Cougars win region titles for both girls and boysFeb 18, 2021 02:29PM ● By Greg James
Senior Heber Myers swam the fifth fastest boys 100 breaststroke this season. (Photo courtesy of Kearns High School)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Kearns earned a region swimming championship for both boys and girls this season.
“We are pretty happy with this season,” Cougars head coach Christopher Horne said. “We had about 15 swimmers qualify for state and we are excited because the meet is being held in our own pool.”
The Utah High School Activities Association split the large state meet into smaller classification competitions this season. The 6A event is scheduled to be held at Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center, the home pool for the Cougars, Feb. 19-20 (after press deadline).
“We get great support from the fitness center,” Horne said. “In all of the years that I have been coaching, they have been really awesome. They make sure we have everything we need. I hope it could be a cool pool advantage.”
This season the schedule changed several times and some November meets were postponed and later moved to January. Horne said in his 22 years of coaching it was one of the most difficult.
“At times it was a nightmare. We had two meets a week to make them up and it was a lot of work, but we made it through,” Horne said.
The Cougars swim team included over 45 student-athletes. The swimmers may qualify in as many as two individual events and two relays for state by having one of the 25 fastest times in their event. Horne said the team size was about normal. He has noticed that many teams’ numbers dropped this season because of the pandemic.
“We feel lucky to field the team we had,” Horne said.
Junior Jamie Horne turned in the second-fastest time in the state in the 50 free; a 24.94 second run at the Region 2 championships.
“It has been fun coaching my daughter and seeing her improve the last few years. I give the credit to my wife. She took her to the pool in private lessons and really worked with her.” Horne said.
Jamie started swimming when she was eight years old, but didn’t join a competitive swim team until she was 13.
The fastest times for the girls team in the other events included Ryliegh Humphries (100 butterfly), Anita Rodgers (100 backstroke), Kira Cox (100 breaststroke), and Jennalyn Rasmussen (500 free).
The boys also took the region crown.
Andrew Flockhart swam the ninth-fastest time in the state at 22.21 seconds for the 50 free.
“He (Flockhart) is such an outstanding sprinter. The 50 free is such a fast race there is no time for error,” Horne said. “A bad start or turn could drop you from the top to nearly the bottom.”
Along with Flockhart top times for the boys included Joseph Biesinger (100 breaststroke), Wesley Ryan (200 free), and Ethan Lawrence (500 free).
“The team started the year not so serious, but when January came they started working really hard. They have done a good job and that is why we had such great region championships and will do well at state,” Horne said.
Horne feels the team made the best of a unique swimming year.
“This was certainly a challenging year. We had three weeks off at the start of the season. It threw everything off. We adjusted and made it a successful season.” he said.