Swimmers come up short vs. 5A Alta
Park City High School head swim coach Mike Werner called it a "wake-up call," but it may have been more of a splash of cold water in the face.
Either way, the Miners returned back to the pool on Wednesday and were met with a loss to 5A Alta by both the boys’ and girls’ teams at the Park City Aquatic Center. The boys lost 110.5-55.5 and the girls were a bit closer, losing 96-73.
"They gave us a big challenge," said senior swimmer Julie Dye.
A lot of Park City swimmers were assigned to their best races but couldn’t overcome the fast-swimming Hawks.
Dye said that knowing they were facing a big school was in the pool with them was motivating.
"I definitely like it," she said "Alta has so much talent and we don’t get to see 5A teams that often."
But motivation wasn’t enough. Returning to prep competition after a two-week layoff due to Thanksgiving, the team practiced during that time, but took a few days off for the holiday. Werner said that the break probably affected the team’s performance. Much of the team was also hampered by a flu virus.
"I could attribute it to a lot of different factors, but the truth is we weren’t prepared and they were," Werner said. "In swimming, whenever you take a break from it, it has an impact."
"Whenever you take time off in swimming, it’s hard to return because it’s such a high-intensity sport," she said.
Although the team was disappointed, Werner said the loss came at a good time in the season. The Miners are midway through their competition schedule and have powerhouses like Ogden, Bingham and Logan looming in the near future. Werner said this loss should help them refocus and see the areas they need to fix.
"It was a loss that needed to happen," Werner said. "Alta swam hot. They wanted it and they got it."
As a 5A school, Alta is a lot larger than Park City, but Werner doesn’t see that as any excuse. He said that the Hawks have improved a lot since last season and this was a good chance for Park City to step up, so he’s hoping that after this loss they will be ready for the next meet.
"It was a good learning experience," he said. "Losing is never fun but it will help us go after things for the rest of the season."
The Miners can quickly redeem themselves in the meet against Ogden coming next Wednesday. The following week, top-ranked 5A Bingham will come to town. But Werner isn’t worried. The Miners are swimming faster this year than they were at the same time last year and, after Wednesday, he feels confident that they remembered how to win. Dye said that the break helped a lot of the team to rest up and get ready for the second half of the season.
"It’s a challenge to come back," Werner said. "It was good to relax and now we’re ready to get back into things."
The Miners will host Ogden on Dec. 10 at 3:45 p.m. at the Park City Aquatic Center at Ecker Hill.
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