Records fall as Desert Hills swimmers win boys and girls Region 9 titles

L-R: Christian Rettie, Payton Plumb, Ashton Anderson and Keegan Wawrzyniak of Desert Hills atop the medals podium after their state record-setting time of 1:24.43 in the 200-yard freestyle relay at the Region 9 championships, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — The Desert Hills High School swim team won both the boys and girls Region 9 championships Friday and Saturday at the Sand Hollow Aquatics Center.

L-R: Keegan Wawrzyniak, Christian Rettie, Ashton Anderson and Payton Plumb of Desert Hills hold medals after their state record-setting time of 1:24.43 in the 200-yard freestyle relay at the Region 9 championships, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The most astounding performance of the weekend came midway through Saturday’s events, when Desert Hills shattered the overall state record in the boys 200-yard freestyle relay by more than 1.5 seconds.

In that event, Payton Plumb swam the initial 50-yard leg in a blistering 21.32 seconds, after which Christian Rettie followed with a 21.41, then Ashton Anderson with a 20.96 and anchor Keegan Wawrzyniak with a time of 20.74 for a total net time of 1:24.43.

That time eclipsed the former all-classification Utah state record of 1:25.95, set by 5A’s West Jordan High in 2008. It was also slightly more than two seconds better than the Thunder’s previous 4A state record of 1:26.46, set on Nov. 2, 2018.

“We have been talking about doing something truly historic,” said DHHS boys coach Shawn King. “We saw that we had the chance, with the work our guys have put in, to not just break that record, but to be one of the top teams in the country, and it was amazing to be able to witness the realization of that goal.”

The same four boys, swimming in a different order, also established a new state 4A record in the 200-yard medley relay Friday night. In that event, Plumb, Wawrzyniak, Anderson and Rettie won with a time of 1:35.66, beating their own record of 1:36.92, also set during the season opening meet on Nov. 1, 2018.

Individually, Anderson and Wawrzyniak had also tied for first place overall in the 50-yard freestyle race with identical times of 21.91 seconds Friday night. They swam even faster during Saturday’s relay, as did both Plumb and Rettie.

The Desert Hills girls also set a new state record in the 200 medley relay on Friday, with the Lady Thunder’s Caitlin Romprey, Madison Dunlavy, Sarah Hansen and Trinity Schimbeck combining for a time of 1:49.02, or 3 hundredths of a second faster than the previous 4A record of 1:49.05, set by Park City in 2018.

Swimmers from second-place Snow Canyon (left), first-place Desert Hills (center) and third-place Cedar stand atop medals podium after the girls 400-yard freestyle relay event at the Region 9 championships, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“It wasn’t our goal to break the 200 medley state record — not yet,” said Desert Hills girls coach Dani Caldwell. “The girls were after a new pool record. It’s just one example of how each of them puts it all on the line for each other.”

“I have been blessed to work with a group of girls this season who are willing to go to extraordinary lengths for each other,” Caldwell added. “Time and again they elevate the team and have each other’s backs, in and out of the pool.”

In a touching moment during the same 200 medley relay on Friday, the Pine View Lady Panthers competed without senior Erynn Swinson, who suffered a serious head injury in a car accident Jan. 13. Swinson was still in the hospital Friday night but was able to watch the race via live video streaming as her teammates competed in the event, her mother Yvonne Swinson told St. George News. Fellow senior Shelby Cabana took over Swinson’s butterfly leg, and Adrina Daley stepped up to join Sydney Cabana and Kyleigh Messinger in posting a time of 1:59.68, good enough for fourth place overall behind Desert Hills, Snow Canyon and Cedar.

Yvonne Swinson added that her daughter Erynn made it home from the hospital Saturday afternoon and is continuing to recover from a skull fracture and traumatic brain injury. Erynn Swinson said she appreciates the positive messages of support she has received from her fellow swimmers, including those from other schools, her mother reported.

All seven Region 9 schools competed in the region championship meet, with dozens of swimmers battling for one last chance to qualify for the upcoming state meet, scheduled for Feb. 8-9 at Brigham Young University in Provo.

The Desert Hills boys will be aiming to defend their state title, while the Lady Thunder are hoping to improve on their third-place finish at state last year.

Read more: Desert Hills boys win 4A state swim title; Lady Thunder take third

We are thrilled with the performances of our team,” added DHHS coach King. “We had great swimming at every level and enjoyed the competition that comes from very strong region teams. We had standout swims from our athletes striving to get their times to qualify for state, as well as some dominant performances from our varsity athletes looking to build confidence in preparation for state.”

