Prep swimming: Blackburn eager to translate success to state meet
Lehi • Trevor Blackburn constantly is trying to hit a moving target.
The state meet is where he'll see if his aim is true.
Blackburn, a senior swimmer at Lehi, has posted one of the top Class 5A times in seven events this season covering all four strokes. Yet in each of those events, his name appears after that of Brighton phenom Long Gutierrez.
"It's helpful to have him up there," Blackburn said. "I have someone to push me, someone to aim for."
Blackburn has the second-fastest times in the class in the 100-yard butterfly and 200 individual medley. He is third in the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke and fourth in the 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
He broke his school records in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke to help the Pioneers upset Bingham for the Region 4 title last weekend. Blackburn owns three individual school records, including the 500 freestyle, and his name appears in the book three more times as part of relay teams.
It's safe to say he is as decorated a swimmer as the school ever has seen.
"He's really suited for mid-range, like 200s," Lehi coach Dennis Meyring said. "He's a pretty good all-around swimmer."
Yet for all that he has accomplished, the one thing missing is success at the state meet. Blackburn has not finished higher than fourth in any individual event and third in any relay in three tries in the 4A and 5A meets. Lehi was a 4A school until 2011.
Blackburn said his strongest events are the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke. His older brother Sam swam as a senior at Lehi last year, and his younger brother Tyler is a sophomore this season.
"They've helped me a lot, helped me to get up in the mornings," Blackburn said about his brothers. "I've been all right at [swimming]. It's taken a lot of hard work."
Blackburn also has competed for the past four years for the Hilltop Aquatic Club in American Fork. Meyring said his swimmer's best attribute is that he is a fierce competitor.
"He's a strong kid and he has trained very hard," Meyring said. "He is a worker, and he has developed the strength and endurance and technique. He's kind of followed Sam's lead."
Blackburn now sets his sights on catching Gutierrez and helping improve on Lehi's sixth-place finish at state a season ago. The state meet is Feb. 7 to 9 at BYU.