BOUNTIFUL — The past two state swimming championships were synonymous with disappointment for Layton’s Abby Frazier.
Two years ago, she got the stomach flu before the meet and finished dead last. Last year, she psyched herself out and didn’t swim how she felt she could have.
So this year’s 6A state swimming meet at the South Davis Recreation Center seemed like Groundhog Day: Frazier got sick a few days ago and was noticeably fatigued when she got on the starting blocks for the 50-yard freestyle.
But Frazier changed her recent tide by winning the 50 freestyle on Thursday and followed that performance on Friday with a third-place medal in the 100 butterfly.
“My body was getting really tired and in my head I was just like, ‘No, you can pull off one more 25’ and I actually dropped a second so it was really nice,” Frazier said.
Her 50 freestyle time of 25.14 seconds was 23-hundredths faster than her seeding time, and her 1:01.19 mark was nearly a full second faster than her 1:02.03 seed time.
Frazier came into the meet with the fastest seeding time and with a Region 1 championship medal to her name. But to back it up, the state meet and the rest of the top-heavy 6A field was always going to be a tough challenge.
“She’s a fierce competitor and she’s very determined, and that is something that you can’t coach,” Layton head coach Katie Limb said.
“I knew she wanted it, I knew she wanted it bad and I knew she would fight like hell for it, and she did.”
The state meet wasn’t the first time Frazier dealt with physical ailments this year.
She’s had back problems since last year, some shoulder issues this year and a recent bout with sciatica — a pinched nerve in the lower back that sends burning pain through your leg and lower back.
Through all of that, Limb and Frazier had several chats throughout this season hoping to get Frazier’s mind in the right place.
“I tend to get in my head to swim other peoples’ races, this year I just kind of kept it to my own head,” Frazier said. “I actually did a lot better than I thought I would.”
Frazier was the lone area champion in 6A as area swimmers who might’ve grabbed the gold medal at the region championships were instead battling Lone Peak and American Fork just to get on the podium.
Samantha Nelson from Syracuse finished second in the 100 butterfly ahead of Frazier, as well as fourth in the 200 individual medley.
The Titans also got a second-place finish in the girls 200 freestyle relay, a third-place in the 200 medley relay, LynDea Turner took third in the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke, and Brylee Weaver went fifth in the 100 backstroke.
Region 1 champion Caleb Richardson from Weber finished fourth in the boys’ 100 butterfly and the Warriors’ 200 medley relay team also finished fourth.
Davis’ Tom Mi took fourth in the boys 100 free and Syracuse’s Brandon Denully was 0.12 seconds behind in fifth. Zac Michaleson from Davis High went fifth in the 100 breaststroke and the Darts had a fifth-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay.
Speed puts Syracuse girls in top five
Syracuse’s girls team didn’t have the kind of depth Davis had that lifted the Darts to the region title last month. At the state meet, depth isn’t the premium: speed is, and Syracuse has it.
The Titans finished fifth in the team standings with 160 points, four spots ahead of the ninth-place Darts (121 points) and nine ahead of Layton in 14th place (50 points).
They had the top-five finishes from Nelson, Turner, Weaver and the two relay teams.
The 5A and 4A swimming championships will conclude Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m.
6A final team scores
Girls: 1. American Fork 338.5, 2. Lone Peak 297, 3. Kearns 241, 5. Syracuse 160, 9. Davis 121, 14. Layton 50, T-15. Clearfield 45, T-15. Weber 45
Boys: 1. Lone Peak 428.5, 2. Pleasant Grove 279, 3. Riverton 180, 6. Davis 142, 8. Weber 121, 9. Fremont 116, 12. Syracuse 73.5, 14. Layton 43