Region 9 Championships, Boys team scores

  1. Desert Hills 453
  2. Cedar 380
  3. Snow Canyon 302
  4. Canyon View 235
  5. Dixie 196
  6. Hurricane 165
  7. Pine View 106

Region 9 Championships, Girls team scores

  1. Desert Hills 527
  2. Snow Canyon 326
  3. Cedar 280
  4. Dixie 210
  5. Pine View 177
  6. (tie) Canyon View 176
  7. (tie) Hurricane 176

Individual medalists (top three finishers), by event

Swimmers compete in the girls 100-yard butterfly event at the Region 9 championships, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Girls 200 medley relay

  1. Desert Hills 1:49.02
  2. Snow Canyon 1:55.55
  3. Cedar 1:56.02

Boys 200 medley relay

  1. Desert Hills 1:35.66
  2. Cedar 1:40.26
  3. Canyon View 1:49.98

Girls 200 free

  1. Elisa Price, Cedar 1:57.20
  2. Trinity Schimbeck, Desert Hills 1:58.76
  3. Nicole Christensen, Snow Canyon 1:59.11

Boys 200 free

  1. Ryan Bunn, Hurricane 1:46.12
  2. Wyatt Kjar, Cedar 1:49.09
  3. Hyatt Iverson, Desert Hills 1:51.65

Girls 200 IM

  1. Kylie Barber, Snow Canyon 2:11.37
  2. Sarah Hansen, Desert Hills 2:11.76
  3. Stephanie Dansie, Desert Hills 2:15.96

Boys 200 IM

  1. Payton Plumb, Desert Hills 1:58.55
  2. Max Barnett, Snow Canyon 2:01.86
  3. Gavin Crawford, Desert Hills 2:05.43
Sarah Hansen (center) and teammate Madison Dunlavy of Desert Hills compete in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Region 9 championships, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Girls 50 free

  1. Mya Ottenschot, Desert Hills 25.16
  2. Caitlin Romprey, Desert Hills 25.40
  3. Cambria Callaway, Snow Canyon 25.62

Boys 50 free

  1. (tie) Ashton Anderson, Desert Hills 21.91
  2. (tie) Keegan Wawrzyniak, Desert Hills 21.91
  3. Carson Brown, Cedar 22.31

Girls 100 fly

  1. Kylie Barber, Snow Canyon 58.25
  2. Elisa Price, Cedar 58.67
  3. Stephanie Dansie, Desert Hills 1:01.55

Boys 100 fly

  1. Ryan Bunn, Hurricane 52.37
  2. Gavin Crawford, Desert Hills 55.99
  3. Ethan Kochel, Hurricane 56.04

Girls 100 free

  1. Mya Ottenschot, Desert Hills 54.36
  2. Cambria Callaway, Snow Canyon 54.73
  3. Breanna Graves, Snow Canyon 58.86

Boys 100 free

  1. Ashton Anderson, Desert Hills 47.40
  2. Keegan Wawrzyniak, Desert Hills 48.08
  3. Hyatt Iverson, Desert Hills 49.96

Girls 500 free

  1. Trinity Schimbeck, Desert Hills 5:19.63
  2. Nicole Christensen, Snow Canyon 5:22.93
  3. Kela Hansen, Desert Hills 5:25.26
Swimmers compete in the boys 400-yard freestyle relay event at the Region 9 championships, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Boys 500 free

  1. Wyatt Kjar, Cedar 4:48.88
  2. Max Cannon, Canyon View 5:02.90
  3. Alex Haws, Desert Hills 5:04.29

Girls 200 free relay

  1. Desert Hills 1:43.36
  2. Pine View 1:46.11
  3. Dixie 1:47.86

Boys 200 free relay

  1. Desert Hills 1:24.43
  2. Cedar 1:30.91
  3. Snow Canyon 1:33.76

Girls 100 back

  1. Caitlin Romprey, Desert Hills 56.85
  2. Jessica Davenport, Canyon View 1:03.66
  3. Kara Weiland, Desert Hills 1:03.68

Boys 100 back

  1. Payton Plumb, Desert Hills 51.75
  2. Carson Brown, Cedar 54.48
  3. Grant Gibbs, Snow Canyon 57.39

Girls 100 breast

  1. Sarah Hansen, Desert Hills 1:10.56
  2. Madison Dunlavy, Desert Hills 1:11.67
  3. Kyleigh Messinger, Pine View 1:11.80

Boys 100 breast

  1. Reuben Dotson, Cedar 1:01.97
  2. Leon Weingartner, Cedar 1:02.83
  3. Max Barnett, Snow Canyon 1:03.47

Girls 400 free relay

  1. Desert Hills 3:40.09
  2. Snow Canyon 3:43.52
  3. Cedar 3:55.51

Boys 400 free relay

  1. Desert Hills 3:20.33
  2. Snow Canyon 3:25.11
  3. Canyon View 3:29.39

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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1 Comment

  • Michelle January 27, 2019 at 1:46 am

    For Pine View, Shelby Cabana is actually Sophomore and her sister Sydney Cabana is a Senior.

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