Seniors led the way as the Bingham women clinched fourth and the men secured 11th at the inaugural 6A state swim meet at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 8 and 9. Seniors Landon Stalnaker, Lindsey Young, and Patrick Taggart, each made their mark, as Stalnaker set a new school record in the 200 free, Young led the team in points scored, and Taggart earned the Academic All-State Award.
Thirteen swimmers set personal bests in either an individual or team event. Stalnaker’s showing in the 200 free (1:46.37) broke a Bingham school record set in 2009 by Geremy Koyle (1:46.40).
“When I was a freshman, I remember looking at that board before our very first meet and thinking, ‘Wow these kids are so fast, that’s crazy!’” Stalnaker said. “It wasn’t until almost the end of junior year that I even thought I would be able to break it. It’s a dream come true and I couldn’t have done it without my coaches.”
Stahnaker earned 29 points for the team with fourth place in the 200 free, fifth in the 500 free, and seventh in the 400 free relay with teammates Taggart, Sean Yraguen, and Logan Johnson.
Young led all Bingham swimmers in points earned with 30. She finished third in the 500 free, fifth in the 200 free, and fourth in the 400 free relay with teammates Millie Reich, Hallie Huber, and Brynna Thompson. Thompson also finished fifth in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 fly, and Huber secured fourth in the 100 back and sixth in the 200 medley relay with teammates Thompson, Jaydee Guy, and Jenna Hodnett, who also finished seventh in the 100 fly.
“Over the last four years I’ve had a lot of goals. Some of them I’ve achieved, others I didn’t quite get,” Young said. “I’ve learned that even though sometimes it doesn’t always work out the way I planned, I have still achieved something from the hard work that I have put in. Something I have always wanted to do was stand on the podium at state, and this year I was able to do that not just once, but twice, which is something that I thought was only for people bigger and faster than me. It means a lot to me that I was able to score points for the team that has made me everything that I am and that has helped me every step of the way to achieving my goals.”
Taggart, a 4.0 student, was the only Bingham swimmer recognized as a swim team Academic All-State Award recipient, one of 20 in the state.
“Freshman year I saw the Academic All-State Award and made it a goal,” Taggart said. “There were some pretty close calls where I barely scraped by with an A. In the end, I was super excited because I worked hard to earn it, and, unlike other swimming things where you can have a couple of bad meets and then drop time at the next one, I had to have good grades every quarter. I could not have a ‘bad meet’ when it came to grades.”
Coach Rachael Kankamp expressed her happiness with the team’s performance at state.
“Everyone swam their hearts out,” said Kankamp. “Most importantly, they were having fun.”