PCHS swimming: Miners earn stripes against 5A Brighton | ParkRecord.com

PCHS swimming: Miners earn stripes against 5A Brighton

Christopher Kamrani, The Park Record

Don’t bother looking too much into the 370-172 score disparity, Mike Werner says. Despite coming up short against defending 5A state champion Brighton Wednesday afternoon at the Ecker Hill Aquatic Center, a short-staffed Miners’ swim squad proved its talents against the best the state has to offer.

"I think things went really well," said Park City’s head coach. "We only swam 23 athletes (Wednesday) due to various reasons. And obviously you don’t look at the score.

"We had some lifetime bests, some in-season bests, and some faster-than-evers."

And he expects more to follow.

"The kids looked at what Brighton did and how many kids they walked in with and it didn’t really deter them," Werner said. "They (the Miners) did better than I would have hoped. It was a great showing on what we could look like throughout the season."

Werner said his girls’ 400 free relay squad wasn’t able to swim under the four-minute mark during the 2010 season. However, Wednesday was a different story as the team of Natalie McDonald, Grace Peterson, Bailey Burke and Hailey Shand finished with a time of 3:59.02, just .66 seconds behind first place.

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"They gave Brighton a pretty good race," Werner said. "It was fun to watch and the girls swam very fast."

McDonald also had a great day individually, winning the 100-yard butterfly (1:05.04) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:39.29).

In the boys’ 200 relay, Park City came up .07 seconds behind Brighton. The team of Dusty Ragland, Joseph Palmer, Garrett Jensen and Alec Topkis showed Werner what kind of potential they have.

"That really was faster than we swam all year last year," Werner said. "We just had a good group that went really well."

Werner said Jensen, a junior, was one of the bright spots of the meet.

"He was just faster," Werner said. "He had four lifetime-best swims (Wednesday). He just really moved. Everybody swam really well, but he would be the standout that really shined."

Werner said Shand and senior captain Jessica Pershe started out their season on a positive note as well.

"Pershe had a great day," he said. "She had some great swims. Shand had some great relay performances for us."

Hayden Peterson won the boys’ 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.67 seconds.

Next up for the Miners is a trip to 4A Skyline next week. The Eagles, which have been a 5A powerhouse in the past, will be one of the better teams in 4A swimming, Werner said.

"Skyline’s tough," he said. "Their coach is a good friend of mine and he’s got 90 kids again in a six-lane pool; they’re working out well. He’s got some really, really great swimmers. Again, it gives us the opportunity to race against the best."

While Park City is hoping to get more swimmers at full strength and back in the water, Werner said the Miners will remain focused on improving times and enjoying themselves.

"Despite looking at the score, we’re racing faster than we have ever been," he said. "The kids are faster. They’re interested and still having fun; we’ll keep our fingers crossed we can keep it going."

For full results of the swim meet, please see the scoreboard in print on page B-6.