Farmington boys, PV girls earn top-five finishes
FARMINGTON — It was another week of progress for the Farmington swim teams at the Griffin Invite on Friday in Santa Fe.
The FHS boys placed fifth out of 14 schools with a total of 200 points, while the girls took seventh out of 14 with 164 points.
Many Scorpion swimmers achieved or neared their personal bests, and the team scored nearly 100 points more than it did in last week's meet in Albuquerque.
Piedra Vista didn't have its best day, according to coach Kristi Lucero, as the unusual travel schedule affected her swimmers' times. The talented Lady Panthers swam their way into the top five anyway, earning 185 points, which was just 1 point out of fourth place. PV's boys took 11th with 48 points.
"I think travel and swimming on the same day was a little bit hard for the kids to adjust to," Lucero said. "Swimming on a Friday, in the afternoon, after traveling for four hours was a little bit rough. But they stuck it out and did the best that they could."
The usual suspects got the job done for PV again on Friday. Dominique Tso, Morgan Miller, Emilee Lucero and Kathleen Ketchum carried PV by taking fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay and sixth in the 200-yard medley relay.
Jerica Finlayson, an eighth-grader, was a bright spot for the Lady Panthers. She impressed by swimming to her best 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke times of the season.
The diving portion of the competition took place on Thursday, but Lucero decided not to pull her team out of school for an extra day to compete in it. As a result, Ben VanOtteson didn't get to do what he does best, which is drive, costing PV some crucial points.
For FHS, Trenton Grossheim picked up where he left off in Albuquerque with a stellar afternoon. He had already qualified for state in the 100-yard butterfly, but he earned an even higher seeding by taking second in the race on Friday. He also won the boys 200-yard individual medley.
Marshall Magnuson didn't swim last week, but he returned in style with a fourth-place finish in the boys 100-yard freestyle. FHS coach Nancy Pinckley said she was proud of her teams' effort.
"Our teams are getting better and better by the week," Pinckley said. "We're right where we need to be."
The Lady Scorpions 200-yard medley relay team of Jaydn Curry, Mishael Isaacson, Raimi Clark and Kayla Farnsworth claimed a fifth-place finish. Jeb Pinckley picked up some key points for the boys by placing second in the 100-yard breaststroke, a competition he's very close to qualifying for state in.
Like Lucero, coach Pinckley was encouraged by the performance of some of her younger swimmers. Sophomore Ethan Larson and freshman MaLeah Isaacson, who returned Friday from a back injury, were major contributors for FHS. Isaacson had good showings in the 200-yard relay, the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard freestyle. Larson achieved a personal best in the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard butterfly. Pinckley said Larson may have had the best day of his young prep career on Friday.
"Ethan did amazing, he's just an incredible competitor," she said. "He's really motivated, wanting to get better and wanting to qualify. He took quite a few seconds off."
Farmington and PV will be two of 16 schools competing in the Nephi Seavey Memorial Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the Farmington Aquatic Center. The meet will be the final one before the district championships take place on Feb. 19.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.