Tooele High swimmers ended their successful season by naming new captains and handing out awards to the team’s top athletes at the annual awards banquet last week.
“Designating just a handful of kids is extremely difficult because every swimmer contributed to our team’s success,” said first-year coach Holly Tate.
The Buffaloes’ girls team edged Uintah by seven points in the Region 10 championships and broke two varsity records in the process.
The boys team finished third at region and qualified nine swimmers for state.
Aspen Grgich and Cade McEachern were named outstanding swimmers for the girls and boys teams after scoring top finishes at state.
Grgich earned a silver medal at state and broke the 20-year-old varsity record in the 200-yard freestyle. Her time of 2 minutes, 0.26 second eclipsed the 2000 record set by Nicole Huffman.
In addition to finishing fourth in the 100 butterfly, the senior speed demon also anchored Tooele’s varsity record-setting 400 free relay.
Sharon Seals, Myra Miller, and Annalee Beard rounded out the relay by cruising to time of 3:50.55, eclipsing the previous record by 1.5 seconds that was set in 1999.
Their names are now proudly displayed on the record board hanging prominently on the east wall of the Pratt Aquatic Center.
“Few people understand how difficult it is for four young ladies to turn in split times like Sharon, Annalee, Myra and Aspen did at State,” coach Tate said.
“They all worked extremely hard this year. We are all thrilled their dedication and support for each other came together to get the record,” she added.
McEachern also etched his name in Tooele record books as a top-five performer in both events during the school’s 70-year history.
“It’s virtually impossible to measure how much we will miss Cade. He has been a great asset to our team,” Tate said.
Freshman Kate Walker grabbed Rookie of the Year honors and teammate Annalee Beard garnered the A.T. Roberts “Unsung Hero” award.
Senior Nathan Boren made two trips to the podium. He earned the Ted Pitts Most Inspirational teammate award and the “Unsung Hero” award for the boys.
In the future, the Unsung Hero award will be named in honor of Russell Remington and A.T. Roberts.
In addition to being long-time team supporters, they are the only two meet announcers for Tooele since 1955. They are recognized statewide for their professionalism and volunteer efforts during the past 65 years.
Coach Tate said she will sincerely miss all 12 graduating seniors from this year’s team.
“It was especially difficult for them because they had four different head coaches with four different styles and philosophies,” she said.
Outgoing senior captains, Cooper Woods, Aspen Walker, Andrew Crane and Grgich announced team elected captains for the 2020-21 season.
Crane will return to lead the Buff boys as a captain with distance specialist Harrison Stoddard. Crane is among a handful of swimmers over the decades to serve as team captain for two years.
Myra Miller and Seals will serve as captains for the girls team as they eye a second region trophy next year.
In an unprecedented move, team captains awarded letters to all members of the team.
“Because Holly worked everybody’s butt off all year long and everyone improved while adding to our team’s success, the captains decided to award letters to every member of the team,” captain Crane said.