Grantsville senior Savannah Thomas came into the Class 3A state swim meet in February looking to make a bit of history.
No swimmer from Grantsville had ever won a state title. She’d been the closest, finishing second in the 100-yard breaststroke as a junior. Thanks to the Utah High School Activities Association’s realignment, she no longer had to face opponents from places like Park City, where swimmers have the benefit of year-round coaching. This was her opportunity to shine.
And, shine she did.
Thomas won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breast, part of a day that saw GHS win four individual titles overall. It was the perfect finish to a career that helped put the Cowboys’ swim team on the map and earned her a scholarship to compete at Dixie State University.
It also sealed her spot as the Transcript Bulletin’s Female Athlete of the Year for the 2017-18 school year. The two-sport athlete and GHS student-body officer and salutatorian was as well-rounded as they come, succeeding in both parts of her student-athlete role.
Her success at the state meet wasn’t just a result of the competition she faced. Far from it, in fact. Her winning time of 2 minutes, 16.84 seconds at the state meet was 0.66 seconds slower than her best, set roughly three weeks earlier. But it was still more than five seconds faster than she’d ever gone coming into her senior season — and she’d been among the top swimmers in Class 3A in that event as a junior as it was. Her winning time of 1:09.00 in the 100 breast was her personal best, taking three-tenths of a second off her previous fastest mark. It was also the ninth-fastest time in the state, regardless of classification, and would have put her on the podium in any of the other state meets.
Thomas was also a key part of Grantsville’s record-setting girls soccer season as the Cowboys’ starting goalkeeper. After years of being bombarded by shots as the team in front of her struggled, she had the benefit of a much more competitive squad in 2017 — one that came within a goal of a state semifinal berth.
That said, she was still rock-solid when she needed to be. She recorded five shutouts and made 104 saves against just 30 goals allowed. She had to make 10 saves in a game five separate times during the season, keeping the Cowboys in games that normally would have ended early because of the mercy rule.
But it wasn’t just her athletic success that made her stand out. She was an Academic All-State selection in both soccer and swimming — two tough groups to crack, considering the combined grade-point average of the Class 3A Academic All-State soccer team was 4.0, and the swim team’s GPA was 3.977.
Thomas will swim collegiately at Dixie State, where she hopes to do the same in helping the Trailblazers get their fledgling program off the ground as she did at Grantsville.
With the precedent she set while competing for the Cowboys, there’s no doubt she’ll be successful at the next level.