Bountiful • Timpview’s Rachel Oyler, like most top-level swimmers, tends to look at personal-best times as a good indication of how she’s doing.
That didn’t happen for Oyler on Friday, but it was a good day nevertheless at the Class 5A state swimming meet.
The defending Class 4A state champion in the 50-yard girls freestyle claimed a second straight crown in that event — this one in Class 5A — as she raced the two lengths of the South Davis Aquatic Center pool in 23.92 seconds.
“I wanted to go PR [personal record], but I’m still happy with it,” said Oyler, still only a sophomore. “I haven’t been in the 23s all season, so it’s good enough.”
Oyler wasn’t the only reigning state champion in the event swimming in the race. But West senior Fane Wolfgramm, who won the 5A crown in 2017, couldn’t beat Timpview’s sophomore to the wall.
The victory was a fulfilling end to a season filled with struggles.
“This whole season has been really, really hard for me, so it’s good because it gives me confidence that I still have it,” Oyler said. “I’ve just been sick a lot. I’ve been gone almost half the season.
“At the beginning, I hurt my leg and I was really sick, so I was gone for a month. Then just throughout the season, I was sick — little sicknesses.”
The 50 freestyle is the shortest event in the state meet. Oyler said she prefers to do the entire race without taking a breath, although she thought she might have Friday at the turn.
But that meant Oyler wasn’t sure where Wolfgramm was in relation to her during the race.
“I’m usually looking at the bottom of the pool,” Oyler said. “I didn’t see, not until the very end.”
Oyler was one of several reigning state champions who successfully defended a title during Day 1. The meet concludes Saturday.
Viewmont’s Mariah Maile repeated in the 200 freestyle by beating Skyline’s Becca Goodson to the wall in 1:54.35. Goodson won the same event last year when the Eagles were in Class 4A.
The girls’ 200 individual medley pitted the 2017 second-place finisher from Class 5A, Brighton’s Rachel Butler, and Class 4A’s champion from a year ago, Maple Mountain senior Makayla Cazier. It was Butler who managed to defend her title. She also is a defending champion in the 500 freestyle and will swim that event Saturday.
“I’m pretty out-of-breath, but I swam really great and I’m really happy with that,” Butler said. “I really love racing her [Cazier], and I’ve raced her in the summer and at club meets during the school year.”
Cottonwood held team leads in both the boys’ and girls’ team standings after four events.
On the boys’ side, the Colts’ Blayze Kimble swam a 1:55.55 to repeat in the 200 individual medley, while Cottonwood senior Christian Simon also repeated as champion in the 50 freestyle.
“The competition’s good, there’s a lot of fast swimmers. I feel like I did well in the last half of” the individual medley, said Kimble, who pulled away thanks to the breaststroke. “It felt harder than most days, but it was fine.”
CLASS 5A DAY 1 STATE CHAMPIONS
Team scores • 1. Cottonwood, 91; 2. Brighton, 82; 3. Skyline, 81; 4. West, 66; 5. Timpview, 61.
200 medley relay • Brighton 1:36.69
200 freestyle • Mitchell Simmons, West, 1:42.00
200 individual medley • Blayze Kimble, Cottonwood, 1:55.55
50 freestyle • Christian Simon, Cottonwood, 21.53
Team scores • 1. Cottonwood, 103; 2. Skyline, 73; 3. Timpview, 68; 4. Wasatch, 65; 5. Maple Mountain, 64.
200 medley relay • Cottonwood 1:47.78
200 freestyle • Mariah Maile, Viewmont, 1:54.35
200 individual medley • Rachel Butler, Brighton, 2:03.87
50 freestyle • Rachel Oyler, Timpview, 23.92