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Two Pioneer swimmers medal at state meet

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Lehi’s Bridger Smith finished seventh in the 100-yard backstroke at the 5A state swim meet on Feb. 20. (Photo: Alec Huff)

The Lehi swim team finished 10th in the boys team standings and 21st on the girls side at the 5A state meet, held Feb. 19-20 at the Wasatch Aquatics Center.

Two Pioneers sophomores earned medals in the final of the 100-yard backstroke. Bryce Broadhead got the bronze and Bridger Smith dropped nearly a second from his time in the preliminaries to move up to seventh place.

Lehi Coach Alec Huff was excited that two of his relay teams got to compete in the finals. “No one on either relay squad is a senior so we will have them all back next year and faster,” he said.

The Pioneers finished just out of the medals at ninth place in the 200-yard medley relay with junior Jacob Logsdon and sophomore Matt Pendleton joining Smith and Broadhead in the race.

Lehi came in 16th in the 200-yard freestyle relay event with Pendleton, junior Damian Brown, junior Tanner Bergstrom and sophomore Andrew Pulham. The Pioneers improved their preliminary times in both final events.

“We had a great year full of ups and downs, which is nothing new but it was even more fun with COVID this year,” Huff said. “The state meet was a great end to that. The boys got 10th overall, which was a huge improvement over last year’s 18th place.”

On the girls side, junior Madelyn Wilkinson edged a Brighton swimmer for 11th place in the 100-yard breaststroke. She also combined with senior Maddison Burnham, freshman Addi Zobrist and freshman Sydney Zurmely to earn 15th place in the 200-yard medley relay.

“The girls did a great job,” the coach said. “It was definitely a building year with so many freshmen. We had seven girl freshmen and two of them went to state this year, and a couple more will most likely qualify this next year.

“Madelyn’s opportunity to compete in both prelims and finals was a highlight,” he said. “She had some awesome races with a very competitive field in the 100 breaststroke. The girls also brought back the 200 medley relay and dropped some more time from the regular season.”

The coach recognized that there were some unusual learning opportunities for his troops during this unique year.

“I think the biggest takeaway this season was understanding that life isn’t fair, especially during a global pandemic,” he said. “But it’s not what we do with our circumstances when life is good. It’s all about what we can make of our circumstances when life puts us in difficult situations.”

Olympus High School won both the girls and boys 5A team titles, and no other school was even close to challenging them. 

The Pioneer boys earned 64 points and landed in the middle of a group of close scores. The girls posted 10 points but will be looking to improve on that next year.

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