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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton swimmer hits a high water mark

Mar 28, 2022 09:57PM ● By Jerry Christensen

Daniel Detjen won state titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle. (Roger Tuttle/City Journals)

By Jerry Christensen | [email protected]

Brighton swimming has done it again with yet another season of recording setting performances. 

Daniel Detjen swam to new lengths in the state finals in February breaking records and garnering an individual back-to-back state championship in two categories: 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. National Hall of Fame coach Russ Lauber noted Detjen’s accomplishment by stating, “There have been a number of athletes repeat as champions in the annals of Utah high school swimming, but Daniel Detjen is obviously a cut above. His sheer dominance in the long events the past two years is impressive; it takes a special swimmer, and coach, to focus on those long swims for a couple of years to dominate like he has.”

Detjen’s accomplishments place him in the highest level of a storied Brighton swimming program that has produced 23 boys state swimming championships and 24 girls swimming state championships in it 52-year history. 

“While this was an awesome year for Bengal swimming with a lot of fast swimming, Danny added a punctuation mark to our performances. His attitude, work ethic, leadership, dedication, commitment will all be missed with him graduating this year. We live by trying to find a way to be better at something every day when we come to the pool,” coach Todd Etherington said.

Daniel credits the insight of his coach for such success “to be recognized among such a great Brighton legacy is a real honor. I’ve always drawn inspiration from Brighton’s coaches and swimmers—coach Etherington, Long Gutierrez (Olympic swimmer), Rachel Butler. Since elementary school I’ve wanted nothing more than to have my name on the Bengal swimming record board.”

The United States Air Force Academy will be the next beneficiary of Detjen’s dedication. While serving his country, he will swim and pursue a degree in computer science.