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Sandy Journal

Seniors Rich, Quispe and Oldham lead Jordan swim team

Jan 26, 2021 02:31PM ● By Tavia Dutson

The 2020-2021 Jordan High School swim team. (Photo courtesy of Richard Barnes)

By Tavia Dutson | [email protected]

Jordan High swim coach Richard Barnes is looking forward to the state meet on Feb. 19-20 with some big goals in mind. After four individual top five finishes and a third-place relay team at the 2020 state meet, he has multiple athletes contending state titles this year.

“I think we’ll do better this year than we ever have before. I’ve been coaching for seven years, and I have never seen a state champion from Jordan,” Barnes said.

The three athletes responsible for last year’s top individual finishes are returning this year as seniors and all have already left a mark on the Jordan High swim program. Josue Quispe, 2020 state runner up in the 100-yard backstroke, holds school records in the 100 backstroke, 200 IM, 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle. 

Quispe has been swimming since he was 8 years old. At 9, he won his first swimming medal and hasn’t gotten out of the pool since. A natural in the water, Quispe excels at every event coach Barnes puts him in.

“Last year on a whim he asked to swim the 200 free which he never swims,” Barnes said. “I put him in it, and he broke the school record, in just a regular meet.”

Quispe is ranked in the top 10 in 6A in three individual events and the 200-medley relay where he swims the backstroke. Quispe has his eyes on state titles in multiple events and also hopes to have a shot at the 100-backstroke state record.

As a senior, Quispe is grateful to have left a mark at Jordan High School with both his times and his leadership.

“I try to help push everyone. I want them to see that we are getting better every day in practice,” Quispe said.

One of those teammates that has been inspired by Quispe is Trent Oldham. A football player turned swimmer, Oldham has been able to share Quispe’s spotlight. Oldham helped the 200-medley relay to their third place 2020 state finish while also taking fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke, an event that he holds the school record in.

Oldham is grateful to have had the opportunity to swim for three years alongside both Quispe and Alli Rich.

“They push me,” Oldham said. “When I’m swimming at practice I try to find them in the lanes by me. I try to keep up with them.”

Oldham looks forward to competing for the state title in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 medleys. He is especially excited about the medley team, which is returning three out of four of last year’s members. 

“It’s a little different for the relay, you feel like you have to go fast or you’re letting your teammates down. I want to feel like I’ve done my part,” Oldham said.

On the girl’s side, coach Barnes has standout Alli Rich. Rich, the 2020 state runner-up in the 100 fly, is going after a state title in that same event this year. She will also likely compete in the 50 freestyle where she finished fourth last year. Until then, Rich is using her last high school swim meets to chase school records in the 100 fly, 50 free, 100 free and 200 free. 

Rich knows she could not have made it to this point without the constant support of those around her.

“It’s been nice having coaches, parents and friends support me through it. Some days at practice aren’t fun, it’s a lot of hard work. Having people support me in it has been what has helped me succeed,” Rich said.

Although this year has been hard on her because of COVID-19 restrictions limiting spectators, Rich has been able to succeed without her loved ones cheering her on at meets.

“At the beginning I was super bummed, but I think the attitude you put into it is what you get out. I’ve been able to change my attitude and this swim season has probably been the best so far,” Rich said.

Barnes and his athletes cannot wait to see what they are able to do at the state meet in February. Barnes has been working the whole team hard to make up for some missed meets in November due to COVID-19. The team is excited to see all their hard work pay off as they finish the season with the region and state meets this month.

“We’re working really hard—the night before a meet, even the morning of a meet. I’m not going easy on them. Then I’ll go easy on them before the state meet and that will make a big difference,” Barnes said.

Jordan will compete in the 6A state meet Feb. 19-20 at BYU. Spectators will not be allowed, but fans can follow along with live results using the Meet mobile app on Active Network.