Deseret News Week 22 high school star athletes of the week

Boys Basketball

Max Toombs, Corner Canyon (Sr.)

Max Toombs has played a big part of Corner Canyon’s current seven-game winning streak which has vaulted his team to the top spot in the Deseret News 6A rankings.

Last week in the Chargers’ 70-60 region opening win over American Fork Toombs scored 21 points. He ranks third in the entire state in scoring averaging 24.6 ppg.

“Outstanding young man lives in the gym his work ethic is unmatched, and it shows,” said Corner Canyon coach Dan Lunt.

For the season, the four-year varsity contributor is averaging 24.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.0 steals. Back in December when Corner Canyon traveled to Arizona for the Visit Mesa Tournament, Toombs was named tournament MVP after leading his team to a 4-0 record as he averaged 27.5 points.


Girls Basketball

Olivia Backus, Summit Academy (Sr.)

Olivia Backus scored 28 points on four 3-pointers last week to help lead Summit Academy to the 54-37 over Providence Hall in the region opener.

Backus — who played her first three seasons at Hillcrest High School — is closing in on 1,000 career points as she’s scored 987 total points.

“Olivia has been instrumental to our team’s growth during this season. Her positive energy and willingness to improve herself every day is a blessing to have in the gym and she serves as a key role model for our younger players,” said Summit Academy coach Josh Archuleta.

For the season Backus is averaging 21.6 ppg, which ranks fifth in the entire state.

Boys Swimming

Clayton Nye, Sky View (Sr.)

Clayton Nye has been one of the most consistent swimmers in 4A this season as he looks to end his high school career on a high note.

The Sky View senior ranks in 4A’s top five in four different events, led by the 100 breaststroke where he owns the best time (1:02.37) in 4A and the 15th best time in the entire state.

“Clayton is a one of our team’s hardest workers. As a coach, I see him pushing and looking for ways to challenge himself outside what I’ve already asked. He is very driven which makes it is so fun to see him succeed,” said Sky View coach Lexi Carter.

Nye ranks fourth in 4A in the 100 butterfly and then fifth in both the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley.

Last year at state he placed third in 4A in the 100 fly and fourth in the 100 back. Whatever events he swims in this year he’ll be in the mix for another high finish.


Girls Swimming

Colleen MacWilliams, Skyline (Sr.)

After three years dominating in the Olympus High School pool, Colleen MacWiliams is doing in the same for Skyline High after transferring this summer.

The senior owns the best time in the entire state in both the 500 freestyle (5:04.14) and 200 individual medley (2:07.00) this season, two events she won the 5A championship in each of the past two years.

“Colleen shows up every day ready to work her strengths and her weaknesses. This is what makes her such a fierce competitor. In the same practice she’ll be there pushing and encouraging everyone else. That’s what makes her a great teammate,” said Skyline coach Charles Collum.

Williams has signed to swim for George Washington University.

The senior has also posted top 10 times in Utah this season in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke.


Boys Wrestling

Austin Richens, Uintah (Sr.)

Uintah senior Austin Richens continues to march through an undefeated season.

Two weeks ago at the Tournament of Champions in Vernal, he went 5-0 with five pins to win the 190-pound weight class for another individual title. Last week at the Utah All-Star Duals, he wrestled up a weight and 215 pounds and still won his match by pin as he defeated Woods Cross’ Cash Henderson.

For the season Richens owns a 29-0 record as he looks to repeat as 5A state champ. He credits his pre-match routine as a big part of his success.

“It’s probably because I always come out as aggressive as I can in the first period. I make sure that I am doing exactly what I need to do to win all the time so that no one can beat me,” said Richens after the All-Star Duals last week.


Girls Wrestling

Ka’aulani Hew-Len, Hunter (So.)

One of the top lower weights wrestlers in 6A coming into the season, Hunter’s Ka’aulani Hew-Len has lived up to the expectations so far this season.

A state runner-up at 105 pounds last year, she’s posted an 18-4 record so far during her sophomore season.

“This season she has stepped up as a leader,” said Hunter coach Heather Carlson, who said that Hew-Len’s runner-up finishes a pair of tournaments early in the season, “only made her more focused and more determined to fix early mistakes and learn to get better.”

“Not only is she a great wrestler but she is also on the Hunter High cheer team. She is a go go go female athlete,” added Carlson.

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