Some coaches like to fill their preseason schedules in a sweet and easy way -- with a lot of cupcake teams and marshmallow fluff. Not so Park City High School head swim coach Mike Werner, whose team hosted the Park City Invitational this past weekend, bringing in the likes of Brighton, the 5A defending championship team in both boys and girls, and Bingham, the 5A girls and boys state runner-up, as well as perennial powerhouse programs Logan and Judge.

The seasoned coach has his training and competition regimen down to a science these days, and this is the time of year he likes to give his team a taste of the intense competition that it will see at season's end.

"Now is the time to bring in the best teams," Werner said. "That way, when they get to the end (of the season), it's like any other meet they've been to."

Also participating in the meet at the Park City Aquatic Center were other strong teams from different class levels, including Riverton, Provo and South Summit.

"We had some good competition and it was a really good meet," Werner said. "There was a little bit of everything and good swimming all around."

The Park City girls finished third overall out of seven teams with 244 points and the boys took fifth out of eight teams, finishing with a score of 192. Bingham won the boys' meet with a team score of 518, and Brighton won the girls' title with a score of 591.5. The South Summit Wildcats boys' team took eighth with a score of 58.


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Werner's tradition of bringing challenging teams up to the summit has worked out well. Without highlighting any individual performances, he said that the Miners performed well overall and he was quite pleased to see a number of young swimmers turn in strong performances at the meet.

"A lot of new kids did well. Our underclassman -- our freshmen and sophomores -- had a great meet," he said. "They showed a lot of improvement and stepped up to the level Park City swimming is known for."

Werner explained that the swimmers are just now getting into the meat of their training after spending the beginning of the season getting back into shape, focusing on technique and conditioning. Practices have become harder and Werner admitted to wearing the team out a bit. But despite this tough training regimen, the Miners showed up to race.

"Anytime the kids show up on a Saturday morning, when their buddies are still in bed, and can step up and swim well, makes me feel good," Werner said. "They held their own and then some."

And the tough competition will continue to keep coming in the next few weeks. Thus far the Park City swimmers have only participated in invitationals and tri-team meets, but there are a few big dual meets looming on the schedule. This week, the Miners are competing at Skyline against the 4A boys and girls defending state champions, and then they hit the road on Wednesday, Dec. 19, to battle Brighton once more in a dual meet.

For complete information and results on the Park City Miners swim team, visit www.parkcityswim.net.