Young Warriors swim team traverse choppy seasonFeb 23, 2022 07:41PM ● By Greg James
Nathan Svedin, Anderson Ocha, and Tori Tye were the only seniors on a very young Taylorsville swim team. (Photo courtesy of Taylorsville swimming)
This year's swim season was placed on detour several times, but the Taylorsville team still persevered and worked hard to compete.
“It was a crazy season,” Warriors head swim coach Mary Ward said. “We still had Covid and a lot of my kids were exposed to it or had it. We had to cancel some meets out of safety for the team. We also had some pool issues and for part of the season, it was down. It was hard to get a rhythm going.”
The Warriors only had three seniors on the roster this season. In all, 55 swimmers competed at one point or another during the season.
They qualified for state; a boy's relay team along with individual swimmers Jaci Hou, Tori Tye, and Ben Eberly.
“We had a good showing at region. Nearly 60% of the team dropped their times, which is great", Ward said. “I feel like that was a good end to the season.”
Hou is scheduled to swim in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events. Her season's fastest times in both events had her in the top 20 statewide. She finished third overall at the Region 2 50 yard freestyle finals with a season-best time of 25.99 seconds.
“I think Jaci has done well. She had some shoulder issues, but she is highly competitive and that is what it takes in some meets,” Ward said.
Tye is a senior and is scheduled to make her first appearance at the state swim meet. She will swim the 200 yard individual medley and the 100 yard butterfly. At the region finals, she placed sixth in the 100 fly.
“Jaci (Hou) went to state last year in the same two events, but Tori (Tye), it is her first time. I am really excited for both of them. As a senior Tori really deserves it,” Ward said.
At the Region 2 finals, the boy's 200 yard medley relay took fourth place and the 200 yard freestyle relay team of Eberly, Jonathan Sampson, Nathan Bingham, and Dillon Nguyen placed fifth.
“All of these kids are amazing kids. They have worked so hard,” Ward said. “Region and state are such short turnarounds, but state always makes them swim faster.”
Eberly ranks sixth in 6A breaststroke this season. He placed third in region.
“He has a lot of potential. He dropped nearly three seconds on his breaststroke. As he gets older and faster it will be more difficult to drop time. He just has a work ethic that cannot be beaten and is easily coached,” Ward said.
Other top finishers at the Region 2 championships included juniors Dillon Nguyen, who finished eighth overall in the boy's 100 yard fly, Jonathan Sampson finished 11 in the 100 yard free, Nathan Bingham finished 10 in the 100 yard backstroke. The girl's 200 yard freestyle relay team placed fourth. The team included Hou, Tye, Kaimen Maxfield, and Tammy Phung. Phung also placed fourth in the 100 yard breaststroke.
The Warriors placed fifth overall in the region.
“We only had three seniors. Next year we are only going to get better. They are a good group of kids. They are positive and hard-working and very dedicated,” Ward said. “I have always said it is great if you can win meets, drop time and go to state, but I would rather create kids that will be lifelong athletes. It could be swimming rec or masters or swimming in triathlons and marathons. I want them to leave my team loving being active,” Ward said. “These are good kids, I would hand them the keys to my car.”