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Miners start holiday with swim meet

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

Park City head swim coach Mike Werner may have made one of the best decisions of the season this week. Due to a scheduling conflict, the Miners meet against the Alta Hawks was moved up a day from Wednesday to Tuesday. With a five-day break from school and sports, the hard-working high schoolers were ready to relax. The earlier meet team grabbed the last bit focus and physical intensity the kids could muster before heading home for the holiday, and gave the Park City girls a win and the boys a solid second-place.

"It was a hard meet," admitted Werner. "They’re out of school. They’re ready for a break."

The team is still in the midst of training intensely and trying out new events.

"They’ve got a good resilience and they’re excited for their time off," Werner said.

The Alta meet caps off an intense three weeks for the team, that has been swimming numerous meets against competitive schools. Even though the team was ready for the relaxation, Werner praised their ability to swim their best.

"Its part of why we train so hard," Werner said. "So the kids can swim again, again and again."

The 5A Hawks boast depth over the smaller Miners team, but Werner said the opponent never fazes his team.

"They are motivated to do well," Werner said.

Despite the Hawks’ numbers, the Miners’ girls team still managed to beat them, but the much smaller Park City boys team couldn’t garner enough points for the win. Werner says he isn’t worried. The male swimmers he does have are turning in winning performances and training hard, he said.

"For the size of the team we have, we’re doing very well," he said. "They are working hard and pushing harder. Every kid is swimming well. We just don’t have the numbers."

In fact the other team in the water or the number of meets doesn’t ever seem to matter to Park City. Werner says that they’re consistently interested in improving and challenging themselves with new events.

"The kids are anxiously waiting to race," Werner said.

He is also getting a top-to-bottom effort from the team. Against Alta, he said it was hard to single out one swimmer as having a big night, because even the youngest kids continued to hit personal best times and improve their performances.

"We have a lot of kids starting off that are making improvements. Those are the kids that are the future," Werner said. "When everyone is doing well, it’s everybody. It moves out from the newest to the most experienced."

The team will now get a five-day rest, thanks to the Utah High School Activities Association-imposed moratorium on high school sports over the Thanksgiving weekend. Individuals can still practice on their own time, but Werner is actually hoping the team uses the time to relax and refocus.

"They’re excited to have the time off and be away from me," he chuckled.

The break couldn’t come at a better time. When the team returns to the water on Monday, they will have a month full of difficult competitions, including state championship contenders Ogden, east and Judge, all in the course of about three weeks. Werner knows he’s asking a lot out of his team, but he also knows it will all pay off in the end at the state finals.

"It gets harder, but when they rest [before the state championships], it’s going to be great," Werner said.

And despite the fact that the team continues to be challenged in both practice and in meets, he says their attitudes are always positive and they are always trying to swim faster and better.

"I’m very lucky and proud to say that," Werner said. "Not everyone gets to have that."

The Miners will be back in the water against in-county opponent South Summit on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 3:30 p.m. at the Park City Aquatic Center at Ecker Hill.


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