Cyprus swimmer inches closer to breaking 33-year-old recordFeb 18, 2021 02:36PM ● By Greg James
The Pirates girls and boys swim teams both finished in second place at the Region 2 finals. (Photos courtesy Jason Hayes)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Records are meant to be broken and Cyprus head swim coach Jason Hayes hopes his is next to go.
“I hope that soon enough my record will be gone,” Hayes said. He holds the Pirates 100 breaststroke record at 57.57 seconds. A mark that has stood for 33 years.
Junior Sohnnie Wesemann placed a goal on his home refrigerator in the 100 breaststroke. He wanted to best 59 seconds this season. He exceeded that in his first-place finish at the Region 2 championships by swimming the four lengths of the pool in 58.78 seconds.
“He (Wesemann) has a new mark on his fridge. He swam his best time at region and I expect him to challenge for a state championship,” Hayes said.
The Pirates have 18 combined state team titles; the last three came from the boys team from 2000-02.
“We have a good team and have had a good season. With COVID we had issues, but we also had an earthquake to deal with,” Hayes said.
The Cyprus pool was not compromised but the south side wall of the building was unstable. They could not use the pool until October. The team was forced to find other arrangements.
“We bused to the West Valley Aquatic Center for practice. Our team lived out of a suitcase for a bit, but the kids adjusted and did great,” Hayes said.
The team had over 45 swimmers, about average for the past few seasons. Hayes has coached at Cyprus for nine years and has had as many as 60 student-athletes on the team.
They practiced in shifts to avoid overcrowding at the pool. The extra precautions became difficult, but Hayes knew it was best for the team.
The girls team qualified two individuals for state, Rori Pilcher and Hannah Johnson.
“She (Pilcher) could make a podium. She swam her best times at region and I expect her to go faster,” Hayes said. “Hannah has been swimming for quite a while. She is a good all-around swimmer. She is fast at almost every stroke and that makes her a good IMer (Individual Medley). She is tall and has a great kick.”
Adrianna Leon scored the team fast times for the girls 100 fly and 100 backstroke.
The boys saw three individuals qualify for state: freshman Koen Smith, Wesemann and Andrew Shaw.
“Koen has made improvements in every event this year. He is gaining valuable experience. Andrew is our freestyle specialist and Sohnnie (Wesemann) has a good chance. After our season is over he will travel to Arizona to swim with his club at the sectional championships,” Hayes said.
The Utah High School Activities Association has scheduled the state meet for Feb. 19-20 at Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center. They separated each classification into smaller venues because of the pandemic.
“This is a great group of kids. They have struggled through a very difficult year. They have taken it one day at a time. I am proud of them,” Hayes said.