Swimmers capitalization on tired Cedar team
Cedar’s lack of sleep was the Park City Miners’ gain on Saturday morning at the Ecker Hill Aquatic Center.
Less than nine hours after finishing a meet against Lehi, southern schools Cedar and Lehi were back in the pool to face Park City. Miners head coach Matt Hayes felt bad for the visiting teams, but definitely made the best of the situation. Both of Park City’s girls and boys teams easily won the competition. Hayes even used the opportunity to put many of his girls in different races and they still earned the win.
"It’s to test endurance," Hayes explained. "We’ve done a lot of sprinting. The people who are doing these events it’s good to see their endurance."
Hayes said switching races around is always good for keeping the team mentally engaged with 10 meets already behind them and still a fair amount ahead. It also gives them a challenge right before the chaos and distraction of the impending holidays.
More closely matched male talent kept most of the Park City boys swimming in their usual events.
"We are not as strong or deep in the boys," Hayes said. "I can’t switch them around expect to win the meet."
Hayes says it’s typical for strong teams to switch swimmers around in races part-way through the season. Especially among the younger swimmers, there are many that have yet to hit on their strengths and switching in competition tests their abilities.
"We try to do something different expand their horizons," Hayes said.
One young swimmer that continues to look at possibilities her future could bring, sophomore Jackie Sitko, improved on all her times yet again — something she has been doing in a convincing fashion all season long.
"She was a surprise last year and a quality swimmer at state," Hayes said. "She just keeps improving. That’s great."
Senior Andrew Guiliano also had a successful meet, dropping his times significantly.
The Miners will have one more meet before the holiday break against 5A Kearns, one of the top teams in the entire state. Despite Park City’s immense talent, it will still be a big challenge.
"You swim better competition, you get better," Hayes said.
And that’s exactly the work that the Miners need to put in now, at midseason, if they want to challenge the Judge women’s squad at the region and state championships.
All eyes will be on Kearns’ swimmer Natalie Edge, who Hayes admits could beat all of his girls and most of his boys. In the 50-yard freestyle she regularly posts a 24.1 second time, compared to Park city best swimmer in that race, Samantha Case, who usually turns in a 25.5 second finish.
Hayes says that his plan is to put his best swimmers in their best races and hope that the Miners fare well. Last year, Kearns beat Park City pretty handily and Hayes is hoping for a comeback with his team’s improved depth.
"They’ve lost some people, but still have good girls and boys," Hayes said.
The Miners hosts Kearns next Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Ecker Hill Aquatic Center.
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