Miners charter "deep" waters
When Park City High School offered to host the annual Region 10 Swimming Invitational, they knew they were literally, "in deep."
Deep teams that is and it was the depth of Judge Memorial within the girls competition and Wasatch in the boys that eventually put the Miners in second place.
"I didn’t expect it from the Wasatch boys, but he’s got so many kids this season," Park City head coach Matt Hayes said.
He did expect it from the Judge girls, who are the defending 3A state champions, but he also said that for the first time he thought they may be beatable.
Despite not having the best numbers, he knows the talent of his team, and says that this year they have the added drive and determination needed to start beating the bigger squads.
Junior Samantha Case came close to her state championship times in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, and junior Lindsey Shand won the 500-yard freestyle by a full 10 seconds. Senior Stephanie Tomlin lost by just one half second to Kelsey Elizondo of Judge in the 100-yard butterfly. Elizondo is the two-time defending state champion in the event. In the 100-yard backstroke, Tomlin improved her time by three seconds, despite swimming it for the first time in competition last week.
Hayes says he welcomes swimming against the bigger teams, because it makes his swimmers rise to the challenge.
"You rise to competition," he said. "If you are a person who’s going to win, you will go farther personally to that end. The more good competition you get, the faster you think you need to go."
Juan Diego, a non-region 3A team stocked with talent that Hayes invited to the meet, also added to the challenge for the Miners.
There were also a number of small schools in attendance, including local teams from South Summit, North Summit and The Oakley School, as well as Uintah, another Region 10 team.
"It’s especially important to include the small schools, because they don’t have the numbers of quality kids and can’t fill up all events in smaller meets," Hayes said.
For the boys, Tyler Pool finished well beating Wasatch’s Jake Scofield, one of the stronger boys in the region. They were also sidelined somewhat by two of their top swimmers, Dylan Ragland and Andrew Giuliano, battling illness, which forced Hayes to put them in different races.
Luckily for the Miners, the younger swimmers once again stepped up, improving on last week’s performance, as they have done each week since the beginning of the season.
"All the new kids swam really well again. They looked really good," Hayes said.
Overall, Hayes says that he is extremely pleased with the progress of his team early in the season. He says a mix of moving past some personal challenges and having a very committed group of kids has really changed the overall attitude of the team.
"This year, I hope they can see that we just have the ability to do a lot better than we have done," Hayes said. "I think that’s the evolution of this team. I’ve been able to collect a bunch of fine student athletes that come in every day ready to work."
The Miners will now have two weeks off before they host the Park City Invitational Nov. 17-18. Hayes says he is using the team’s performance in the Region 10 meet to gauge his team’s training and plans to adjust it to prepare properly for the meet.
"It showed what we did and what we need to do to get to the next step," Hayes said. "It’s good motivation."
The Miners will host the Park City Invitational Nov. 17-18 at the Ecker Hill Aquatic Center.
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