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Gupton breaks 5A fly mark, Pioneers finish fourth

Sandy junior Hannah Gupton wins the 100 yard butterfly state title in record time to push the Pioneers to a fourth-place finish.


by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Hannah Gupton set a 5A state record in the 100 butterfly Saturday. Sandy junior swimmer Hannah Gupton tried for a year to suppress the haunting feeling. The nagging irritation came about in last season’s state championships when she finished second in the 100 yard butterfly as a sophomore. She would probably never admit it out loud, but she hated that she didn’t win.

Gupton had won the state championship in the event the previous year as a freshman and she couldn’t shake the disappoint of knowing someone had taken away her title. Twelve months later, that feeling is finally gone.

Gupton reclaimed her title in the 100 fly at Mt. Hood Community College on Saturday as she traversed the pool in record time. With Summit’s Merritt Allen challenging her the whole way, Gupton hit the wall first and broke the 5A record with a time of 57.14.

“I really didn’t want to finish second again,” Gupton said. “Taking second last year made me realize that nothing is guaranteed. It doesn’t if they think you are the best, you still have to work for it. It motivated me and made me work so much harder this year.”

Entering the weekend’s state championships, the 5A record in the 100 fly was 58.29. Gupton crushed that record in Friday’s preliminaries by almost a full second (57.39). Still, Sandy coach Jamie Paul thought Gupton could go even faster.

“She did great yesterday, but we had a few critiques for her. Her start, for example, could have been a little better,” Paul said. “She immediately took what we said and applied it today. It was phenomenal to see and I’m so excited for her.”

Armed with the advice and encouragement of her coaches, Gupton topped her day-old record by a quarter-second.

“After yesterday, I still thought I had a little extra,” Gupton said. “I knew I could do better.”

Gupton also improved in the 50 yard freestyle. She set the school record in the event a week earlier at the district meet, but swam three-tenths faster in the prelims on Friday (24.59). In the finals, she broke her own school record once more with a time of 24.53. She finished second in the event behind Lebanon’s Maddy Kelly (24.01).

As a team, the lady Pioneers fared better than expected. In the 200 yard medley relay, Asha Gatchell, Zayna Salveter, Gupton and Shelbi Hayzlett easily bested their own school record to finish third overall (1:55.43). Sandy’s four stars came back later in the meet and took fifth in the 200 yard freestyle relay with a mark of 1:44.73, also an improvement upon the school record they already held.

In her first trip to the state championships, freshman Hayzlett earned a pair of top-five finishes in her individual events. She made the podium in the 200 yard individual medley with her fifth-place time of 2:16.48. She secured a third-place medal in the 200 yard backstroke as she hit the wall at 1:00.38 to solidify her hold of that school record.

“I had a lot of people here watching me, and I was nervous with it being my first year here,” Hayzlett said. “We are really happy with how well we did.”

Overall, Sandy went home with fourth-place honors, much to the approval of Paul who felt the team underachieved at last year’s state championships.

As pleased as Paul was with her team’s performance, she is already looking ahead to next season with great anticipation. With Gatchell, Salveter, Gupton and Hayzlett all coming back, there is a lot to be excited about.

“They meshed really well this year,” Paul said. “They work well together and they are all really good friends. They will be stronger and in better shape next year, so it is going to be a lot of fun.”

View a photo gallery from the 5A state meet at parkerlee.exposuremanager.com.