Provo • It was only a matter of time.
Lone Peak High junior Jordan Tiffany smoked the competition in Friday’s preliminary round of the 6A state swimming championship. His times in two of his best events were seconds faster than the second-place finishers, but still just shy of breaking the overall state records for those events — and he hadn’t even shaved.
But on Saturday in the 6A finals at Brigham Young University, body smooth for more efficient gliding, Tiffany did what he set out to do. He broke state records in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 butterfly, earning automatic All-America honors and junior nationals consideration for both races in the process.
“I’m not done yet,” Tiffany said after winning the 200 IM, “but it feels good to finally kind of get closer to my goals and see this really happening. I’m kind of living my dreams out. It’s awesome.”
Tiffany clocked in at 1 minute, 48.75 seconds in the 200 IM, breaking Jake Taylor of Mountain Crest High’s 2009 time of 1:51.74. In the 100 butterfly, Tiffany finished in 47.74 seconds. The previous record for that event was 48.68, set by Long M. Gutierrez of Brighton High in 2013.
Tiffany also won state titles for the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay, bringing his total to four on the evening. To top it off, he was named 6A boys Swimmer of the Year.
The 200 IM wasn’t the only state record of Taylor’s to fall Saturday. Sky View High senior Jake Walters, who just so happens to be Taylor’s protégé, finished the 100 backstroke in 49.49 seconds, winning the state title in that event, automatically earning All-America status, qualifying for junior nationals, and realizing a dream he’s been working toward for years.
Taylor’s previous record time in the 100 backstroke was 49.87 seconds.
“It means the world to me,” Walters said.
In Friday’s preliminary event, Walters finished with a 50.61, which was the fastest seed time heading into Saturday’s final. Last year, he won the state title in the event with a 50.67.
Over the summer with his club team, he was even closer, finishing an event with a 50.01. But when he hit the pads after the last 25 yards of his swim on Saturday, Walters knew he was under 50 seconds.
“It’s just so satisfying to get a 49,” Walters said. “So relieving.”
Walters also won silver medals in the 50 free and the 400 free relay. For his efforts, he was named Swimmer of the Year in 4A.
Sky View coach Marcus Singleton said he was a bit surprised Walters won Swimmer of the Year due to his second-place finish in the 50 free. But he gushed with pride at Walters’ record-breaking performance.
“I couldn’t be happier for him because that has been his goal for a long time,” Sky View coach Marcus Singleton said. Singleton added that he helped coach Taylor at one point in his career.
The 4A morning event that was largely dominated by Desert Hills High, which won state titles for both the men and women’s teams. Park City also had a good showing, with sophomore Helena Djunic winning four state titles in the 200 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay.
But Walters’ performance made the case that Sky View also has a few talented swimmers.
“Sky View is a humble little place, and I just wanted to represent,” Walters said. “All those big schools have big egos. I just want to humble them, too.”
The Desert Hills boys team set a new state record in the 400 free relay, finishing with a 3:10.16. The previous record was 3:10.51, set by Brighton High in 2013.
Brighton senior Rachel Butler broke the state record she set last year in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing with a 2:03.41 in the 5A championship. The time earned her All-America consideration. Last year, she finished with a 2:03.87 in the event.
Butler said she was trying to break her own record.
“I wanted to take it just a little step higher than just winning,” Butler said.
Below are more highlights from the day’s championship events.
6A state finals
The Lone Peak boys and American Fork girls High defended their respective state titles as a team in dominant fashion. But aside from those two, other schools were also well-represented in the individual events.
Kearns High senior Lily Plaudis three state titles in the 200 medley relay, 200 IM and 100 backstroke. American Fork sophomore Allie Hill also won three titles (200 free, 500 free, 400 free relay), while Davis High freshman Lauryn Hall won state titles in the 50 free and 100 free.
Pleasant Grove High senior Devin Bunnell won championships in the 200 and 500 free.
5A state finals
It came down to the wire, but Wasatch High’s girls’ team came away with the 5A state championship, edging Timpview High 254-252. Both schools led throughout the competition, but it was the 400 free relay that put Wasatch over the top.
The win gave the Wasatch girls’ team its second-ever state title in swimming. Girls’ coach Shawn Marsing won the Coach of the Year Award.
Timpview junior Rachel Oyler came away with four state titles for the 200 medley relay, 50 free, 100 butterfly and 400 free relay.
3A state finals
Carbon High and Grand County high schools on Thursday each snatched their first-ever state titles on Friday. Carbon’s girls’ eked past Rowland, 267-266, and Grand County prevailed over Emery High, 220-212 in the boys’ competition.
Grand County freshman Braxten Pierce earned three state titles in the 200 free, 100 butterfly and 400 free relay. Grantsville High sophomore Hadlee Begay won three championships in the 100 butterfly, 500 free and 400 free relay.