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The City Journals

In last hurrah, Cottonwood swimmer Jacob Ricci wins two individual state titles

Mar 29, 2021 11:38AM ● By Brian Shaw

Cottonwood swimmer Jacob Ricci won two individual state titles in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

Going back to when life was normal and life was good for the Cottonwood swimming team coming off of state champion after state champion, back when Blayze Kimble was ruling class 5A for the Colts, head coach Ron Lockwood said the next big thing would be Jacob Ricci. 

“You’ll want to watch out for that kid,” cautioned Lockwood in 2019. “He’s got all the potential to be great.”

True to form, Lockwood was right on the dot. Ricci was unstoppable in his last hurrah on Feb. 19-20, winning two individual Class 5A state titles at the South Davis Aquatics Center in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke—the first boys state individual double-titlist for Cottonwood since Kimble. 

In the 100-yard freestyle, Ricci made no mistake who was going to win it, touching the wall first in the preliminaries in 47.23. 

The Cottonwood senior then swam both lengths of the pool with grace and power in the 100 free final, winning his first individual state title in 47.08.

In the 100-yard backstroke though, Ricci really asserted his dominance, winning the preliminary heat by two seconds in a time of 51.63. 

What was even more astounding was that the Cottonwood senior stepped to the start of the state 100 back final and destroyed the field even worse than in the first heat, winning a second state championship by more than a two-second margin in 51.99. 

It wasn’t an easy road for Ricci, a senior who came just short of finishing first at last year’s state championships and up to now had never won an individual state title. 

Ricci’s last shot at hardware in his illustrious four-year career at Cottonwood came in the 200-yard medley relay. The lone senior on the team swam the first of four pool lengths for the Colts, and his blistering time of 23.71 gave Cottonwood another two-second lead. 

If you’re counting at home, that’s three championship races at state in which Ricci led by two seconds or more. That lead would hold up well enough to give Cottonwood a second-place finish and silver medals for Ricci and his 200-relay teammates Aidan Salisbury, Collen Lokan and Dresden Jensen. 

For the Colts girls, freshman Adessa Talbot had two fifth-place finishes at state, while fellow freshman Natty Alonso was among the top eight in three races.