PROVO — Amidst the immense pressure and palpable anxiety that characterizes this or any state swimming meet, Wasatch's boys team kept its composure.
Wasatch, in search of its first state swimming championship, could have wilted during the opening portion of the 3A meet Friday evening inside the Richards Building at BYU when things didn't go its way early on.
But the Wasps refused to panic.
Keeping their composure at exactly the right time, the Wasps swam really well throughout the rest of the meet's opening events, and the end product was they stayed where they needed to be.
Through the first four boys events, Juan Diego (109 points) narrowly leads Park City (105) and Wasatch (103), but — more importantly — the Wasps swam 19 points ahead of their projected total for the entire meet to take a virtual lead of 35 points ahead of Park City and 47 ahead of Juan Diego into today's second and final day.
"That was our goal — we were gonna come in calm and leave loud," said Eric Birkin, who won individually in the 200 IM.
The second portion of the 3A meet will begin at 5 tonight.
Early on Friday, Wasatch watched Juan Diego race to an impressive win in the meet's opening event, the 200 medley relay. One event later, in the 200 free, two of the Wasp swimmers struggled mightily, and it looked like things could go awry for Wasatch.
Rather than panic, though, Wasatch calmed down and dropped time in its remaining six individual swims to post a solid score of 103 points through four boys events.
Park City's boys team, meanwhile, also swam extremely well on Friday, and Wasatch knows it will have to continue to swim fast to hold off the Miners today.
"My quote for them all week has been, 'Let's see,'" said Wasatch coach Steve Marsing. "We'll see. So far they're doing the job. We'll see about (today). Park City's swimming really well, both boys and girls. Both of our teams are probably swimming the best out of everybody so far, but (today's) a whole 'nother day.
"So we'll see."
Besides Birkin, Park City's Griffin Pool won in the 200 free and defending 3A boys Swimmer of the Meet Oliver Diamond turned in a good swim in the 50 free to win that event.