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Miners test waters at Mountain Crest

Nobody’s going to be giving more thanks than the Park City High School swim team this Thanksgiving.

Thanks for a break, that is.

The Miners have swum in no less than five meets in the last two weeks and to say that they are a little tired is an understatement. On Tuesday, they wrapped up their marathon with a meet at 4A Mountain Crest. This was the first time the Park City team and swam at Mountain Crest and head coach Mike Werner said that the swimmers were excited for the challenge.

The Miners swam well. The girls beat the Mustangs 116-54, while the boys lost 114-56. This meant that overall the Miners barely lost 172-168. It was a little disappointing, but Werner said the loss had a lot to do with how tired the team was.

"It was a loooonnng meet," he said. "They were beat up and tired."

The Miners also had the opportunity to watch Mountain Crest’s Jake Taylor swim. Taylor, possibly the best male swimmer in the state, offered the Miners boys a chance to test themselves.

"He is one of the best swimmers Utah has seen in years," Werner said. "I was really excited for my boys to see him. Any time you get to race against someone of that caliber, it’s a great thing."

Werner said the boys really stepped up at the meet. Also, having not ever swum against the Mustangs may have been an advantage. Werner said that when the athletes swim against the same teams over and over, they begin to expect they will finish in a certain order. Against a new team, he said, they went in thinking that the sky was the limit.

"If they get up to race for the sake of racing anything is possible," he said. "They went into this meet with no preconceived notions of how it would go. It was good to challenge and test themselves,"

Werner was also quick to point out that, despite losing, the Miners still turned in plenty of personal best times and had an all-around successful meet.

"The scores don’t tell everything," he said.

Werner was especially pleased with the performance of his younger swimmers at the meet. Sophomore Marissa Bell swam well in the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard breaststroke and turned in regular-season best times. She was joined by freshman Dusty Ragland who swam well in the 200-yard IM and the 500-yard freestyle. Werner said that both are all-around talented swimmers and was happy to see his underclassman fare so well.

"We had some great swims out of our younger kids this time," he said.

Luckily, the team will now get a bit of a rest. There is no meet scheduled for the next two weeks and Thursday and Friday of next week will be a moratorium period where no official prep practices may be held. The team can still swim without Werner present, which is what he is hoping will happen.

"They know what they need to do," he said, with a laugh.

Werner has plenty of tough practices planned in the next two weeks, but is glad that the team doesn’t have am intense meet schedule for a while.

"It’s nice to have time to train and refine some of those skills," he said.

The Miners will be back in the water at the Park City Aquatic Center at Ecker Hill Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 3:30 p.m. to face Alta.


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