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High school swimming: Grizzlies on track to win first swim championship

Rachel Spencer of Olympus High leaps after winning the 50 yard freestyle at the 4A swimming championships. at BYU.
Rachel Spencer of Olympus High leaps after winning the 50 yard freestyle at the 4A swimming championships. at BYU.
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

PROVO — So far, the 4A girls' state swimming meet is going just as expected.

In the first day of competition, the Logan Grizzlies racked up 112 points and are in prime position to win their first-ever girls state championship.

"The day was awesome," said Logan head coach Jerry Hodgkinson. "We're ahead of where we're supposed to be. Everything we planned out worked to a 'T.' "

The Grizzlies had top-16 finishers in all four events in the Friday-night opener, including three in the 200- and 50-yard freestyle races. Senior Janessa Gammill earned her fourth state championship, and her first in 4A, with a surprising finish in the 200 free.

"(I'm feeling) amazing," Gammill said just after finishing in 1:58.22. "I was really happy with my swim."

The senior did admit she wasn't entirely confident going into the race because of an upset she had pulled off four years ago.

"I am not going to lie, I was scared because Shaylee Howard (a freshman from Olympus), I know she's fast. When I was a freshman, I took it from a senior who had been the state champ her three years. So I was like, 'Ok, Shaylee's not going to take it from me,' " Gammill said. Then she added, "I didn't look over at her before the race, I didn't want to see her. I just swam my own race."

In addition to Gammill, Katelyn Sawyer added some points the Grizzlies hadn't been expecting. The junior shaved almost four seconds off her qualifying time to finish in 2:26.62 for eighth place in the 200-yard individual medley.

"It's the first heat, nobody's looking at her and she just blows up. We knew she was going to do that," Hodgkinson said. "She absolutely did her job today."

The Logan 200-yard medley relay team finished second with a time of 1:56.29, and included Gammill as well as MacKenzie Anderson, Megan Gray and anchor Kassie Finlinson.

Timpview finished the first day in second place in the team standings with 80 points in spite of having only one swimmer finish in the top three in Friday's four races. East High came in third with 73 points and Olympus fell to fourth place with 66 points after a 28-point drop when they switched around relay team members.

e-mail: sthomas@desnews.com