PCHS swimming: Boys and girls face off in the water
December 20, 2011
The "Battle of the Sexes" swim meet is designed to promote in-house competition. After all, it’s boys versus girls.
But in Friday’s annual meet against visiting 4A Mountain Crest, the Park City High School swim team, head coach Mike Werner said, came out a bit flat.
"Friday was interesting, to say the least," he said. "We had some decent swims, had some kids who stepped up. But I was hoping the kids would be excited because school’s out, they were done for a while, it’s boys versus girls, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. I know they were tired.
"They’re excited to have a couple weeks off to recuperate and recover and turn their brains off and get to be teenagers for a little bit."
While the Miners fell to the Mustangs 188-97 Friday, Werner said each meet so far this season has produced some stellar performances when needed.
He said Joseph Palmer was a bright spot for the boys’ team in the water. Palmer finished third in the mixed 100-yard freestyle with a 54.04 finals time and was part of the second-place team mixed 400-yard freestyle relay along with Bailey Burke, Amanda Burke and Bailey Cooper.
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Palmer was also part of the third-place team in the mixed 200-yard freestyle relay along with Alec Topkis, Megan Flake and Bailey Burke.
"Joseph had some lifetime best times," Werner said.
He said both Bailey and Amanda Burke were standouts on the girls’ side.
Senior Dusty Ragland won the mixed 100-yard butterfly (56.15) and finished second in the mixed 200-yard freestyle (1:48:09).
Hayden Peterson came in second in both the mixed 50-yard freestyle (24.47) and the mixed 500-yard freestyle (5:22.62).
The foursome of Natalie McDonald, Jensen Howard, Garrett Jensen and Hailey Shand finished first in the mixed 200-yard freestyle relay.
"With this meet, it’s something where you just have so many kids in one heat, you just tell them to get out and race and to find a motivator," Werner said. "The girls and boys practice together every year leading up to it, but when you’re put it in a race situation, you want to see who wants it and who is going to step up. That’s the appeal of it. It’s our version of gender equity."
Werner said his team made waves in its 2011 meets, but now that the team is out of commission for the next couple weeks, he must sit back and see how his student-athletes come back to work and perform.
"It’s a hectic time for a coach," he said. "You don’t know where your kids are and, when they come back in January, you’re praying they’ll be ready to go.
"It’s crunch time right now, and we have to make sure we have to get them back into shape."
The Miners get back to action Wednesday, Jan. 4, at home against visiting 5A schools Layton, Davis and Northridge. It will be a special meet for Werner, who will be facing one of his mentors in head coach Craig Bjorklund, who leads all three swim programs.
"I worked with him for four years and he taught me a lot about getting teams to work together," he said. "It’s always nice to go back and race against a great coach. We should have some good races. We’ll see what the kids can bring."