Jake Walters Breaks 100 Back Record, Desert Hills Sweeps Team Titles at Utah 4A State Championships

desert hills
Photo Courtesy: Desert Hills HS Athletics Twitter (@DhillsAthletics)

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The 2019 Utah 4A State Championships took place on Saturday, February 9 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

The highlight of the meet came from Sky View senior Jake Walters who broke a decade-old Utah state record in the 100 back, as well as the Desert Hills 4×100 free relay team who snuck under the previous state record as well.

Desert Hills swept the team titles as the boys finished with 320 points and the girls with a total score of 363.5. Walters was awarded boys’ Swimmer of the Meet while Park City’s Elise Beller earned the accolade on the girls’ side.

Click here for full results.

Girls Meet

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Desert Hills – 363.5
2. Park City – 317
3. Snow Canyon – 184
4. Green Canyon – 144
5. Orem – 138

The Desert Hills’ 4×50 medley relay squad of Caitlin Romprey (26.91), Madison Dunlavy (31.68), Sarah Hansen (26.57) and Mya Ottenschot (25.17) got the meet off to a fast starting, winning the opening event by five seconds in 1:50.33.

Park City’s Helena Djunic dominated the 200 free, winning by just over five seconds in 1:54.57 for the second-straight year. Lehi’s Kaylee Richards (1:59.68) and Snow Canyon’s Nicole Christensen (1:59.79) also broke two minutes. Soon after, Djunic claimed her second gold of the day after posting a final time of 52.26 in the 100 free for a two-second victory to successfully defend her title.

Beller took the top spot in the 200 IM, powering home to the win in 2:07.70. She also cruised to first in the 500 free, leading the race from start to finish to win by 15 seconds in 5:08.53. She defended her titles in both of those events.

Orem’s Leah Gale splashed-and-dashed her way to the top of the podium in the 50 free, stopping the clock in a quick 24.53. Cedar City’s Elisa Price flew to first place in the 100 fly, getting her hands to the wall first in 57.83 ahead of Snow Canyon’s Kylie Barber who also broke one minute in 58.21.

Romprey, who led off the winning medley relay, then went on to win the 100 back in 57.22 for the second-consecutive year. Price also broke 60 seconds in 57.67 for second place. Orem’s Addison Richards defended her state crown in the 100 breast, getting her hands to the wall in 1:07.29.

Park City’s Djunic (24.66), Lauren Pederson (25.84), Emma Strong-Conklin (25.97) and Beller combined to win the 4×50 free relay by two seconds in 1:40.72. Djunic (52.98), Jessi Beyer (55.83), Strong-Conklin (55.87) and Beller (52.43) also won the 4×100 free relay in 3:37.11.

Boys Meet

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Desert Hills – 320
2. Cedar City – 202
3. Sky View – 199
4. Juan Diego Catholic – 165
5. Spanish Fork – 157

Just like the girls did, Desert Hills’ 4×50 medley relay of Payton Plumb (23.93), Hyatt Iverson (27.60), Gavin Crawford (24.54) and Christian Rettie (21.05) began the boys’ meet with a win in 1:37.12.

Sky View’s Darwin Anderson earned the gold medal in the 200 free, powering home in a new lifetime best of 1:42.84. He dove back in for the 500 free a few minutes later to snag the championship title in a final time of 4:38.09 for the second-straight year.

Not too long after helping his medley relay team to victory, Plumb was back in the water to claim an individual win in the 200 IM. He finished in 1:54.74 ahead of Green Canyon’s Jaxon Jensen (1:59.29) as the only two swimmers to crack the two-minute mark.

Desert Hills’ Keegan Wawrzyniak won the 50 free in a swift 21.12, just barely edging out runner-up Jake Walters (21.17) of Sky View. Wawrzyniak then earned silver in the 100 free in 46.96 as Desert Hills’ Ashton Anderson grabbed the gold in 46.72.

Hurricane’s Ryan Bunn claimed the 4A State title in the 100 fly, getting his hands to the wall the fastest in 51.79. Not too far behind him was Jensen, who again finished second in a close 51.92.  Juan Diego Catholic’s Alexander Gustat touched the wall in 1:00.04 for a win in the 100 breast.

Desert Hills’ A. Anderson (21.64), Iverson (22.47), Rettie (21.62) and Wawrzyniak (21.09) – the defending Utah State record-holders – posted a three-second win in the 4×50 free relay. Their time of 1:26.82 was just off their record of 1:26.43 set last month.

Walters – swimming in his future pool as a BYU commit – lit the pool on fire in the 100 back, defending his title in 49.49 as the only swimmer in the field under 50 seconds for a new state and 4A record. The previous record was held by Jake Taylor in 49.87 set back in 2009.

The meet concluded with a bang as Desert Hills’ 4×100 free relay team of Plumb (47.24), Crawford (48.68), A. Anderson (46.63) and Wawprzyniak (47.61) crushed the field by six seconds in 3:10.16. They broke their own 4A record of 3:10.82, and also were under the Utah state record of 3:10.51 set by Brighton in 2013.