Crème de la Class
It was a banner sports year for Park City High School. Now they’ll have the banner to prove it.
The Deseret News announced its "All-Sports" champions last week, honoring the top overall athletic programs in each of the Utah High School Activity Association’s five classifications. For the second consecutive season after a 10-year lapse, the Miners were left standing head and shoulders atop Class 3A.
"We knew we’d probably clinched it with the girls’ track meet," said PCHS athletic director Doug Payne, informed by phone of the award Wednesday. "What really helps us is that we have success in so many categories."
Schools are dealt points for placing in the top eight at state finals, with a maximum of ten points for a state title. UHSAA varsity sports include football, cross country, golf, basketball, wrestling, swimming, baseball, track, soccer, tennis, volleyball and softball. (PCHS teams also performed well in water polo and lacrosse, but those are club sports and do not count toward varsity standings.)
Park City teams combined to claim four state championships – golf and swimming on the boys’ side, track and cross country on the girls’.
The boys’ soccer and cross country teams couldn’t defend state titles after a number of seniors left in 2009, but the boys’ swimming and girls’ track teams offset the point loss with breakthrough seasons. The cross country championship for the girls was their second straight, as was the boys’ golf win.
The Miners also had three state runner-up finishes and wound up in the top eight in 14 of 19 sports. Girls’ golf, boys’ cross country and girls’ swimming teams all finished second. The football team was beaten in the state semifinal by Hurricane, and the young boys’ tennis team took third at Brigham Young University earlier this month.
"It’s a compilation of a lot of stuff," said Payne, crediting the Miners’ success to a community effort. "We’ve got some really good coaches who are very dedicated, and we have a lot of smarts. A lot of times we play smart when we’re not as big or physically strong."
Payne said the school has embraced cross-training programs, and that is largely responsible for both the athletic versatility and prevailing active culture at PCHS.
Park City scored 90 points, Judge was second with 79.5 points, and Desert Hills and Juan Diego were 3-4 despite each winning three state championships.
Bingham (5A), Springville (4A), South Summit (2A) and St. Joseph (1A) were the other classification winners. The Miners will have to rattle off nine more 3A All-Sports titles to match the record of Brighton, which captured 11 consecutive times in Class 5A from 1980-1991.
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