Region 9 to stage girls and boys swimming championships separately; state meets also to split

Cedar Invitational swim meet, Cedar City Aquatics Center, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 4, 2020 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — This year’s Region 9 high school swimming championships will have a new look, as the girls and boys meets will be staged separately, on different days.

The event is scheduled for this coming weekend at the Washington City Community Center pool. The girls will compete on Friday, starting at 4:30 p.m., while the boys meet is scheduled to start Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Because they won’t be alternating races between sexes as has typically been done in the past, each session should last no more than two hours, according to organizers.

Coaches say the format change was made in order to safely accommodate all eight region schools while staying within the recommended COVID-19 attendance restrictions for the venue. Splitting the meets into two separate events also permits a limited number of fans to attend in person.

Each competing swimmer will be allowed to have two designated family members as spectators; however, male swim team members can’t attend the girls meet and vice versa. 

Based on season results to date, Snow Canyon is a top favorite to win both the girls and boys divisions. The Warriors not only have several of the fastest individual times this season, they also own the top 4A times statewide in each of the three team relay events, both boys and girls.

Snow Canyon sophomore Kylie Barber is currently the top-ranked 4A swimmer in three events (200 free, 100 free and 100 butterfly); she is also ranked highly in several other races. However, like all other high school swimmers, she’s eligible to compete in no more than two individual events in any given meet, including region and state, plus two relays (a swimmer may compete in three relays, but only if they swim in just one individual event).

Cedar Invitational swim meet, Cedar City Aquatics Center, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 4, 2020 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Three of Barber’s teammates, Snow Canyon juniors Olivia Jenkins, Afton Page and Cambria Callaway, also hold multiple top-three times in individual events. The Warriors are likely to face strong challenges from top athletes at other schools, including Mykela Hansen and Caitlyn Romprey of Desert Hills and Kyleigh Messinger and Kensley Messinger of Crimson Cliffs.

On the boys side, Snow Canyon’s Max Barnett, Grant Gibbs and Daxton Green are all ranked among the top three in multiple individual events this season. Other top contenders within the region include Max Cannon of Canyon View, Hyatt Iverson and Dallas Schimbeck of Desert Hills and Tobler Dotson of Cedar.

To see the full list of the top 100 4A statewide athletes in each event and their times, click here.

The upcoming Region 9 meet will be the last chance for swimmers to post qualifying times for the state championships, which are scheduled for Feb. 12-13 at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful (see Ed. note). This year’s state meets will also be segregated, with the girls sessions first, followed by the boys. 

For each classification, the top 24 statewide qualifiers in each individual event are eligible to compete at state, with the top eight swimmers advancing to the finals the second day, plus another eight swimmers in consolation races. Click here to see the state meet schedule.

Ed note: This article has been updated to reflect a change in venue for the 4A state swim meet. UHSAA officials announced on Feb. 4 that instead of being held at Brigham Young University in Provo, the event, along with the 3A state meet, will be held at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful. The scheduled dates and times for all 4A and 3A events will remain the same, as will spectator restrictions and other COVID-19 related guidelines. 

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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