Highland swimmers make a splash
Until a month ago, Tyler Stephenson’s name wasn’t even mentioned as one of the top swimmers on Highland High’s girls swimming team. Now, the sophomore holds four top state rankings and has teamed with others to make the Rams a force to be reckoned with in 4A.
Stephenson, whose first meet competition wasn’t until Nov. 29 against Bountiful, leads the Ram girls in the 50 freestyle (25.38 seconds), 100 free (56.24), 100 butterfly (1 minute, 1.77 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:09.73). Perhaps more impressively, she is ranked within the top seven in the state in each event. She is first in the 100 breast, third in both the 50 free and 100 fly and seventh in the 100 free.
The state rankings were based on the meets through Dec. 23.
Meanwhile, Zoe Phillips, Eva Gontrum and Xandra Pryor have remained consistent in their efforts, turning Highland into one of the favorites in 4A. Phillips leads her team in the 500 free (5:15.02, first in state) and 200 free (1:58.01, second), and Gontrum has the fastest times in the 200 individual medley (2:11.91, first) and 100 backstroke (1:02.87, sixth).
Phillips holds four other top-10 state rankings – 100 breast (1:11.07, second), 200 IM (2:11.98, third), 100 fly (1:02.59, fourth) and 100 back (1:02.91, eighth). She is also 13th in the 50 free and 14th in the 100 free. Gontrum is ranked second in the 500 free (5:17.77) and fourth in the 200 free (2:00.55). She is also 12th in the 100 free and 100 breast, 15th in the 50 free and 16th in the 100 fly.
Pryor is ranked sixth in the state in the 100 fly (1:03.96) and 10th in the 200 IM (2:21.61). She is also 11th in the 100 breast, 16th in the 500 free and 20th in the 50 free.
Highland’s girls are also ranked first in the 400 free relay (3:45.68) and the 200 medley relay (1:55.42). The 200 free relay team of Stephenson, Pryor, Gontrum and Phillips is third in 1:46.52.
Meanwhile, Joey Hayes and Josh Whisenant have formed a solid 1-2 punch for Highland’s boys team. Each leads the team in four individual events. Hayes leads the 100 free (51.20, eighth in state), 50 free (23.43, 13th), 100 back (58.93, 13th) and 200 free (2:00.73, 37th). Whisenant is tops in the 100 fly (55.26, third), 200 IM (2:05.62, seventh), 100 breast (1:07.41, 13th) and 500 free (5:21.72, 18th).
The 200 medley relay team of Hayes, Whisenant, Michael Silver and Patrick Nordstrom was ranked seventh in the state in 1:46.62, while the 200 free (1:36.76) and 400 free (3:36.53) relays were each ranked ninth. Nordstrom is ranked just outside the top 20 in a pair of individual events.