Many of the senior swimmers on the Timpview girls team have had to look back at the state tournaments of the last few years with disappointment.
The Thunderbirds finished second in 2017, third in 2018 and then came up just two points short as they had to settle for another second-place finish in 2019.
Well, the talented Timpview swimmers are runners-up no more.
The Thunderbirds roared out to a big lead and just kept rolling, finishing with 290 points (56 more points than second-place Olympus) as they finally got to bring home the state championship trophy.
“It’s been a roller-coaster ride of emotions, not only this year but all of the years I have been swimming in high school,” Timpview senior Kate Hansen said. “We got second and then third and last year was very, very close. I think our flaw last year was that we went in too confident, thinking there was no way we could lose. We had to change our perspective and I think that is partially why we won this year. We worked harder and were smarter with where we put our swimmers. I’m very proud of our entire team.”
As expected, leading the way for the Thunderbirds was senior Rachel Oyler. She celebrated her 18th birthday by winning all four of her events: the 50-yard freestyle (23.54) the 100-yard butterfly (56.43), the medley relay (1:47.31) and the 400-yard relay (3:32.09).
“There were some ups and downs but I feel really good overall,” Oyler said.
She ended up wrapping up her impressive four-year Timpview career having come in first at state an amazing 13 times.
“It feels so unreal,” Oyler said. “It went so fast and now it is crazy to be done with high school. I’m going to really miss it.”
Her final race was the 400-yard freestyle relay (which is the final race of the meet) and she joined Hansen, Annie Robinson and Gracie Crandall as they gave everything they had left in pursuit of one more state record.
While the Thunderbird relay team easily came in first, it ended up with a time of 3:32.09, just 0.02 seconds behind the state record.
“I’m just so proud of all of them,” Oyler said. “It’s been a long, exhausting meet for all of us but I’m just so proud of my teammates for what they’ve done.”
Timpview head coach Jefferson McClain said he couldn’t be more proud of his team.
“It’s been so exciting,” McClain said. “These athletes put a lot of work and effort into it. It’s been really fun to watch their hard work pay off. There are a lot of other really good teams here but we crunched the numbers last night, saw where we were and realized we might have more of shot than I originally thought we did.”
An number of other Utah Valley-area swimmers also got to the top of the podium but none we able to match the feat of Springville senior Cameron Green.
Green had nearly broken the state record in the 50-yard freestyle in the first day of action on Friday but his time in the event on Saturday (20.92) was good enough to win but didn’t come close to the state mark of 20.60.
But Green was also the anchor swimmer of the Red Devil 200-yard freestyle relay squad — and when it was his turn to swim his 50-yard leg, he was a rocket.
Green raced down and back in the stunning time of 20.09, a time that would’ve shattered the 23-year-old Utah state high school record for the distance by more than a full half-second if it had been from a standing start.
“I was a little bit nervous going into the 200-yard freestyle but after the first three legs when I was going in in first, I knew it was going to be a good race,” Green said. “My nerves were kind of flushed out and I felt good about it. It was a really a fantastic time. Being able to share it with those guys was special. I love this team so much.”
He ended up with three total state titles as he won the 100-yard freestyle and his 200-yard freestyle relay team came in first.
“The relays were really good for me,” Green said. “I was close to where I wanted to be on my splits and it felt really good on both of them. My individual events were a little iffy but I did win both of them. It was pretty fantastic. Overall it was a really fun last meet.”
The Springville star ended up with seven total individual and relay state championship in his impressive career.
“It’s been a long four years but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Green said.
Spanish Fork also enjoyed a great meet as senior Austin Butler won the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.46) and 500-yard freestyle (4:36.53) in the boys competition, while Don freshman Madison Parker came in first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.67) and the 100-yard freestyle (50.89).
The Wasatch girls swim team also earn an event title as the Wasps held off Timpview to win the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Wasatch girls and boys teams both ended up in third place, while the Springville boys team came in fifth. Olympus won the 5A boys state title.
For complete details from the 2020 5A state swim meet, go to http://UHSAA.org.