PCHS swimming: Invitation domination in first meet
As Mike Werner explains it, some people look at his Park City High School swim program and think the combination of effort and zeal is extraordinary.
"We think it’s ordinary," he said.
On Wednesday afternoon, in the Miners’ 2012-13 season-opening meet, the Region 10 Invitational at Ecker Hill Aquatic Center, Park City showed Region 10 rivals and other schools in attendance just how exertion and enjoyment can pay off.
The Park City girls’ took first place (419) among nine competing schools ahead of second-place Judge (380), while the boys’ team finished second (360) behind rival Wasatch (432) in the first official swim meet of the season. In the girls’ meet, Wasatch finished third (375), while Juan Diego (199) was fourth. Oakley School came in fifth (143), and North Summit finished sixth (86). On the boys’ side, Judge Memorial (333) finished third, while Juan Diego came in fourth (262). South Summit, North Summit and Oakley School came in 7th, 8th and 9th respectively.
"These first couple of weeks, we’re not racing yet, we’re just training," Werner said. "We let people know that this is the Park City way, and this is what we do."
The Park City way is performing at the highest level, especially in its home waters.
"I was really pleased. The kids swam well and I think, more importantly, they had fun," Werner said. "I just think we’ve got a group of kids who want to work this year and they’re buying into the team concept. Every time we have a chance to race, we’re going to step up and race."
On the girls’ side of the meet, Bailey Burke had an impressive outing, winning the 500-yard freestyle, finishing second in the 200-yard freestyle and sixth in the 200-yard IM. Natalie McDonald took first in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke. Park City’s Madi McIntyre, Grace Peterson, Megan Flake, Abby Boyer and Lily Tyler also had impressive outings in the inaugural meet of the season.
The Miner girls also took first in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
"I would say this group of girls came together and really raced (Wednesday)," Werner said. "That was probably the best-looking girls’ team, in terms of wanting to work and being together, since we won state my first year here six or seven years ago."
On the boys’ side, senior captain Zach Carfi finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke and second in the 200-yard freestyle. Fellow senior Jensen Howard had a stellar outing, finishing first in the 200-yard IM as well as the 500-yard freestyle. Alec Topkis (first in the 100-yard freestyle) and Garrett Jensen (second in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke) helped the Miner boys to a second-place finish.
The Miners finished first in the boys’ 200-yard medley relay and second in the boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay.
"The guys came out firing," Werner said.
He said the Miners are still working their way into swim shape, and with the Thanksgiving break looming next week, Park City will have time to prepare for some larger, high-profile meets waiting in the wings.
"Our technique looked pretty good and I think, once we get into the meat of the season, where we’re really training, we’ll be OK. Right now we’re still getting in shape," he said. "Right now, it’s not necessarily about the times; the times will take care of themselves once the little things come into play."
On Wednesday, Nov. 28, 5A powerhouse teams Lone Peak and American Fork are scheduled to make the trek to Park City to face off against the Miners at Ecker Hill. The three schools were supposed to tangle in American Fork a year ago, but the meet was cancelled.
"They have a strong tradition of success," Werner said. "Their kids are fantastic racers. They always produce some big kids going to big places, so it’s always good to be going up against these guys. We can hang with them."
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