Relay win sets the tone in the opening race

by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Shelbi Hayzlett takes a breath during the 200-yard medley race last week against Sherwood.The Sandy girls’ swimming team faced its first formidable opponent in Sherwood on Thursday, but it really didn’t make a difference who the Pioneers were swimming against. With the inspired performance they put forth, they would have embarrassed just about anyone.

Sandy bullied the Bowmen throughout the meet and coasted to a 112-57 win at the Sandy Pool.

“They have been our rivals for so long, so I think I expected it to be closer,” Sandy coach Jamie Paul said. “We still haven’t scored under 100 points yet, so we are excited about that.”

The Pioneers made their mark on the meet in the relays, particularly the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle. In the medley, Asha Gatchell, Zayna Salveter, Hannah Gupton and Shelbi Hayzlett cracked the two-minute mark and won the meet’s first event by more than 11 seconds (1:58.94).

The same four were even better in the 200 free. Gatchell, Salveter and Hayzlett carried Sandy to a decent lead by the end of the first three legs, so Gupton would have merely needed to swim an average anchor leg to secure the win. Gupton scoffed at that prospect then swam way past it. Her 50-yard leg was more than a second faster than her winning time in the 50-yard freestyle earlier in the meet. The Pioneers torched Sherwood in the event by eight seconds (1:47.25).

“We switched up the medley relay and had Asha swim backstroke and Shelbi swim freestyle, and it is usually swapped,” Paul said. “I gave them a little pep talk, and they were just really excited. They wanted to crush Sherwood so bad, and they came really close to the school record. And then they came close to the freestyle record too, so it was an impressive day.”

Sandy continued its dominance in the relays in the final event of the day by claiming first and second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Sherwood’s Julia Bush won the 100 free and 200 free, as was expected, but Sandy won the other six individual swims. Hayzlett came out on top in the 200 medley (2:25.28) and the 100 backstroke (1:06.54).

Gatchell claimed a lopsided win in the 500 free (6:03.56) after finishing second to Bush in the 200 free. She touched the wall to finish in the 500 just moments after her closest competitor left it for another lap.

Salveter took second to Bush in the 100 free, but bounced back nicely with a lengthy win in the 100 back (1:20.34).

Immediately following her victory in the 50 free (26:07), Gupton dove back in the pool and stormed past everyone in the 100 butterfly. She finished the race, removed her goggles, lifted her cap and pulled herself out of the pool before the other swimmers made the turn for the final 25-yard leg.

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