Desert Hills girls take first, boys place second at invitational swim meet in Washington

Miles Peterson of Desert Hills competes in the 100-yard butterfly event at the ThunderCat Invitational, Washington City, Utah, Jan. 5, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

WASHINGTON CITY — The Desert Hills High School boys and girls swim teams each made strong showings at the ThunderCat Invitational meet held Friday and Saturday at the Washington City Community Center.

The event, co-hosted by Desert Hills and Pine View high schools, attracted teams from more than a dozen schools, including 5A’s Skyline and Wasatch.

The Desert Hills girls placed first out of 15 teams in the overall team standings, scoring 418.5 points to runner-up Wasatch’s 398.5 points.

Meanwhile, the Desert Hills boys placed second overall among 13 teams, scoring 373 total points. Skyline finished atop the boys team standings with 385 points.

“We were pleasantly surprised to be ahead throughout the meet, but Skyline took the lead on the breaststroke,” said Desert Hills boys coach Shawn King. “It was a great meet for us, going against such a strong team in Skyline. Skyline is one of the most historic and dominant programs in the last 20 years of Utah swimming, so it is exciting that we are closing the gap.”

Swimmers compete in the girls 200-yard freestyle relay event at the ThunderCat Invitational, Washington City, Utah, Jan. 5, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Thunder took first place in five of the six relay events at the meet and finished second in the other, the girls 200-yard freestyle relay.

“Our relays performed very well,” King said. “We had some of the fastest times of our season, and we see that the efforts of our athletes in training and preparation are paying off.

“We had the fastest meet we have had on the whole, with many of our underclassmen stepping up and swimming significantly faster and we feel focused and optimistic for our championship season in a few weeks.”

Following are summaries of some of the top individual performances by Southern Utah athletes at the meet:

In the girls 200 freestyle, Nicole Christensen of Snow Canyon won the race in 2:02.35, narrowly edging runner-up Trinity Schimbeck of Desert Hills, who finished in 2:02.54. Rachel McMaster of Beaver was fifth with a time of 2:06.97.

Sarah Hansen of Desert Hills was the top finisher in the 200-yard individual medley, winning with a time of 2:15.78. Kylie Barber of Snow Canyon finished fourth in 2:21.81.

Payton Plumb of Desert Hills leaps off the block at the start of the 100-yard butterfly race, which he won in a time of 55.40 seconds, ThunderCat Invitational, Washington City, Utah, Jan. 5, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Later, toward the end of the meet, Hansen placed second in the 100 breaststroke, posting a time of 1:12.17. Teammate Madison Dunlavy placed fifth in the same race with a time of 1:14.74.

In the girls 50 freestyle, an event that featured more than 140 competitors, teammates Mya Ottenschot and Caitlin Romprey of Desert Hills tied for second place with identical times of 26.00 seconds. Claire Kieffer of Wasatch was the winner with a time of 25.52. Cambria Callaway of Snow Canyon (26.81) placed fourth and Kyleigh Messinger of Pine View (26.95) took fifth.

Callaway also placed third in the 100 free, while Ottenschot took fifth in that same race.

Romprey won the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.76, with Millard’s Drew Roper placing second in 1:00.11 and Cedar’s Elisa Price taking third in 1:00.73. Earlier, Roper had also placed second in the 100 free.

Cedar’s Price was the winner of the girls 100 butterfly in a time of 1:00.19. Snow Canyon’s Barber was second in 1:02.92, while Dixie’s Hailey Greer took third in 1:04.41. Taylor Porter of Desert Hills tied for fifth place in the 100 fly.

Christensen of Snow Canyon was the winner of the 500 freestyle, posting a time of 5:31.22. Schimbeck of Desert Hills placed fourth in 5:38.39, while teammate Kela Hansen of Desert Hills was right behind Schimbeck in fifth place with 5:38.46.

For the boys, Payton Plumb of Desert Hills won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:46.42. Cedar High’s Wyatt Kjar was third with 1:49.35. Plumb also won the boys 100 butterfly in a time of 55.40 seconds.

Kjar was the winner in the boys 500 free, posting a time of 4:57.54. Alex Haws of Desert Hills placed fifth in the same race with a time of 5:18.71.

Swimmers leave the blocks at the start of the girls 200-yard freestyle relay event at the ThunderCat Invitational, Washington City, Utah, Jan. 5, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Max Barnett of Snow Canyon placed second in the 200 IM, posting a time of 2:07.18. Gavin Crawford of Desert Hills took fifth in the same race. Crawford also had a third-place finish in the 100 fly.

Ashton Anderson of Desert Hills was the winner of the boys 50 free, posting a time of 22.33 seconds. Coming in a close second was his teammate Keegan Wawrzyniak, who finished in 22.45. Carson Brown of Cedar placed fifth with a time of 23.20.

Brown placed second in the 100 back with a time of 57.36, while Grant Gibbs of Snow Canyon was third in 58.39.

Anderson also won the 100 freestyle, posting a time of 48.82 seconds, which was less than 1/20th of a second ahead of teammate Wawrzyniak, who touched the wall in second place in 48.86.

Cedar’s Leon Weingartner placed third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.18. Max Cannon of Canyon View was fourth, Max Barnett of Snow Canyon placed fifth, and Cedar’s Reuben Dotson finished sixth.

Several Region 9 teams will be competing this coming weekend at an invitational meet at the Cedar City Aquatics Center Jan. 11-12. The Region 9 championships are scheduled for Jan. 25-26 at the Sand Hollow Aquatics Center in St. George, with the state 4A championship meet being held at Brigham Young University in Provo Feb. 8-9.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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