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Prep swimming: Brighton’s Gutierrez snaps 5A record

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(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lehi High School swimmer Trevor Blackburn is cheered by his teammates during the men's 200 yard medley relay during the Utah High School State 5A Championship swim meet at the Stephen L. Richards Building on the BYU campus in Provo on February 7, 2013. The Lehi team went on to take first place.

By Bubba Brown

Special to The Tribune

First published Feb 07 2013 09:42PM
Updated Feb 8, 2013 01:06PM

Provo • Brighton senior swimmer Long Gutierrez walked toward the starting block, moments before the race for the Class 5A boys’ 200-yard individual medley state title. The other swimmers were stoic, but he wore orange headphones, and he bounced his body along with the beat.

This was Gutierrez’s comfort zone. Body gyrating, he peered into the pool and found a sharp focus.

"That’s just getting in the mood," Gutierrez said. "I get some adrenaline going and just get ready to race."

Just more than two minutes later, Gutierrez had broken his own 5A record with a time of 1:52.57 on Thursday at BYU.

But that doesn’t mean Gutierrez was satisfied. The significance of winning the event for the second straight year wasn’t lost on him, but his goal was to shatter the overall state record of 1:51.47, which Mountain Crest’s Jake Taylor set in 2009.

"I wanted to go a little bit faster, but I was just tired. I don’t know why," Gutierrez said. "... I wanted to go 1:48, but I just didn’t feel it."

Though the overall state record eluded him Thursday, Gutierrez already is in the record books.

He set the overall state mark last year in the 100 butterfly, his best event, and Friday he’ll get a chance to raise that bar. Doing so would close out his illustrious career on a memorable note.

"Swimming in high school has been so fun. I’ve loved it," Gutierrez said. "Having the team behind you, and having team bonding and everything has been a really great experience."

While Gutierrez is wrapping up his high school career, West’s Autumn Wolfgram is just beginning hers. If Thursday is any indication, she may well leave her mark on the state record books, as well. Wolfgram, a freshman, won the girls’ 200 freestyle with a time of 1:54.65, just minutes after helping West win the girls’ 200 medley.

"I’m happy, but then again nervous because of the competition," Wolfgram said. "If I raise the bar, everyone else is going to want to beat that bar."

She admitted to having to fight nerves before the race, though they didn’t show when she dove into the water.

"Going in, I was so scared," said Wolfgram, who will race Friday in the 100 butterfly. "I was just trying to hang in there."

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