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Draper Journal

Corner Canyon swimmers among top 15 at state

Feb 26, 2019 12:22PM ● By Catherine Garrett

Corner Canyon’s Aliza Smith, Rivers Johnson, Eliza Balfe and McKay Larsen pose with the seven medals they won at the 5A state championships Feb. 8–9 at BYU. (Photo courtesy Patrick Thurman)

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

Eighteen swimmers from Corner Canyon High’s program qualified for the 5A state championships Feb. 8–9 at BYU. The Chargers finished 13th on the girls side and 14th for the boys.

“I think that state was a huge success for our team,” said sophomore McKay Larsen, who finished fifth in the 200 individual medley and seventh in the 100 breaststroke, setting school records in both events. “We were able to all be mentally strong and all did really well. We showed just a little bit of what is to come in the next few years.”

Eliza Balfe, who was All-State last season in the 50 freestyle, again placed high in the event with an eighth-place finish while also coming in eighth in the 100 free. She felt the team did “amazing” at state, particularly in the amount of swimmers representing the Chargers program. “So many of us had fast swims with best times,” she said. “We worked extremely hard this season and I’d say we ended it on an amazing note. We not only swam well but we had so much fun and became closer along the way.”

Rivers Johnson, an All-State backstroker last season, placed second in the 100 back while also coming in fifth in the 100 butterfly, while Aliza Smith medaled in the 100 back with a sixth-place showing.

The boys 200 free relay team of Steele Smith, Jaxon Barlow, Alex Miller and Larsen broke the school record with a time of 1:33.15 and finished eighth.

“I was so happy for our boys relay who has worked so hard this season to get where we got to, and shattered our school record,” Larsen said. “That relay was definitely one of the best parts of the season.”

The boys 400 free relay squad of Steele Smith, Barlow, Miller and Larsen also came in 13th with Aliza Smith 16th in the 200 free to round out the state scoring for Corner Canyon. Britta Catmull (100 breast) and Daylen Jackson (100 breast) also competed for the Chargers.

“It was a mixed bag as we wrapped up the season,” head coach Patrick Thurman said. “There were some great performances and some frustrations.”

Thurman said a highlight of the year was the team’s region finishes — led by Region 7 champion Johnson in the 100 back. Other top finishes were Johnson (second, 100 fly), Larsen (second, 100 free; fourth, 200 IM), Balfe (third, 50 free; fourth; 100 free), Aliza Smith (third, 100 back; sixth, 200 free), Kristin Miller (fifth, 500 free) and Tyler Lybbert (sixth, 100 free) in helping the girls finish fourth as a team and the boys sixth. The girls 200 medley relay and the girls 400 free relay placed second and third, respectively.

“Regions was extra special because we were able to have so many relays and it was the last time we got to swim with some of our seniors,” Balfe said.

Academic All-Region recipients were Marina Allen, Sam Allen, Jasmine Arreguin, Gabby Bingham, Auston Bowler, Brittany Mackey and Sam Winward.

“As a whole, this year was really fun, which is one of the most important aspects of the sport,” Larsen said. “But, it also got all of us really excited for next year because we know we will be ready to compete at an even higher level.”