Pool boys beat Tooele, Mountain Crest, take fourth against last year’s state champs

By Joelle Beard
Staff writer

The Box Elder High School swim team has been busy so far this month, completing three meets since November 14, and facing a two-day meet this weekend, which makes five days of competitive swimming meets in a nine day period.
On Friday, Nov. 14, the Bees competed against schools that won the 5A, 4A and 3A state titles in 2014 at an invitational hosted by Viewmont High. Box Elder boys’ and girls’ teams both took fourth place behind Viewmont, Skyline, and Park City.
“Even though we lost, it was a great experience to swim such fast swimmers,” Coach Jerry Hodgkinson said. “We knew where we stood going in. This showed us just how fast some of the other non-local teams are.” Results are still not available for this meet.
The Box Elder boys fared much a week later in their dual meet against Tooele and in a meet Thursday against Mountain Crest.
On Tuesday, Nov. 18, the Bees beat Tooele, 162-124, despite the boys mixing things up.
“At Tooele none of us were swimming our normal races, so it was different,” senior captain, Matt Phillips said.
Another captain, Nathan Hale said, “We had some time drops as big as 5 to 10 seconds.”
Box Elder boys took claimed first place in 8 of the 11 races, including all three relays, to gain a big early lead on the Buffaloes.
On Thursday, Nov. 20, the Box Elder boys had home advantage for their second win of the week in a meet against Mountain Crest, where it took the final swimmer of the final relay to ensure the victory for the Bees.
The Bees took first place in the first six events, to take a strong early lead over the Mustangs.
In the second half of the meet, Mountain Crest took first in four events, forcing a showdown in the last race, the 400 meter relay, for the win.
Mountain Crest’s relay team pulled ahead with the first swimmer, and by the time the fourth and final swimmer of the relay dove in the water, Box Elder was a second behind Mountain Crest.
Box Elder’s Jaron Nelson pushed the issue, however, and was able to catch and pass the Mustang swimmer, and win by three seconds.
“The noise of the cheering was ecstatic; deafening,” said senior captain Keisha Raymond.
Nelson’s swim resulted in an 87-83 victory for the Bees.
The Box Elder girls swam hard and had many time drops, but were not able to beat Tooele or Mountain Crest.
“The coaches wanted us to be evenly matched, so they didn’t put any of us in our standard races,” senior captain, Chase Ferry said about the Tooele meet. “Even though the girls lost, the whole team had a lot of time drops; that is what counts.”
The girls took first in two relays and three individual races. Nizhoni Miles took first in the 200-freestyle (2:25.12), Kayla Rose took first in the 100-freestyle (1:07.22), and Ashley Burbank took first 500-freestyle (6:12.36). Although they claimed five first places, the girls did not gain enough points to beat Tooele, losing 131-155.
Thursday’s home meet against Mountain Crest was close for the girls. Even by the final relay, no one had a clear advantage.
“We started off a little rough... But then in the middle, something just clicked,” said Raymond.
The Bees ended up dropping the meet, 79-91.
“It has been a stressful week, but we still had a lot of good times and were able to see the underclassman really step it up. Now we get to look forward to this weekend,” said captain Ashley Burbank.
Both boys’ and girls’ teams were ready to rest and prepare for the two-day, 39-nine team invitational in Bountiful this weekend.

Sports Shorts

Region 5 names All-Region team
With an undefeated regular season and 4A title game appearance, Roy High School nearly swept top honors of the Region 5 All-Region football awards.
Roy coach Fred Fernandes, wide receiver Cody Hobbs, quarterback Tyler Skidmore and kick returner Tyler Etuati took home Coach of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Offensive MVP, and Special Teams MVP Awards, respectively.
Sky View’s Max Christensen and Logan’s Bracken Williams were honored as co-Defensive MVPs, to round out the top awards.
For Box Elder, running back Riley Burt, who rushed for well over 1,000 yards, was named to the All-Region first team. Other first-team honorees included tight end Darius McFarland, offensive lineman Zak Kaleikini, defensive lineman Blake Chase, linebacker Ty Palmer and defensive back Jarom Mecham.
Other Box Elder All-Region team members were: Haydn Stender, second team O-line; Bryant Tingey, second team line backer; Connor Udy, honorable mention quarterback; Casey Stevens, honorable mention running back; Cooper Parson, honorable mention O-line; and Riley Taylor, honorable mention D-line.

UHSAA announces proposed realignment
The release of the school realignment proposal for 2015-2017 indicates the potential for big changes for Region 5 next year.
The proposal (available at http://www.uhsaa.org/realignment/2015-17Regions.pdf) shows Mountain Crest and Sky View moving into the 5A ranks, leaving holes in Region 5 that would be filled by the return of Bountiful and Woods Cross to the region. Ben Lomond, bumped up from the 3A ranks, would also join Region 5 in the proposed realignment. Bountiful and Woods Cross were last a part of Region 5 in 2008. Ben Lomond and Logan are both listed as being close enough in enrollment to be either large 3A schools or small 4A schools.
A public hearing to get feedback on the realignment schedule will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the UHSAA offices (199 East 7200 South) in Midvale. Public comment is being sought through the website, www.uhsaa.org/realignment.
The assignment of schools into regions will be finalized on Dec. 4, allowing time for schools and regions to organize and schedule for the two-year alignment period.

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