BOUNTIFUL — Springville sophomore Cameron Green came into the 5A state boys swimming meet at the South Davis Recreation Center with the top qualifying time in both the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.
In the freestyle on Friday, Green said he felt good about his performance but the sophomore ended up third.
Saturday evening, he stepped up for his stronger event.
“The reason I fell off yesterday was because I wasn’t breathing as much as I should have,” Green said. “It was a learning experience. It’s good to know what to work on.”
Green exploded off the block and surged in front, then pushed all the way to the finish. When the time registered on the clock, the Red Devil sophomore had broken the old 5A record in the event (50.07 seconds) with a time of 49.95 seconds.
“I’ve been working really hard for the last year and this shows that putting in the work really pays off,” said Green, who was also honored as the Boys Swimmer of the Meet. “It feels great (to get the record). I went 50.33 in December, so it was on the register that this could happen. Now that it actually has happened, it’s really cool.”
With two more years to compete, Green will look to challenge the Utah state high school record, which is 49.87 seconds.
“I guess that’s the goal,” Green said.
Green’s record-setting race highlighted the final day of competition for Utah Valley athletes in the Class 4A and 5A state swimming meets. Three other local swimmers also earned spots atop the podium.
The other 5A swimmer to win an individual title was Maple Mountain senior Makayla Cazier, who pulled away to win the girls 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:02.45.
“I was just so happy,” Cazier said. “Happy tears started to flow. I wanted to have a good race and with this as my senior year, I just wanted to leave it all in the pool.”
Cazier complimented Brighton junior Rachel Butler for pushing her to be her best.
“She’s always been right there,” Cazier said. “I knew she was going to catch up.”
In the 4A competition, Orem sophomore Addison Richards knew she wanted both to win and to get a good time in the finals of the 100-yard breaststroke at Saturday’s 4A state swim meet at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful.
She ended up with the first-place finish but wasn’t satisfied with her time of 1:07.29.
“Going in, I wasn’t for sure what was going to happen,” Richards said. “I was kind of concerned because I’ve gone a faster time before. I was hoping to go out with good speed and come home a little faster, but it definitely gives me a couple of things to work on. But it was overall a good race, and I’m happy that I got first in state.”
The sophomore explained that she was glad Desert Hills junior Sarah Hansen was pushing her a little down the stretch.
“That gave me a reason to push,” Richards said. “If she wasn’t there, I probably would’ve gone a little slower.”
Richards was one of two Utah Valley swimmers to get atop the podium at the meet.
The first local 4A state champion was Lehi junior Nic Tronson, who overcame not just his third-place seeding but also a slow final turn to win the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 51.77 seconds.
“I’ve put in a lot of hours in the pool and they paid off,” Tronson said. “This was a big step up from last year for me. I was very happy with my time. I was hoping to swim a 52 but swam a 51.”
He knew after not getting through the last turn as quickly as he would’ve liked that Sky View junior Jake Walters and Hurricane junior Ryan Bunn were right there.
“I came in and looked at the board and that was when I saw I was first,” Tronson said.
Some of the other notable performances in the 4A competition included Spanish Fork sophomore Austin Butler (second in the boys 500-yard freestyle), Lehi junior Jason Pittard (third in the boys 100-yard freestyle), Orem junior Leah Gale (third in the girls 100-yard backstroke) and the Tiger girls 200-yard freestyle relay team (third overall).
On the stacked 5A competition, additional Top-3 finishes were turned in on Saturday by Timpview sophomore Rachel Oyler (second in the girls 100-yard freestyle), by Provo senior Kaden Staker and Wasatch senior Ian James (second and third in the boys 100-yard freestyle), by the Wasatch girls 200-yard relay team (third), by the Timpview girls 400-yard relay team (second) and by the Springville boys 200-yard relay team and 400-yard relay teams (second in both).
In the team competition, Orem ended up fourth in the girls standings, while Lehi was fifth in the girls standings and sixth in the boys standings. Park City won the girls 4A team title, while Desert Hills won the boys 4A team title.
For complete swimming results, go to UHSAA.org.