets thus far to open the season. Both the boys and girls teams lost to West on Nov. 8, but the teams bounced back on Nov. 15 for wins. The girls defeated West Jordan, and lost to Judge Memorial and Murray. The boys defeated West Jordan and Judge Memorial, but then they lost to Murray.
Swimmers of the Meet, as voted by the coaches and captains, in the four-team meet were Lydia Harrell on the girls’ side and Buckendorf on the boys’ side. The most improved swimmers were Bri Klenk and Spencer Fajardo.