Miners train in the fast lane
November 22, 2006
When Park City High School swim coach Matt Hayes came across an article detailing the workouts used by Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps’ coach, he was intrigued. He figured that if it worked for one of the world’s best swimmers, then perhaps it could do the same for his top-ranked Miners team.
Boy did it ever.
At least for now. This weekend at the Park City Invitational held at Ecker Hill Aquatic Center, Hayes says that many Park City swimmers saw their times drop significantly. What was even more exciting for Hayes is that many of those were the younger swimmers.
"It was unusual," Hayes said. "The way we trained is making a difference."
The difference could be seen in the Miners’ point total. In the girls’ competition, Park City finished second with 337.5 points to Judge’s 463.5. That was a marked improvement over last year when the Miners were about 200 points behind. They also beat 3A powerhouse Logan by almost 100 points. On the boys’ side, the Miners finished in fourth with 219 points, just 164 points behind 4A Mountain Crest who won with 383 points and 116 behind 3A Ogden who finished second with 335 points. If the younger swimmers continue to improve, Park City may have a legitimate chance at first or second when the state championships take place in a few months.
"That just translates it’s the kids that we need to fill in and score points if they keep dropping, we have a better chance," Hayes said.
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Previously, the team had been practicing on a day-by-day schedule, where Hayes might switch from speed to endurance to strokework. Under the new training style, the team changes less frequently, doing anaerobic (speed) workouts one week and aerobic (endurance) workouts the next.
Hayes said that only five members of his team did not shave at least a little time off events. He says that those that didn’t may just be better suited to the former training style. He also thinks that the younger swimmers may feel less pressure in the bigger meets. With state contenders Judge and Logan both attending the meet, top swimmers were expected to swim their best, while the rest of the team was able to relax more.
"The younger ones know they likely don’t have a chance so there’s no pressure," Hayes said.
Still, even the Miners’ best swimmers were performing well. Samantha Case beat defending 3A state champion Erin Pabst of Logan in the 200-yard freestyle, and other strong swimmers continued to improve.
"It was just a great team effort," Hayes said.
Also present at the multi-division Park City Invitational were Wasatch, Lehi, Highland, Juan Diego, Provo, Uintah, South Summit, North Summit and the Oakley School. Hayes says that despite a packed house, the Park City event continues to be a favorite among northern Utah schools.
"It’s a good time of year to do this and it’s a good facility," Hayes said. "It’s a fast pool. It produces fast times, because it’s all deep
The Miners were scheduled to be back in the pool on Tuesday in an away meet at 5A Alta High School. With a state-imposed moratorium on prep sports later in the week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Hayes was happy to get two challenging meets in before the break.
"We have a tough schedule with meets and vacation," Hayes said.
The Miners are now moving into the "meat" of their season with meets scheduled every week. That, combined with the holidays, means that the Park City team will be hard at work training under their new regimen as much as they can. During moratorium, the team captain will hold unofficial optional workouts so that dedicated swimmers won’t lose their edge.
"You think missing workouts won’t hurt you, but it does," Hayes aid. "You realize you have to keep the volume of work up."