Springville senior swimmer Cameron Green trimmed 0.59 seconds off his best time in shortest event on the first day of the 5A state swim meet Friday at BYU.
Skyridge sophomore swimmer Katelyn Andrist, on the other hand, trimmed 15 seconds off her best time in the longest event in the 6A competition.
Both Green and Andrist ended up setting impressive records in their respective classifications — and both are hoping to do even more in the finals on Saturday.
“I knew based on the seed times coming in that I would probably be far ahead in my individual events,” Green said. “I could tell I would mostly be racing myself and the times. The records are the fastest times in Utah high school history, so I’m shooting for those. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be at that level.”
Green’s 50-yard freestyle swim of 20.69 seconds shaved 0.05 seconds off the previous 5A record that was set in 2013 but he felt like he could’ve gotten an even better time.
“Honestly it probably wasn’t my greatest race,” Green said. “I felt twitchy and nervous at the start and then I was slow into the finish.”
His time is 0.09 seconds off the Utah state record (20.60) that was set in 1997 but he would also love to hit the 20.54 mark that would make him an automatic All-American.
“I’m going to get a lot of rest and take care of my muscles,” Green said. “I need to eat and sleep well. Beyond that, I’ll have a day to get calmed down, focused and get my head in the game.”
Springville head coach Kim Green said she believes Green will swim well in the finals.
“I think he’s excited and I think he will swim better tomorrow,” Kim Green said. “He gets his mind set on a certain goal and then he goes for it. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
Andrist’s big improvement came in the 500-yard freestyle as she bested her previous time of 5:24.12 by nearly 15 seconds, which ended up being nine seconds better than the 6A state record that was set last year.
In addition to that stellar performance, she also broke the two-minute mark in the 200-yard freestyle for the first time.
She said that when she completed the races and look at the board, it didn’t seem real immediately.
“It’s crazy,” Andrist said. “I had to look at the board a couple of times to make sure those times were mine and not someone else’s. It feels really good. I’ve been training for this and I’m happy it paid off.”
She said the key to being successful in the race that is 2.5 times longer than any other in the meet is getting the rhythm down in practice.
“Once you get that rhythm down, it gets easier,” she said. “You also have to have good underwaters, which is something I could be better at.”
She said that she would be happy to swim a similar time in the 500 in Saturday’s finals but thinks she could do even better in the 200.
As far as the 5A and 6A team competitions go, the first day was just preliminaries so no points have been scored yet. Lone Peak head coach Celeste Tiffany said that the strategy is to look at where the team is slated to score and then see where it improves and where it drops.
“Our men’s team has been solid and consistent,” she said. “They came in and held their own. Now we have to come finish it off and see what the results are.”
The Lone Peak boys are going for their fourth straight state title but Tiffany said she loves seeing those guys pulling for the girls squad.
“They want the girls to be there with them,” she said. “To me, that’s what it means to be a unified team.”
The Knight girls squad will likely be in a battle once again with American Fork, while athletes from Skyridge, Westlake and Pleasant Grove will also have some successes in the 6A competition.
In the 5A ranks, the Spanish Fork boys team should be in contention while the Wasatch girls squad is deep and talented.
Both meets will conclude with the finals on Saturday at the Richards Building at BYU. The 5A meet is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., while the 6A meet is slated to start at 3:45 p.m.