State swimming: Park City sweeps; So. Utah swimmers place high

The 3A State Swimming Championships at BYU, Provo, Utah, Feb. 11, 2017 | Photo by AJ Griffin, St. George News

PROVO— At the 3A state swim meet, heavily favored Park City High School took home first place in both boys and girls while Region 9 winners Cedar High boys and Desert Hills girls took second place Saturday at Brigham Young University.

Park City won the boys overall with 369 points, while Cedar took second with 256.5 and Desert Hills third with 208 points. Park City won the girls overall with 466 points, Desert Hills took second with 275 points, and Cedar took third with 238 points. While Park City won state handily, it didn’t come without several event upsets at the hands of southern Utah’s Region 9 swimmers.

Garrett Dotson, 3A State Swimming Championships at BYU, Provo, Utah, Feb. 11, 2017 | Photo by AJ Griffin, St. George News

Cedar’s Garrett Dotson had a special Saturday, taking gold in the 100-yard breaststroke and setting a personal record (PR) during his leg to help Cedar win gold in the 200-yard freestyle relay, upsetting Park City and edging out Desert Hills.

“It was a great day,” Dotson said. “We took a lot of unexpected medals. What happened with the relays was unexpected and I hoped for it, but didn’t expect it, so it was awesome we won it. It is thrilling and there is no other feeling then seeing all the work you put in all year pay off.”

Cedar teammate and relay anchor Calvin Brown added that it was a special kind of win in upsetting Park City and Desert Hills.

“I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my time here at state,” Brown said. “We all performed to the best of our abilities, especially Garrett (Dotson) who led off our relay and hit a PR. We all had our best times and we ended up pulling it out in the end over Desert Hills. It doesn’t happen very often that we beat Park City so that is something that is really exciting to finally beat them and to be state champs in the relay.”

Abby McCoy, 3A State Swimming Championships at BYU, Provo, Utah, Feb. 11, 2017 | Photo by AJ Griffin, St. George News

The Desert Hills girls team also had a great weekend at state, placing second for the first time since 2013. Senior Abby McCoy, who competed as a freshmen on the 2013 team, reflected on a great career.

“It feels so amazing,” she said. “And now it’s even more amazing to get it again my senior year, it just feels amazing. I ended my senior year the way I wanted to.”

The Desert Hills Thunder grabbed second at state by placing in the top five in almost all events. This included a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay (Sarah Hansen, Taylor Porter, Abby McCoy and Trinity Shimbeck), a fifth place finish by Mya Ottenschot in the 100-yard freestyle, a fourth-place finish by Taylor Porter in the 500-freestyle, a third-place finish in the 200-freestyle relay (Mya Ottenschot, Taylor Porter, Molly McCoy and Abby McCoy), a third-place finish by Sarah Hansen in the 100-backstroke, a fourth-place finish by Abby McCoy in the 100-breaststroke and a third-place finish in the 400-freestyle relay (Mya Ottenschot, Trinity Shimbeck, Sarah Hansen and Molly McCoy), a fourth-place finish by Trinity Schimbeck in the 200-freestyle, and a fourth-place finish by Mya Ottenschot in the 50-free.

3A State Swimming Championships at BYU, Provo, Utah, Feb. 11, 2017 | Photo by AJ Griffin, St. George News

“The two relays with my little sister (Molly McCoy) were honestly amazing,” McCoy added. “It was so special because it was our last high school relay that we will ever get to do together and that was super fun. It has been crazy. I have put in 12 practices a week, 4-5 hours a day and this definitely has just paid off and has been a dream come true. “

Another great performer at the meet was sophomore Ryan Bunn of Hurricane High School. He got two gold medals, winning the 100-yard butterfly Saturday and 200-yard freestyle Friday. Bunn reflected on his races during the meet.

“I was really hoping for a gold today, and I barely pulled it out,” Bunn said. “The first 25, I felt nice and good and I noticed the other swimmers were right up on me nice and close and I sped up on the second 25 and the third 25 I took it a little bit too fast and I started to die on that last 25 and I was like ‘Keep it together, keep it together,’ and I pulled it away by a tenth of a second.”

Cedar’s girls (Kristen Gross, Kaitlyn Gross, Aspen Bonzo and Elisa Price) took gold in the 200 Yard Freestyle, 3A State Swimming Championships at BYU, Provo, Utah, Feb. 11, 2017 | Photo by AJ Griffin, St. George News

The Cedar High girls team also had a several big wins. Cedar’s Kristen Gross and Aspen Bonzo, who took second and third Friday in the 50-yard freestyle, teamed up with Katelyn Gross, who took gold in the 100-yard fly and second in the 200 individual medley, and Elisa Price, who took second in the 100-yard backstroke to win the 200-yard medley relay. Together, they were the fastest four girls in 3A.

“My freshmen year I won this relay with three other girls,” Kristen Gross said. “And throughout those years until now, we have been trying to get that team back up again and we have put together such a strong team of girls. I was the anchor and Elisa gave me such a good leadoff. It was so amazing to dive in the water and just blow it out of the water. My dreams came true. It’s so awesome to see it come together.”

Bonzo added that Park City’s swimming dynasty has motivated them to train hard this year for state.

“It means a lot to beat Park City,” Bonzo said. “We have been working really hard to beat them for a long, long time and we are the four fastest girls in Cedar and now we are the four fastest girls in the state.”

Of note, Trident (Pine View, Desert Hills and Hurricane) coach Dani Caldwell was honored as the 3A swimming coach of the year after the state meet. The academic all-state teams were honored as well.

3A Academic all-state
Garret Buttars, Bear River; T. Clark Callister, Canyon View; Calvin Brown, Cedar; Jedd Kjar, Cedar; Tucker Hathaway, Dixie; Connor Waterman, Logan; David Kim, Logan; James Healy, Logan; Benjamin Palmer, North Sanpete; Blade Cox, North Sanpete
Mayalen Laker, Bear River; Sadie Crompton, Carbon; Kara Bachman, Cedar; Bailey Hendrix, Cedar; Brei McQuivey, Cedar; Brooklyn Messer, Cedar; Ashlynn Twitchell, Cedar; Hana‐Joy Hanks, Dixie; Sierra Johnson, Dixie; Nicole Day, North Sanpete; Darby Riley, Pine View; Victoria Greenwood, Richfield

Complete results from the 3A State Swim Meet can be obtained at

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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