by Catherine Garrett
KAYSVILLE–The Davis High gymnasium will now boast banners for boys and girls swimming as the teams brought home the Darts’ first region title in program history Jan. 25.
“Several swimmers mobbed principal Greg Wilkey, who watched the meet unfold from the edge of the pool, asking him when the banners with 2018 on it would be lifted,” said swimming coach Kit Barker. “He replied that he would take care of it immediately.”
The girls defeated Weber by nine points for the Region 1 title while the boys topped Weber by 34 points.
“Wow! What an incredible meet,” Barker said. “We did it!”
On the girls side, all three relay teams placed first, including the 400-yard freestyle squad of Whitney Carlson, Kira Halls, Shallen Foote and Jessica Barker who broke the school record with a 3:52.86, besting the previous time by two seconds. The 200 medley relay team of Halls, Olivia Smith, Elsa Mumford and Foote came in first by just .18 seconds while Carlson, Mumford, Smith and Jessica Barker – on the 200 free relay squad – outpaced the field by two seconds.
Carlson “chased down” Christina Gillespie in the 100 free, according to Barker, to tie for first place with a personal record time of 57.32. Other top finishes for the girls team were Barker (first, 200 free; second, PR 5:37.98 – 500 free); Mumford (second, PR 2:22.06 – 200 Individual Medley; second, 100 breaststroke); Carlson (third, PR 2:06.93 – 200 free); Smith (third, 100 breast; fourth, 200 IM); Halls (third, 100 back; fourth, PR 1:10.10 – 100 butterfly); Foote (fourth, PR 27.50 – 50 free; fourth, PR 5:53.90 – 500 free); Annalea Karren (fifth, 100 backstroke; seventh, 50 free); and Rachel Barker (seventh, PR 1:18.56 – 100 breast; eighth, 200 free).
Barker also noted the contributions of Brianna Nielson and Holly Witherspoon in the 500 free. “Their seeded times were close to three Weber girls times. We knew Weber was close to us and they knew they had to swim fast,” Barker said. “Holly dropped nine seconds and Brianna dropped seven seconds and they both beat two of the Weber girls.”
For the boys team, the 200 free relay team of Tom Mi, Carter Barrus, Zac Michaelson and Max Deller came in first with a season-best time of 1:33.53. Mi also came in first in the 200 free and the 100 free events.
Other top finishers for the boys squad were Deller (second, 50 free; fifth, PR 53.41 – 100 free); Michaelson (second, 100 breast, PR 1:02.26 – 100 breast; fifth, 50 free); Wil O’Brien (fourth, PR 2:11.89 – 200 IM, fourth, PR 1:00.24 – 100 back); Barrus (fourth, 100 breast; sixth, PR 2:12.85 – 200 IM); Adam Swasey (sixth, PR 2:02.37 – 200 free; ninth, PR 5:44.87 – 500 free); Ben Landheim (sixth, PR 24.20 – 50 free; 10th, 100 free); and Tanner Sillito (sixth, PR 1:01.65 – 100 fly; 11th, PR 1:05.71 – 100 back).
Kyle Lortz had two third place finishes – in the 200 IM and with a PR of 1:03.43 in the 100 breast. “Not bad after slicing his hand, requiring stitches earlier this week,” Barker said.
Two other third place finishes by the 200 medley relay team of O’Brien, Michaelson, Barrus and Landheim and the 400 free relay squad of Deller, Carlson, Landheim and Mi were season-best times for both four-somes as well as key finishes for the boys team.
“Most of the swimmers had personal best times,” Barker said. “As the girls can clearly tell, every point counted in this meet. We didn’t win by a few fast girls or boys. We won by each swimmer pulling their best time and adding four points here and seven points there.”
The depth of the Davis High program showed time and again throughout the season and was the key to both squads becoming first-time champions. “We don’t realize how important our swimmers that place third or fourth for our team are, but they definitely make the difference,” Barker said. “You think that your swim doesn’t count and yet it does make a difference.”
The 2017-18 season wraps up at the 6A state meet, which is scheduled for Feb. 8-10 at the South Davis Recreation Center.