Springville sophomore Ellie Boyer knew that with all of the good swimmers lined up to race in the 100-yard butterfly at the 5A state meet in Heber on Saturday, there was no room for error.
Boyer — who had finished second in the 200-yard individual medley earlier in the competition — was only fourth in the qualifying on Friday, which might have helped her relax.
“Since I knew it would be a fast heat, I just put the pressure in the back of my head and went for it,” Boyer said. “Before the race, I didn’t think about it. I just like to have fun and talk to the girls.”
In the water, however, Boyer proved to have the power she needed. She said the strength of the other swimmers propelled her on.
“Honestly, there was such great competition out there,” she said. “I couldn’t have do it without them. I love those girls. It was such a fun race.”
Boyer ended up out-touching the field, finishing in 58.28 seconds. She beat second-place Anna Wekluk of Mountain Ridge by just 0.02 seconds (58.30 seconds).
As she hit the wall and looked up at the clock, her exuberance clearly showed as she let out a fist pump.
“When I finished, I didn’t expect to be first,” Boyer said. “When I saw that I got it, all the emotions rushed in. I was just so excited.”
Boyer turned out to be the only Utah Valley swimmer to win a 5A race on Saturday. A number of boys and girls ended up second in their respective races, but no others were able to finish first.
On the girls side, runner-up performances were turned in by the Timpview 200-yard medley relay team, by Maple Mountain sophomore Audrey Weller in the 100-yard breaststroke and by the Timpview 400-yard freestyle relay team.
In the 5A boys competition, Provo senior Trevan Staker was second in the 200-yard freestyle, Wasatch senior Jayden Hicken was second in the 50-yard freestyle, Timpview junior Sebi McFarland was second in the 100-yard freestyle, Timpview sophomore Alijah Whitney was second in the 500-yard freestyle, the Springville team was second in the 200-yard freestyle relay and Mountain View junior was second in the 100-yard backstroke.
The Thunderbirds had the best finishes as a team, coming in third in the girls competition while the boys finished fourth.
Olympus ended up crushing the competition on its way to winning both the boys and the girls competitions.