It was the tale of two halves for the Park City swim team, which took on Brighton on the road Wednesday afternoon. After a slow start, the Miners finished well, turning in strong performances against the defending boys and girls 5A champions.

"In the first half, we came out really flat," said Park City head coach Mike Werner. "It took them a while, but they remembered they were competing and finished well."

Werner called the first half of the meet "sloppy," but in the second half, the Miners began to attack the walls, made clean turns and streamlined their swimming. Werner said that the Park City girls' 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle races were the two of the cleanest of the day. The Miners had experienced their most demanding practice of the year the day before to make sure they were ready to race against one of the best teams they will see this year.

Although the Miners lost to the powerful Bengals, Werner said he was pleased with their overall performance. Park City has participated in only two dual meets this season, and both have been against defending state championship teams (in the larger 5A and 4A classes). Werner purposely looks to schedule some of the hardest teams during the regular season so the Miners will continually challenge themselves, and prepare for the top competition they will see at the state championships. He said that he and Brighton head coach Todd Etherington like to schedule meets against each other because they like tough competition.

"I want to schedule the teams that will give us a good test, not a good score," Werner said. "We know it's not about the numbers. It's about the racing and that's why we do it. They (the Miners) rise to the challenge. Park City kids are known for getting up and racing."

Sophomore Megan Flake had a good meet, racing well in the 500-yard freestyle, and in the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay races. She was joined by junior Grace Peterson, who swam well in the backstroke and 400-yard relay.

The Brighton meet marked the last competition of the year for the Miners. Next week they will be on a moratorium, where state high school team rules forbid them from practicing or competing during the holiday break. Werner said he hopes that the kids use the time to rest and get ready for the second half of the season. They return to competition on Thursday, Jan. 3, with another road meet at Riverton at 3:45 p.m.