Months of hard work will culminate in this weekend’s high school state swim championships, with two of Tooele County’s top swimmers heavily favored to bring home individual state titles.
Grantsville senior Savannah Thomas and freshman Hadlee Begay each enter today’s Class 3A championship meet at the Wasatch Aquatic Center in Heber as huge favorites to win multiple state titles. Thomas’ time of 2 minutes, 16.18 seconds in the girls’ 200-yard individual medley is the fastest time in Class 3A by 5.22 seconds over her nearest competitor, Rowland Hall freshman Grace Smith. In the 100 breaststroke, Thomas’ time of 1:09.30 is 7.57 seconds quicker than Emery freshman Haley Guymon’s best effort.
Begay goes into the 500 freestyle with a 19.49-second advantage over Maeser Prep freshman Kylie Hansen thanks to a qualifying time of 5:16.48, with Grand junior Mary Kimmerle another 13.34 seconds back. Begay is also the top qualifier in the 100 fly as the only girl in 3A to break the 1-minute mark, clocking in at 59.03 seconds — some 6.24 seconds faster than Smith.
The Grantsville girls’ 200-yard medley relay team goes into today’s state championship meet as the No. 2 seed with a time of 2:05.81, less than a second off Emery’s 3A-leading time of 2:04.93. The girls’ 200 free relay is seeded seventh, and the 400 free relay is seeded eighth.
The Grantsville boys’ best shot at a state title may be in the final event of the day — the 400 free relay. The Cowboys’ time of 3:39.97 is just .18 seconds off the pace set by top-seeded Emery. Grantsville’s 200 free relay is seeded fourth in a hyper-competitive battle that has top-seeded North Summit and sixth-seeded Delta separated by less than 2 seconds. The 200 medley relay is seeded fifth.
The swimming Smurthwaites are set for a big day on the boys side. Seth Smurthwaite is the No. 2 seed in the 100 fly with a qualifying time of 57.57, though that puts him 5.41 seconds behind Maeser Prep’s Tony Puertas and 1.13 seconds ahead of Ethan Smurthwaite.
Seth is also the No. 3 seed in the 200 free with a time of 1:57.55, 5.93 seconds behind top qualifier Braxten Pierce of Grand and 4.19 seconds behind Summit Academy’s Johan Boer. Ethan is the No. 7 seed in the boys’ 100 backstroke.
Zane Thomas is the No. 3 seed in the boys’ 200 IM with a time of 2:16.98. He’s 13.11 seconds behind Puertas for the top spot, but it could be an interesting battle between him and Rowland Hall’s Lucas Erickson for second place — the two are only separated by .48 seconds. Thomas is the No. 4 seed in the 100 back, where the fourth-best and seventh-best times are separated by 1.1 seconds.
The Class 4A state swim meet will take place Friday and Saturday at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful. All of this year’s state swim meets had to find temporary new homes because of ongoing renovation work at Brigham Young University’s facility, where all the state meets normally take place.
The Tooele boys’ 200 medley relay represents Tooele County’s best chance on Friday, entering the state meet seeded seventh with a time of 1:43.48. The action picks up Saturday morning with Stansbury sophomore Kally Morris as the No. 6 seed in the girls’ 100 fly, clocking in at 1:02.23.
Tooele’s Hunter Sherwood is the No. 7 seed in the boys’ 100 fly (56.17) and 100 back (56.19), while Stansbury’s Zaxton Hillman is No. 7 in the boys’ 100 free (50.39). Tooele’s Collin McEachern is the No. 8 seed in the 100 breast (1:04.16).
The meet will conclude with Tooele’s boys 400 free relay seeded sixth in what should be a competitive race, with the No. 5 through No. 8 teams separated by less than a second.
Friday’s action gets under way at 2 p.m. with the first eight events. The final 14 events of the meet will take place Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m.