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Zulcic and Baum headline region swim meet

Feb 28, 2017 09:21AM ● Published by Greg James

Hunter swimmer Carson Myers (top lane) leans in for the start of Region 2’s state qualifier. (Greg James / City Journals)

Gallery: Zulcic and Baum headline region swim meet [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com
 
Hunter freshman Sissy Baum and Granger senior Benjamin Zulcic recently scored big points for their teams at the Region 2 swim meet, and both have qualified for the state swim meet for the first time.
 
“I felt good about my swim at region. I think I could have done better, but I think it ended up being my second fastest time this year,” Zulcic said.
 
He placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle event at the Region 2 swim meet Jan. 28. His time of 23.8 seconds was one tenth of a second slower than his best time this season. His fast time is still the 37th fastest in the state this year.
 
Zulcic swam a 23.71 at the state meet and finished 22nd overall.
 
“Freestyle is my best stroke and the 50 is my best race. Since it is so short the start and the flip turn are the most important; everything else is just mental. You just need to stay intense and go as fast as you can. We are not the best swim school so everyone is there to have fun and learn. It is a great school. This my second year swimming ever,” Zulcic said.
 
He placed 10th at the Granite School District Championships on Dec. 22in the 50; and fifth in the 200-free relay with his Granger teammates Jasim Abu Dan, Kevin Troung and Mitch Lindsey.
 
“He (Zulic) has some natural talent that kind of obvious. He is a wonderful student, 4.0 grade point average and lots of other interests. He is a really good kid. I think he is even going to state in the Reflections contest. Just a great kid,” Lancer head swim coach Mary Ward said.
 
He was also named to the Deseret News Academic All State team. The award is to recognize those students who do well in the classroom as well as in athletic competition. With over 85,000 students participating in high school athletics the award is considered to be one of the most prestigious given by the Utah High School Activities Association.
 
Baum is the only swimmer at Hunter High to qualify for state in an individual event. She competed in the 100-yard breaststroke, her best event.
 
“I started swimming when I was five. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work. I think our team has improved a lot this season. I really think coach Huff will get us to the top,” Baum said.
 
Baum placed second in Region 2 in the 100-yard breaststroke. She also placed eighth in the 200 Individual Medley. The medley incorporates four types of strokes (butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle).
 
“I think the breaststroke is my best event. The IM has so many parts to it. You need to be good at more than one thing,” Baum said.
 
In her state event she swam the 100 breaststroke in 1:14.73; 17th fastest time overall.
 
Last season Hunter swimmer Claire Jackson captured her third straight individual state championship. Baum hopes to have the talent to duplicate her predecessor’s feat. Jackson graduated last spring and is now swimming competitively at the University of Utah.
 
The Lancer boys team finished sixth at region. They were only nine points behind the fifth place team, Layton. Hunter finished in seventh place. The girls were reversed. Hunter finished in fifth and Granger sixth.
 
“A majority of my kids do not even know how to swim when we get them. It takes us a couple of years just to get them comfortable in the water at racing. These kids are dedicated. I am proud of their diversity and I know that many of these kids would not have this opportunity if we did not have this beautiful pool,” Ward said.
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