Hillcrest swimmer could break school record, lead team in the poolDec 16, 2021 10:13AM ● By Julie Slama
Hillcrest High sophomore Oakley Young, seen here racing last season at Skyline High, is anticipated to be a strength in the 100 fly for the Huskies. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Senior Josh Arevalo is expected to lead the Huskies in the pool this year.
As the lone swimmer who competed at state last year, head swim coach Ryan Thierbach has great hopes for him.
“He should break the 100-meter breaststroke school record that that was set in 1992,” Thierbach said of the mark set at 1:00.71.
Last year, Arevelo finished 16th at the state finals with a 1:04.03, slightly off his preliminary time of 1:03.15.
“He should be able to do it; he has been working really hard and he’s shooting to break one minute, which should get him a medal at state,” the coach said.
This year’s swimming squad has 40 members, 80% who are new on the team; they will compete in 5A, which Thierbach said “is the biggest classification by far and probably the most competitive.”
Even so, he hopes to qualify some other swimmers to state, at least in a couple relays.
For the girls, Thierbach said the early season outlook includes senior Ananya Iyengar competing in backstroke, senior Shy Srinvisan in 50- and 100-meter free and sophomore Oakley Young in 100-meter butterfly. Later in the season, he hopes to have senior Emma West and sophomore Evie Pendleton make an impact.
On the boys’ team, in addition to Arevalo, he expected senior Lucas Bolster to swim 50 free and 100 fly; sophomore Abhi Iyengar to compete in backstroke; and senior Matthew Simmons to be “solid in every stroke.”
Another possible record that could fall in the next two seasons, Thierbach said, is the boys’ 500 free by junior Luke Parker.
“He’s a strong kid and making giant strides in the 500,” he said.
This season, Thierbach and co-head coach, Tom Huddlestone, have implemented more speed work in practices and have put “a lot more focus on the actual racing part of swimming and the sprint work.”
Also new is an athletic class that implements core exercises, stretching and weightlifting.
However, scheduling, especially with 80% of the team being international baccalaureate students, remains difficult, as many of those students don’t have free class periods and at times, their IB commitments, such as science labs, conflict with pool times.
“Hillcrest doesn’t have a pool, so our times are limited. We only have from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and most other high school teams are getting twice as much time and getting twice as much done,” he said. “With Hillcrest being highly academic, and academics are important, it is a very tough school to coach and hard for our student-athletes to have time to dedicate to their sport.”
With competing in a new region this year, Thierbach expects Cottonwood High, who was in Hillcrest’s former region, still to be a strong contender for the region title, which will be Feb. 5, 2022 at Wasatch High. Tooele and Payson high school also have strong programs, he said.
State is set for Feb. 19-20, 2022 at Brigham Young University.