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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton boys capture second straight state swimming title

Mar 05, 2019 02:13PM ● By Josh McFadden

The Brighton boys swimming team won the Class 5A state championship while the ladies finished seventh. (Photo contributed)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

For years, the Brighton High School swimming program has been among the best in the state. The Bengals proved that once again at the recent state championship meet.

The Brighton boys made it back-to-back Class 5A championships, scoring 17 more points than second-place Cottonwood during the two-day event, held at BYU Feb. 9–10. The Bengals amassed 310 points and had several standout performers from their swimmers. Though no single Bengal swimmer or relay team took first place in an event, Brighton had enough depth and high finishes to put the team on top.

In the 200-yard medley relay, Brighton placed fourth. Junior Taua Fitisemanu anchored the team, while teammates Charlie Simmons, Nick Thompson and Sean Farrenkopf finishing things off in a total time of 1:39.95, 2.77 seconds behind the winners. 

In the 200 freestyle, three Bengals finished in the top eight to earn valuable points for the team. Freshman Daniel Detjen was the top Brighton performer, finishing second with a time of 1:45.50 in the event. He was 2.13 seconds behind the first-place swimmer. Sophomore Sage Doyle was right behind Detjen in third place, swimming the race in 1:46.23. Fitisemanu was seventh with a time of 1:49.33. Together, the teammates accounted for 45 points for their team.

A trio of Bengal boys finished in the top eight of the 200 individual medley. Senior Quentin Tyler placed third in the event that showcases skill in different strokes. He swam the event in 1:57.09, while Farrenkopf took fourth place, swimming in a time of 1:59.46. Simmons contributed some points for Brighton with an eighth-place showing in the IM. He completed the event in 2:03.01. 

Brighton was shut out in the 50 free sprint race; however, Thompson got 17 points for the Bengals in the 100 butterfly, thanks to his second-place showing. He completed the race in 53.01, just more than a second behind the champion. 

The 500 free was perhaps Brighton’s most successful event as a team. Farrenkopf, Detjen and Doyle went second, third and fourth, respectively, in the marathon event, compiling a critical 48 points for their squad. Farrenkopf swam the 500 free in 4:47.64, 1.28 seconds behind the winner — an extremely close time in a race of that length. Detjen was 1.92 seconds in back of Farrenkopf, and Doyle finished in 4:52.89. The Bengals also were well represented in the 100 backstroke, with three swimmers placing in the top six. Tyler was third with a time of 52.69 seconds, Thompson was fourth at 52.78, and Fitisemanu was sixth with a time of 53.52. 

In the 200 free relay, Brighton placed fourth, thanks to the efforts of Tyler, Doyle, Fitisemanu and Detjen. Together, they swam the event in 1:31.86, a minute and a half faster than they had finished in the qualifying race. Simmons earned some points for Brighton in the 100 breaststroke. He was sixth in the challenging event with a time of 1:02.27. Jensen Judkins finished just outside the top 10 (11th place) with a time of 1:03.39, but still got six points for the Bengals. 

Brighton rounded out its scoring in the final event of the meet: the 400 free relay. The team of Farrenkopf, Thompson, Detjen and Tyler combined their talents to swim the race in 3:17.27, good enough for fourth place.