By the time all was said and done, the Redmen had barely enough to claim another team championship trophy by the thinnest of margins.
With a third-place finish in the 400 free relay, Cedar won its fourth straight Region 9 title by just a half-point over Desert Hills – 453 to 452.5. Anchor swimmer Carson Brown beat Hurricane’s Ryan Bunn to the wall by nine-tenths of a second to secure the crown.
“You can’t get that close unless there’s a three-way tie for 16th place,” said Coston, who wore a New England Patriots cap. “We have so many kids who say ‘I’m not helpful’ or ‘I’m not good, it doesn’t matter.’ We just won by a half-point. That means everyone on that team is valuable.”
Cedar seized control of its fate by sweeping the top three positions in the 100-yard breaststroke, led by Garrett Dotson’s winning time of 1 minute, 1.54 seconds. Sophomore Leon Weingarten beat his older brother Felix for second place in 1:04.01.
The Redmen boys started the two-day meet well Friday with a win in the 200 medley relay and Dotson added the first of his two wins in the 200 IM. Earlier Saturday, sophomore Wyatt Kjar paced himself in the 500 freestyle before finishing strong and beating Desert Hills’ Keegan Wawryzniak by more than six seconds (5:20.06).
“I was trying to prepare for this a little bit more,” Kjar said. “It just makes me want to go faster in the second half.”
The 200 freestyle relay team finished second to Desert Hills by .26 seconds before earning four of the top five spots in the 100 breaststroke to set up the finish.
On the girls’ side, the Lady Reds’ four-year run atop Region 9 came to an end as Desert Hills won the title by a 469-409 margin. Katelyn Gross won two events (200 IM, 100 butterfly) and sister Kristen Gross closed her Region 9 career with a win the 50-yard freestyle.
The siblings were part of both winning freestyle relays (200, 400), and Elisa Price won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:00.67.
“Being senior year, it’s a lot more emotional, especially since there are so many good teammates,” Kristen Gross said. “I’m proud of how everyone pushed their hardest.”
With the 3A state meet coming up at the BYU pool in two weeks, Gross said she wants to make as big a final impression as she can after making a recruiting trip to the University of Utah two months ago.
“I wasn’t that happy with how region played out, but there are always bigger and better meets to look forward to,” Gross said. “If I can get my times down at state when they’ll be watching, I’ll be able to be a walk-on at Utah, and that’s one of my biggest goals right now.”
Region 9 Swimming
Final team standings
1. Cedar 453; 2. Desert Hills 452.5; 3. Dixie 271.5; 4. Hurricane 247; 5 (tie). Pine View and Snow Canyon 186.
1. Desert Hills 469; 2. Cedar 409; 3. Dixie 373; 4. Snow Canyon 293; 5. Hurricane 144; 6. Pine View 121.