Swimming teams ready to make a splashDec 11, 2020 04:52PM ● By By Catherine Garrett
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The Davis High swimming team took first place at the District Meet Dec. 5 to begin the season with several top placers from area high schools. The Farmington and Viewmont High swimming teams also welcomed new coaches this year. Here’s a preview of local swim teams this season.
The Davis High swimming team is aiming to “Lift Each Other Up” this season as they return All-State swimmers Lauryn Hall (freestyle), Lia Merrill (backstroke, Individual Medley), Sam Carlson (freestyle), Winston Mi (freestyle, breaststroke), Luke Deller (freestyle, butterfly), Ellyssa Nelson (freestyle), Ben Landheim (freestyle) and Stephen Simmons (freestyle).
Coach Kit Barker also noted strong returning swimmers that are expected to help the Darts in the pool this season are seniors Michael Ehlen, Shallen Foote, Isabelle Hammond, Isabelle Karren, Brayden Littlefield and Jon Page; juniors Kaden Francom, Slater Hancock, Breanna Mertens, Bryce Nichols, Alex Packer and Logan Swasey; sophomores Macie Cragun, Dylan Grant, Afton Nelsen and Andy Nielsen.
Sophomore Ethan Frandsen along with freshmen Allie Allen, Sophie Mottishaw and Hannah Shaw are also promising newcomers to the program, according to Barker. The Davis squad’s motto of “Every Turn Counts” is also being emphasized at every practice and competition this year.
“We have focused on staying positive this year,” Barker said. “In this crazy time, we are being very careful to make sure the kids are safe. We haven’t had any kids test positive for COVID so far! Cross our fingers!”
During the statewide break from sports in November, the Davis swimmers used the gym, 5K races and pool for individual workouts while some got creative and hiked on Antelope Island. The captains have also led dryland workouts and goal sessions on Zoom meetings.
Others on the 2020-21 Darts team are Allie Allen, Shandry Allman, Henry Barber, Tyler Bennett, Olivia Carlson, Breah Christofferson, Elijah Cooper, Jake Edwards, Ethan Frandsen, Lance Gillespie, Adlen Groberg, Slater Hancock, Noah Hender, Brooke Higley, Madison Hoyt, Eve Isaacson, Rylee Johnson, Maureen Karren, Ella Martinez, Devon Mercer, Ty Miller, Sophie Mottishaw, Joseph Petersen, Jackson Prisbrey, Hannah Shaw, Hailey Sillito, Mason Simons, Bo Stromberg, Cody Titel, Samantha Van Drunen, Zoe Weaver, Laila Westover, Jacob Williams and Marcus Williams.
In its first meet of the season against Fremont Dec. 3, the Davis girls won 119-34 while the boys won 119-57.
“It was so amazing to swim in a meet again,” Barker said. “We have missed competing and the swimmers were all in great spirits.” Hall, Sam Carlson, Merrill, Ben Landheim, Foote, Mi, Deller, Weaver, Ellyssa Nelson and Littlefield all had first-place finishes to lead the Darts.
At the Davis District Meet Dec. 5, the boys and girls teams both placed first behind Hall who won the 50 free and 100 free, Ben Landheim who topped the 100 free and first-place showings from the girls 200 medley relay team of Alton Nelson, Karren, Hall and Ellyssa Nelson, the girls 400 free relay lineup of Ellyssa Nelson, Hammond, Foote and Hall and the boys free relay squad of Mi, Littlefield, Deller and Ben Landheim.
“The most exciting part of the meet was the very last event, the boys 400 free relay,” Barker said. “It was a duel between the Syracuse boys who were the favorites and they took the lead early. On the last leg, Ben Lanheim dove in the water a second and a half after Sawyer Portillo and slowly reeled him in, out-touching him by 9/10 of a second for the win. What a great way to end an epic swim meet!”
The Bountiful swimming program focused on safe and healthy measures to swim during the off-season. “A lot of planning and organization had to go into this season to ensure that everyone could be at practice,” said head coach Alexa Lou Olson, who is in her fifth year with the Braves. “My goal is that we can all stay healthy and ensure that mental health needs are being met.”
Junior captain, and two-time state champion in the 100 breaststroke, Sadie Duke said dealing with the pandemic has been difficult, particularly because of the inability to be in the pool. “It was hard not seeing my teammates on a regular basis,” Duke, whose own family welcomed a dog into their home to ease the effects of COVID, said. “We all spend hours together practicing, and it was hard to go for months without seeing each other. As a team, we are trying to stay healthy and be ready to compete despite the pandemic.”
“We are all so close and supportive of each other’s goals,” senior Elliott Howe, who will swim for Kansas University next year, said. “Your team is your family and it makes us want to go to practice and work hard because our best friends are there too.”
