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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton boys emerge from the pack at 5A swim meet

Mar 01, 2018 09:54AM ● By Jana Klopsch

The Brighton boys swimming team celebrates its state title performance at the Class 5A meet Feb. 10. (Photo courtesy Todd Etherington)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]    

The Brighton boys swim team did something no team has done in five years, and in the process, it won the Class 5A state title.

The Bengals toppled four-time state champion Skyline, winning their own state championship for the first time since 2014. Brighton piled up 287 points, 33.5 more than second-place Cottonwood. Skyline finished third with 207 points. 

“We had a great weekend,” head coach Todd Etherington said. “The kids all swam extremely well and represented Brighton amazingly. This was a complete and total team victory. It would not have been possible without all of the boys pulling together and doing something collectively that would not have been possible alone.”

Brighton qualified 10 boys for the state meet, held Feb. 9 and 10 at the South Davis Recreation Center. Etherington said every boy who competed stood out. The boys 200 medley relay team of Taua Fitisemanu, Jack Binder, Chase Miyagishima and Quentin Tyler took first with a time of 1:36.69. Miyagishima and Sage Doyle also finished fifth and eighth, respectively, in the 200 freestyle. Tyler was 10th in 200 IM with a time of 2:02.12.

Binder and Miyagishima went 1-2 in the 100 butterfly. Binder finished with a time of 51.13 seconds, and Miyagishima was just 1.58 seconds behind. In the 500 free, two Bengals went fifth and sixth. Doyle and Sean Farrenkopf finished the race in 4:54.76 and 4:55.44, respectively. 

The boys team also took home the top prize in the 200 freestyle relay. Eric Wagner, Tyler, Miyagishima and Binder combined to clock in at 1:28.45, .07 seconds in front of the second-place competitors. 

Three Bengal boys — Tyler (third), Nick Thompson (sixth) and Fitisemanu — finished in the top seven in the 100 backstroke. Binder was runner-up in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 58.06 seconds. 

The girls qualified 11 swimmers for state and finished 11th with 104 points. Etherington was pleased with junior Rachel Butler, who set a school record in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:03.87. Her efforts earned her a first-place finish in the event. She also placed second in the 500 free with a time of 5:04.62, 2.17 seconds behind the winner.

“I thought my girls competed great,” Etherington said. “We had a lot of first-time competitors for the girls who gained a lot of good racing experience. (Class) 5A was incredibly tough on the girls’ side. Overall, I am very proud of my girls.”

With a boys state title in hand and a valiant performance by the girls, Etherington looks back on the season as a whole satisfied with what the teams accomplished. 

“There was a lot of growing, learning and improving this year,” he said. “Overall, it was a very successful year for both the boys and the girls. We were region champions in both. There were so many more accomplishments that could be listed. I think the way they came together as a true team at the end of the season exceeded my expectations.”