The Tooele swim team earned big margins of victory in both the boys and girls meets against Ogden on Tuesday, Dec. 18 to head into moratorium with momentum.
Ogden snatched some victories in a few close races, but the Buffaloes powered through any struggles to land wins of 184-99 for the girls and 188-83 for the boys.
“It was a tough meet to get them up for after the invitational meet last weekend, and it showed during the meet,” Tooele coach Mel Roberts said. “Many of the swimmers were off their season-best times by a couple of seconds.”
However, Roberts said he enjoyed the swims by Maddie Nichols and Jessica Knowles in the 200-yard freestyle, Katelin Hardy in the 200-yard individual medley and 500-yard freestyle, and Maddie Eldredge in the 100-yard breaststroke. On the boys’ side, Roberts said he enjoyed Brandon Johnson’s swim in the 200-yard freestyle, Quinten Smith in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke, Andrew Merkley and Patrick Burden in the 100-yard freestyle, and Duncan Holt and Tim Nowotny in the 200-yard individual medley.
Hardy finished in fourth place in the 200-yard IM with her career-best time of 2:43.95. Teammate Tajia Perkins won the event with a time of 2:28.67. Hardy’s third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle was her career-best time of 6:30.53. Nichols took second in that event with a time of 6:14.32.
“Katelin is a very talented sophomore who can swim any event,” Roberts said, “but I think we found her two best from this meet.”
Roberts awarded Hardy with Swimmer of the Meet for the girls.
Ogden’s Jodi Pham won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:13.00, but Nichols and Knowles both posted careerbest times. Nichols finished in second place with a time of 2:22.23, and Knowles finished in third place with a time of 2:33.71.
“Ogden has a very good girls team and will be a real factor at the region championships,” Roberts said.
Roberts awarded Smith as the Swimmer of the Meet for the boys with his freestyle and backstroke swims. Smith’s firstplace finish of 23.89 in the 50- yard freestyle was his careerbest time. He also recorded a career-best time in the 100- yard backstroke with a time of 1:00.07, also a first-place finish.
“Quinten has really developed during the last year and a half,” Roberts said. “He can swim any of four different events. It will be a challenge to decide on his best for region and state.”
Johnson recorded a careerbest time in the 200-yard freestyle, winning first place along the way. He recorded a time of 1:50.96.
Teammates Merkley and Burden finished in first place and second place in the 100- yard freestyle with both swimmers recording career-best times. Merkley scored a 56.63, and Burden scored a 56.78. Roberts said both Merkley and Burden have been progressing in the 100-yard freestyle, and he’s excited to see how far the two of them can go.
“The Ogden boys are young but did provide good competition for the boys in the 50 and 100 free, and 100 fly, as well as winning the 200-free relay,” Roberts said.
Tooele has no meets scheduled until Jan. 8 when it will host West High School’s swim team.
“West has developed into a strong team in the 5A classification with several outstanding swimmers in both boys and girls,” Roberts said. “It will be a tough meet for us, but it will also help get the swimmers back to business as there are only three meets left until the Region 11 Championship on Jan. 26.”