Snow Canyon makes strong start at Fernley Invitational to open high school swim season

ST. GEORGE — Co-host Snow Canyon High School made a strong showing at the season-opening Greg Fernley Invitational swim meet at the Sand Hollow Aquatics Center Friday and Saturday.

Swimmers compete at the Greg Fernley Invitational, St. George, Utah, Nov. 6, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

This year’s event was scaled back considerably due to COVID-19 related concerns and restrictions.

Although the popular annual meet has traditionally attracted some of the top larger schools from around the state — more than 800 swimmers from 19 schools participated last year — this year’s field was limited to just the eight Region 9 schools comprising approximately 285 swimmers.

“On a normal year, teams would be permitted to mix and mingle with other swimmers from other schools; this year they were instructed to stay with their own school and the location for each school was assigned before the meet,” said Shannon Greer, team assistant for meet co-host Dixie High. 

Other restrictions and protocols were followed to keep the event within recommended safety guidelines, including limiting the number of swimmers on deck or in the pool at a time, Greer said.

“Since we were not permitted to have any spectators, we broadcast the meet on YouTube Live which was a new experience for many of our parents,” Greer added.

Greer said that the impact of COVID-19 on the upcoming season is still to be determined, but noted that multiple upcoming invitational meets throughout the state have either been scaled back, as the Fernley meet was, or canceled entirely.

“We are very grateful the city gave us a chance to prove that we can safely hold events like this during the COVID concern,” Greer said.

Snow Canyon handily won both the girls and boys competitions over the weekend, with the Warriors sweeping every one of the relay events and winning several individual races.

Snow Canyon sophomore Kylie Barber won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.13 and also took first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.53 seconds. Teammate Cambria Callaway, a junior, won the 50 free in 25.95, beating some 90 other swimmers in that event. Callaway also placed second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:01.68.

Also for the Snow Canyon girls, junior Olivia Jenkins placed first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:15.51. 

For the Snow Canyon boys, junior Max Barnett won the 200 IM in a time of 1:54.79 and also won the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:10.78. Sophomore teammate Daxton Green took first in both of his races as well, winning the 100 fly in 55.93 seconds and winning the 100 back with an even faster time of 55.14. Fellow sophomore Grant Gibbs took first in the 200 free for the Warriors, posting a time of 1:45.66. Gibbs also took second in the 50 free with a time of 22.37.

For the Crimson Cliffs girls, senior Kyleigh Mesinger won the 100 breast in a time of 1:10.78 and placed second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:21.30. Meanwhile, sophomore Kensely Messinger took first in the 100 back with a time of 59.79. 

Swimmers compete at the Greg Fernley Invitational, St. George, Utah, Nov. 6, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

In one of the closest finishes during the meet, Canyon View senior Jessica Davenport edged junior Adrina Daley of Crimson Cliffs by less than two-tenths of a second in the 100 free. Davenport’s winning time was 59.60, while Daley touched the wall in 59.79.

Desert Hills sprinter Hyatt Iverson, a senior who helped the Thunder to the 4A state title the past two years, also won both of his individual events at the Fernley Invitational. Iverson placed first in the 50 free with a time of 21.84 and also won the 100 free in 48.68.

In the meet’s longest event, the 500 free, senior Mykela Hansen of Desert Hills was the winner of the girls race, finishing in 5:27.85, while junior Max Cannon of Canyon View won the boys event in 2:05.37.

For complete meet results, click here

“This Greg Fernley was definitely one for the books,” said Mica Bower, who has taken over the reins as Dixie High’s head coach after several seasons as an assistant. “All of the teams handled our COVID restrictions very well. Can’t wait to see what the season holds.”

Greg Fernley Invitational 2020

Sand Hollow Aquatics Center, St. George

Girls team results

  1. Snow Canyon 361
  2. Crimson Cliffs 293
  3. Canyon View 267
  4. Cedar 264
  5. Desert Hills 246
  6. Pine View 178
  7. Dixie 173
  8. Hurricane 148

Boys team results

  1. Snow Canyon 373
  2. Desert Hills 309
  3. Cedar 279
  4. Crimson Cliffs 245
  5. Dixie 240
  6. Canyon View 224
  7. Pine View 123
  8. Hurricane 101

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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