Miners prepare for Invites
Although Park City High School swim coach Mike Werner doesn’t know who his guests might be, he hopes his team is ready to party at the annual Park City High School Invite this weekend at the Park City Aquatic Center at Ecker Hill.
Of course, partying to Werner means swimming faster than some of the best teams in state. He already has confirmation from one powerhouse in Logan, whose boys finished second and girls finished third in the state last year. He hopes to know the rest of the teams that will be attending by this Wednesday. The meet is a week earlier than in previous years so Werner can travel with the age-group team he coaches the following weekend.
He says he is eager to host a multi-team week to see how his team does against a lot of competition.
"It prepares you more for regional and state championships," Werner said.
The following Wednesday, Park City will host the Region 10 Invitational at the aquatic center. The Miners are looking forward to learning how the team stacks up against the defending state champion girls from Judge and Wasatch’s top male swimmer Jake Scofield.
"They’ve been pretty excited to see what the season holds," Werner said.
Thus far, Park City has been performing well against tough teams like Brighton. So, the next two home meets will be very important for the Miners.
"We’re stacking up really well against everybody," Werner said.
Although, he doesn’t want to compare the team too much, he does like the challenge that swimming against better teams brings. In fact he will often call coaches to see what races will be competitive.
"I look at the top and see who’s swimming well and what they have," Werner said. "I like the kids to have a challenge. They need to learn to step up to challenges."
Werner knows that his team will be "swimming tired" at both events. To ensure the athletes are at the peak performance point at state finals time, this part of the season is devoted to lots of endurance swimming and swimming a variety of strokes. Werner still expects the team to swim fast when they are tired.
"This is the meat of their season," he said. "We do a lot of work to make sure they can swim well when they are tired."
Werner is still keeping the team guessing about what races they will compete in from week to week.
"That’s my style,’ he said. "I want them to be ready."
He also wants them to avoid specializing in any one race at such an early age.
"A lot of people swim the same race over and over," Werner said.
He says if the team can swim in many different races, it will help both the team’s depth and the individual swimmer’s versatility.
Regardless of who shows up at this weekend’s meet, Werner expects it to be an impressive field. With the high altitude and fast times consistently scored at the Miners’ meets, Park City is always a favorite for prep teams.
"They love coming to Park City," Werner said.
He is also hoping that a large crowd will come to watch the weekend’s races.
"Kids love support," Werner said. "In an environment like that when it gets loud and crazy, it’s that much more fun.
The Miners will host the Park City Invite on Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at the Park City Aquatic Center at Ecker Hill. The Region 10 Invite will be held Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 3:30 p.m.
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Buses, trains and gondolas doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but they make up the transit alternatives for the mountain transportation system the Central Wasatch Commission is trying to create, mostly in the Cottonwood canyons.