By Brian Savard
PROVO, Utah, February 18. THREE Utah 5A state records fell as Skyline High School swept both the men's and women's competitions at the Utah 5A state meet this past weekend.
Skyline's women's team easily took home first-place honors with 429 points. Brighton High School (326) took second while Kearns High School (265) took third.
The Eagle men also had no problem in earning first place with 396 points. West Jordan High School (250) and Brighton (209) placed second and third, respectively.
Skyline senior Sara Nicponski stole the spotlight as she set a state record in the 100 breaststroke. Her 1:02.10 time placed her well under her former record of 1:04.07, which she set last year. Nicponski used her breaststroke to distance herself from the 200 IM field. No other swimmer in finals could come within five seconds of her quick breaststroke split of 33.99. Nicponski's 2:06.33 time fell just short of the Utah 5A state record of 2:06.16.
Natalie Edge, a Kearns High School senior, joined the double event winner club by winning both sprint freestyle events. Edge crushed the field by more than a second in the 50 (23.65), and she set a state record in the 100 (50.77). Nicole Collard of Hunter High School set the previous mark back in 1993 (50.90). Edge also competed on the first-place Kearns 200 freestyle relay that touched out Skyline by .01.
Candice Smith came within striking distance of a state mark. Smith, an American Fork High School junior, won the 100 backstroke in 56.72. Heidi Hausknecht's 56.66 record survived another year, as Smith slightly missed the state mark. Smith also won the 200 freestyle (1:54.68).
Skyline took two relay victories. The quartet of senior Alyssa Woodliff, Nicponski, junior Marnie Knoop and senior Kristina Evans won the 200 medley relay (1:47.90), and the foursome of sophomore Lisa Pazzi, senior Julie Lamb, Evans and Knoop clocked a first-place time of 3:37.21.
Davis High School freshman Chad Sorenson added to the record-breaking performances by setting a Utah 5A state mark in the 100 breaststroke (59.55). Sorenson also placed sixth in the 200 IM.
Nate Swallow, a Skyline senior, took home the gold in both the 200 IM (1:56.27) and the 500 freestyle (4:43.12).
The most impressive coincidence of the meet happened to West Jordan senior Jordan Fletcher. Fletcher swam identical times in both his 100 butterfly and his 100 backstroke (52.41). Not only did he take home the gold medal in both, but he also recorded an All-American consideration time in the 100 backstroke. Fletcher earned a third gold medal swimming the butterfly leg on the West Jordan relay, splitting an impressive 22.48.
West Jordan won both the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay. The winning medley relay team included senior Jon Ellis, senior Zach Bellows, Fletcher and sophomore Jordan Spoerri (1:40.02). West Jordan's champion 200 freestyle relay included Fletcher, sophomore Josh Loomis, senior Austin Spoerri and Jordan Spoerri (1:27.32). Fletcher's leadoff time of 21.18 would not only have won him the 50 freestyle, but it also gives him an All-American automatic qualifying time.