Timpview freshman swimmer Rachel Oyler said Saturday she will turn 15 years old next Wednesday.
Her early birthday present to herself?
Oh, just a pair of 4A girls state swimming records and four state titles.
“It’s just crazy,” she said. “I’m just so happy right now. It’s an honor to be on my team and have the friends I have.”
Oyler — who just missed setting a 4A record when she won the 50-yard freestyle on the first day of action on Friday — needed just an hour to set the records in the 100-yard freestyle and as the anchor on the 200-yard freestyle relay.
The Thunderbird freshman kicked off her stellar day of swimming by winning the 100-yard freestyle by two seconds with a time of 51.69 second, and in doing so edged out the 13-year-old record held by a former Timpview swimmer, Leilani Roberts (51.98 seconds).
Just two events later, Oyler was back at it again with a stellar 200-yard freestyle relay team comprised of two other freshmen — Akalia Bostock and Kate Hansen — and junior Annie Jacob.
Together they knocked off more than 1.5 seconds from their seed time as the Thunderbirds shattered the 2014 record set by Skyline by more than two-tenths of a second.
While Timpview’s time of 1:38.87 was the winning time, the Olympus relay team actually broke the former record time of 1:39.10, as well, with a time of 1:39.02, but had to settle for second.
Oyler finished her impressive state-meet debut by joining Hansen, Jacob and Bostock for another great run in the 400-yard freestyle relay, which they won by nearly two seconds over the Skyline relay team.
“They swam their hearts out and it was awesome,” Thunderbird head coach Amy Chapman said. “Those freshmen have made such improvement. I’m really excited to see what the future brings for those freshmen.”
Utah Valley’s onslaught on the 4A state swimming records included two more stellar performances.
Maple Mountain junior Makayla Cazier also just missed out on getting the state record on Friday in the 200-yard individual medley but she was determined Saturday would be a different story.
“From the get-go I was like, this is mine,” Cazier said. “I’m going to get the state record. I was so ready and I was pumped and I felt so good in warmups. In my head I knew this was going to happen.”
In her favorite race — the 100-yard backstroke — she decimated her season-best time by nearly 3.5 seconds with a time of 55.78 seconds and in doing so broke Cottonwood’s Rhyan White’s 2016 4A record by more than a second (56.91 seconds).
“I touched the wall and was in disbelief for a minute,” Cazier said. “I was like, is this real life? Overall, I’m just so, so, so, so happy with how I swam.”
The Golden Eagle junior ended up being named the Girl Swimmer of the Meet. She was proud of the other performances and explained that she trains at the same pool as the Timpview girls, so she was thrilled to see all of the talented T’Bird freshmen doing so well.
“I’m so proud of them and they are honestly like my little sisters,” Cazier said. “It is good seeing them reach their potential and seeing them be happy with how they swam.”
On the boys side, only one victory was record-breaking, but Timpview ended up with four wins in seven events in Saturday’s action (six wins in 11 events over all).
“I think that we showed that winning individual events can do a lot,” Thunderbird senior Josh Skabelund said. “We won a lot of individual races and it shows the quality we have at Timpview. It shows how good the coaching is and how hard we’ve worked this season.”
The Timpview 400-yard freestyle relay team of senior Brigham Harrison, junior Jackson Hansen, junior Brayden Bonnett and Skabelund set out to end the meet right as they got ready to swim in the final event.
“I told everyone in that relay that it was Brigham and I’s last time in the pool wearing a Timpview cap and to leave it all in the pool,” Skabelund said. “That’s all I could think of that last 50 yards was to leave it all in the pool. I wasn’t doing it for myself but I was doing it for all of my teammates and that’s what makes swimming so fun.”
They ended up winning by nearly six seconds with a time of 3:11.21 and in the process broke the 4A state record (3:11.48).
“This is a dream come true,” said Harrison, who was named the Boy Swimmer of the Meet. “I’ve done above and beyond what I expected. This meet has been the greatest thing in my life.. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
The first win in Saturday’s action came with Skabelund getting another chance to wear his signature gold-highlighted shoes back on the top of the medal stand as he held off Provo junior Kaden Staker to win the 100-yard freestyle.
The T’Birds followed up that win with a six-second win by senior Harrison in the 500-yard freestyle. He explained after the race that he considers himself more of a sprinter but found a way to get the big win in the longest race at state.
“It hurt, that’s for sure,” Harrison said. “It’s very different from the other races. I normally swim sprint events and so that feels like 10 times longer than anything else. It just stretches out forever. But I’m a freestyler so as long as I’m in a freestyle event, I’m good.”
Timpview added another victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay as Skabelund, junior Alex Peek, Bonnett and Harrison edged out Springville for the top spot, finishing with a time of 1:27.58.
Even though the Timpview teams had many elite performances, it simply wasn’t enough to overcome the depth of Skyline.
The Eagles ended up winning both the boys and girls team titles, forcing both Thunderbird teams to savor second-place finishes. The Springville boys ended up third.
“As much as they talked about winning state all year, to have them go out with state records and be able to swim best times, they got those goals,” Chapman said. “They worked so hard this year. Being able to watch them and the drive they have this year is amazing.”