All-state honors for Park City water polo and lacrosse teams
Faulk, Pederson, Hales, Whipple and Buchanan named MVPs
The Park City High School water polo and lacrosse teams, both boys and girls, are four of the best teams in their respective divisions. Three of the four squads captured state titles this season, and the other was just two wins away from making it a sweep for the Park City programs.
Because of their success, Miners on each team were honored by Utah High School Water Polo and the Utah High School Lacrosse League by being named to their respective all-state teams.
Additionally, each team also boasted an MVP of their league on the rosters; Ellie Faulk for the girls’ lacrosse team, Matt Whipple for the boys’ water polo team, Beau Pederson and Josh Hales for the boys’ lacrosse team and Bella Buchanan for the girls’ water polo team.
For Whipple, a University of California, Davis commit, and Buchanan, they were easy choices as the Utah High School Water Polo 3A MVPs.
“[Whipple] plays excellent defense and is a threat on offense both inside and on the perimeter,” Park City’s girls’ and boys’ water polo assistant head coach Jeff Whipple said. “[Buchanan] is a dominant center and led the 3A tournament in goals scored with 29 goals.”
Joining Whipple on the boys’ water polo all-state teams were Jack Loyens (first team), Dennis Djunic (second team), Kiyan Mohebbizadeh (second team) and Eli Thalos (second team). Jessi Beyer (first team), Emma Brooks (second team), Brynne Petty (second team) and Ali Keunnan (second team) all joined Buchanan on the girls’ all-state rosters.
On the lacrosse field, Faulk, a Lindenwood commit, was a leader for the Park City girls’ lacrosse team. Her play during her senior season not only earned her Midfield MVP honors in the whole state, but she was also named an All-American at the conclusion of the Miners’ state championship game last weekend.
Joining Faulk on the girls’ lacrosse all-state lists were Lois Garlow (first team), Amanda Perry (first team), Jeni Gordon (second team), Shaye Henderson (second team), Livi Kimche (second team) and Morgan Lukrich (second team).
“The competition is growing and more programs are developing stronger players, so to have a number of awards we had this season is really special,” Park City’s girls’ lacrosse head coach Kassandra Lemons said. “I am even more proud of our players for identifying the real award, which is a team award of being state champions for the fourth year [in a row].
“That’s what’s so special about the kids in our program; they’re so selfless and humble. I could not be more proud of them and they are all very deserving of their success.”
On the boys’ lacrosse team, Pederson was always at the forefront of the Miners’ success, leading to his eventual selection as the state’s Midfield MVP. Combining his efforts with the fellow season-long MVP performance of Hales, who earned the defensive MVP award, it doesn’t take long to figure out why the Miners reached the state semifinals this year.
Joining Pederson and Hales on the boys’ lacrosse all-state lists were Dylan Bauer (first team), Connor French (first team), Jack Mintz (second team), Noah Meyer (honorable mention) and Andrew Pederson (honorable mention).
With a healthy mix of seniors and underclassmen qualifying for the all-state lists, head coach James Meyer is optimistic about the future.
“It’s great,” Meyer said on his players earning all-state honors. “We have so many pieces that we can move. I’m super excited about the future. I really think that this year’s senior class set the foundation for all good things moving forward for Park City.”
More spring sports will release their respective all-state lists in the coming weeks. Please continue following the Park Record for future updates.
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Facing a region opponent early on was not ideal for Park City head coach Micaela Carriel, especially considering her girls had just moved up to 5A Region 8 after spending last season in 4A.