Also on the Braves team this season are Emma Anjewierden, Quentin Auering, Jessica Barnes, Andrea Barreno, Brendan Bennett, David Bennion, Anneli Billings, Nia Bingham, Cayla Brown, Madelyn Bushman, Maxwell Clifford, Sydney Crystal, Isabelle DeLeeuw, Emilia Deleon, Hannah Drummer, Sadie Duke, Emma Dye, Ethan Dye, Riley Farr, Madelyn Fenwick, Ayden Fieuw, Abby Firth, Mia Fowler, Gabe Frogley, Aaron Gulso, Tyler Gunn, Allison Hall, Grace Hanni, Elliott Howe, Carolina Hutch, Landon Hutch, Emily Jacobson, Lizzie Jacobson, Emory Hansen, Emily Knowlton, Erik Landheim, Samuel Landon, Caden Levin, Jake Moffit, Spencer Monson, Kayla Myers, Seth Nakaya, Tate Nakaya, Curtis Orchard, Tyler Orme, Tyson Page, Rebecca Reeve, Katelyn Rogers, Brigham Scoville, Isabel Scoville, Isabelle Soriano, Ellie Staheli, Eva Stoddard, Zane Syverson, Rylee Tholen, Loni Tibbetts, Leah Trevino, Kobi Vanderlinden, Pedro Vieira de Marchi, Sammy Wang, Gabby Westergard, Lizzie Williams, Sam Williams, Gabby Wilson and Ryan Wood.
“This is probably my favorite year thus far because this group of kids are so resilient, smart, humble and so brave,” Olson said. “They work hard every day and teach me how to be a better coach every day. They all have bright futures both in swimming and in the real world. I’m grateful to work with such wonderful and tough youth.”
Olson is being assisted this season by Graham Stromberg and Emily Su’a on the coaching staff.
At the District meet, Bountiful placed fourth overall with a third-place showing from the boys and sixth on the girls side. Wood placed first in the boys 500 free while Orme won the 100 breast. Other top-three finishers for the Braves were Wood (200 free), Monson (third, boys 500 free), Duke (third, 100 breast) and the second-place 200 free relay team of Orme, Wood, Vanderlinden and Monson.
Former Viewmont swimmer Nick Keller stepped in to coach the Vikings this year as Steve Doman took this season off. He started in coaching when he was still a swimmer himself and found that he was able to improve himself as a swimmer by doing so, particularly with his technique. He enjoys working with kids and seeing them succeed. “I love helping them build their self-confidence and then see the drive that they have to succeed within their own talent levels,” Keller said.
Keller expects Eric Chamberlain, Jared Chamberlain, Sarah Spangenburg and Gabby Henry to help lead the Vikings swimmers this season.
“We’re going to control what we can control, try our hardest and whatever happens happens,” Keller said.
At the District Meet, the Vikings were short-handed with just two boys swimmers and 10 girls competing due to a St. George meet for club teams. They finished ninth overall with the girls taking seventh and the boys coming in ninth. Elle Decker won the 100 breast while taking second in the 200 IM and Zach Smith placed second in the 500 free.
Keller also noted the performance of 14-year-old Mia Allen who had personal bests at the meet, among others. “Mia killed it in shaving a ton of time off of her swims in the 100 and 200 free events,” he said.
Woods Cross swimming coach Andrew Bird said his team focused on strength and dryland training with the disruptions of the pandemic. “We’ve lost a lot of pool time and space so we’re really focusing on getting quality out of every single workout despite the fact that our yardage has been cut so much,” he said.
Bird said he’s counting on his top returning swimmers in Ally Boynton, Nohea Kamauu, Elle Hall, Zach White and Abel Chomjak to lead the Wildcats in and out of the pool.
At the District Meet, Woods Cross placed fourth for the girls and the boys behind Kamauu’s two first-place finishes in the 200 IM and the 100 fly. Also placing in the top three were Hall (second, girls 100 back; third, 100 fly), the girls 200 free relay of Kamauu, Allana Holtzer, Hall and Rivers Ekstrom who took second while the same lineup placed third in the girls 400 free relay.
Farmington began the season under new head coach Jason Clark and his assistant McKay Clark. They are looking to Dixon Call, Lina Sam Duke, Dunn, Mason Draxler, Kaitlyn Holladay, John Lyman, PJ Norseth, Mairyn Romney, Joseph Schradel, Bibbles Startup and Phillip Wall to lead the Phoenix.
Clark also noted James Taggart, who is new to swimming, as someone to watch. “His progress in and out of the pool has been astounding,” Clark said.
Also on the Farmington squad this year are Corinne Bates, Jayden Bevan, Kenedy Bird, M’ili Brock, JT Calhoun, Colby Conover, Kaden Cook, Jack Cresap, Abby Crowther, Hayden Davis, Miriam Dixon, Keaton Dunford, Luke Erickson, Megan Eversole, Hallie Farnes, Ava Fronk, Emma Garff, Judith Geddes, Maxwell Hornbeck, Sarah Kennedy, Garrett Lines, Emma Madsen, Maddie Nacey, Amanda Neff, Henry Norseth, Maddie Peterson, Olivia Pinson, Katelyn Quist, Ann Richards, Lauren Ruedas, Matthew Scoresby, Julia Schoyer, Zach Shumway, Hailey Stefl, Ada Stewart, Will Thatcher, Amanda Thomas, Anne Treu and Hallie Wangemann.
“This team is full of difference makers who were raised right,” Clark said. “I seriously have never had more fun leading and working with a group of humble, kind and grateful people.”
At the District Meet, Farmington placed sixth overall with a fifth-place showing on the girls side and sixth for the boys. Draxler came in second in the boys 100 breast while Holladay was third in the girls 50 free. The boys 200 free relay – of Draxler, Call, Davis Nielsen and Lyman – placed third.
“We’re all feeling grateful it wasn’t canceled,” Clark said.