Judge to host 7th Annual Swim Holiday Classic

Judge Memorial Catholic High School will host its seventh annual Holiday Classic Swim Meet at the Fairmont Aquatic Center in Sugar House on Friday afternoon, December 16 and Saturday, December 17. Featuring many of the state’s top individuals and teams regardless of classification, this meet will showcase swimmers from Bingham, Highland, Juan Diego Catholic, Logan, Murray, Provo, Springville, Timpview, Viewmont, West and West Jordan High Schools.

“This is one of the great meets of the season,” said Judge coach Matt Finnigan. “The atmosphere is electric and festive, all at the same time. I can remember one year competing during a snowstorm, making it a true holiday classic. We’re just thrilled so many great teams and competitors can participate.”

Judge Memorial swim team, collectively the holders of 14 state titles (girls: 10, boys: 4), is delighted to have the opportunity to host this meet each year. All of the captains had the same thought about the meet, summed up by Addie Diamond, “it’s a special meet because we take the time to honor the seniors and because it is the only true ‘home meet’ we have all season.”

Senior captain Marisa Bush calls this her favorite meet of the year. “With the big windows at Fairmont, it’s always great when it snows during the meet. Everyone competing is so relaxed because Christmas break is coming.”

“I think the Holiday Classic is a great meet because the energy level is high due to the Christmas spirit,” said Lizzie Gibbs, also a team captain and a four-year member of the Judge swim team. “It’s also the last meet before the new year when we all really start to look toward the state meet in February.”

“After spending most of the season travelling to other schools, it’s nice to have this one so close to home, and so close to the holiday,” said Seamus Appel, senior captain, and the 3-A the UHSAA 3A defending state champ in the 200 free. “Traditionally, it has been a very fast meet for our swimmers.”

Two of the captains are looking forward to seeing how the competition shakes out. “The state competition in 3-A is strong this year,” said senior captain Dillon Beckett.

That feeling was seconded by junior captain Jason Motley who said, “it is significantly more competitive this year, not just in 3-A, but in all the meets we have participated in. It’s been a lot of work, but we’re seeing a lot of progress.”

The Judge Memorial girls’ swim team has won an astonishing eight of the last nine UHSAA 3-A state titles, earning a total of 10 state titles since 1993. This year’s team is particularly deep, says senior captain Cassandra Cokl. “From frosh up to seniors, we spend a lot of time together and get to know each other well. That helps us respect each other as teammates, helps us come together to work hard at practice and at meets, and to want the best for each other.”

In addition to the senior captains, the girls will be looking for solid contribution from senior Alyssa Corbett, also the State’s 3A tennis double champion; seniors Erika Azad and Anne Henkels; junior Emily Murnin; and a contingent of outstanding sophomores and frosh. The Lady Bulldogs added frosh Allison Witte and Alandra McDowell this season, as well as Kaley Banyai, a junior transfer from 5A power Brighton. Also on the roster is the 2011 UHSAA 3A ‘swimmer of the meet’ sophomore Amelia Wolfgramm, defending state champ in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 4x100 freestyle relay.

“We’ve had some great success in the past,” said Finnigan. “But we’re focused on what we can do now, individually and as a team. We’re working hard and we’re pushing ahead.”

Judge Memorial’s Holiday Classic is a great opportunity for local swim fans to see a number of prep stand-outs. Events begin on Friday, December 16 at 4 p.m. and resume Saturday morning, December 17, at 9 a.m. The Fairmont Aquatic Center is located in Sugar House at 1044 Sugarmont Drive.