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Hunter Swimmer Wins Third State Title

Apr 08, 2016 11:18AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

West Valley - Walking the halls of Hunter High School in relative secrecy is a three-time high school state swimming champion. Senior Claire Jackson captured her final title at the 5A Utah State Swim Meet Feb.11.

“Claire pays attention to the details of swimming,” Wolverines head swim coach Shawn Marsing said. “She is absolutely committed to the process and to her sport. She has an extreme passion for the sport. In four years at Hunter, I do not think she has ever missed a practice.”

Jackson swam the 100-yard freestyle in 52.36 seconds at the state meet, her fastest time in high school competition. She jumped out to a nearly .5 second lead in the first 50 yards and coasted to the victory. This was her second 100 title in three years.

She also placed second in the 50 free, just three-tenths of a second behind Westlake’s Kenzie Ford. 

“She has a lot of potential. I am excited to see what she does in the future,” Marsing said.

Jackson has signed to continue her career at the University of Utah after her high school graduation.

“I think Claire is going to a very good program,” Marsing said. “[Utah]is swimming against elite level swimmers. The women at Cal and USC have an opportunity to win NCAA championships every season.” 

Jackson began swimming competitively at around age 8. She swims club level with the West Valley Seawolves. She is scheduled to compete in the Western Sectionals in Seattle, Washington, March 18–19 (after press deadline).

“Claire did what she was told,” Marsing said. “She was told she was good enough for pre-competitive teams and then later told to go onto swim team. After that, she fell in love with it all. I believe that club swimming is more important to the development of a swimmer if they want to swim in college. High school teams teach them to go fast, but longer strokes come in club.” 

In 2015, Jackson placed first at the state championships in the 500 free. She finished nearly seven seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

“Hunter had a great season,” Marsing said. “Every one of the swimmers improved. We had several rookie swimmers. We had kids that at the first practice I thought I needed to jump in to save them. By the end of the season, they were competing.”

Senior Anthony Hovey placed 16th at the state meet in the 100 fly and 18th in the individual medley. He was a team captain along with Jackson. 

“I like the lessons swimming has taught me over the last decade,” Jackson said. “It just feels so natural for me to be in the water. I am proud of what I accomplished. My coaches are another reason I really like swimming.”   

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