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Gadi Shamah takes the helm of Park City’s swimming teams

Shamah enters with plenty of experience and high hopes for the squads

Gadi Shamah at the Park City Aquatic Center on Thursday.
David Jackson/Park Record

November has seen colder temperatures, plenty of snow and an earlier-than-expected start to the ski season. But the transition from fall to winter also means it’s the start of the high-school winter sports season, including swimming.

As Park City’s swimming teams dove into the pool at a relay meet on Tuesday, the Miners are gearing up for another season. New coach Gadi Shamah likes what he’s seen from his team so far, including a strong senior class.

“The kids are fantastic and swimming well, so I’m feeling really good about the season,” Shamah said.



Shamah isn’t exactly new to the high school program. He’s worked with most of the swimmers on the high-school team as their club coach, so when the high-school coach position opened up, it was an ideal fit. 

“Coming in as the new club coach, it made a lot of sense to take over the high school (team),” Shamah said. “The kids are so great. It’s super fun, and the kids are super coachable and responsive. So far, they’re looking really strong for the season. It’s kind of a no-brainer and super fun for me to be a part of that team.”



Shamah moved to Park City in 2019, but most of his coaching experience was in California originally. His coaching background reaches back 23 years, and he’s excited to bring that to Park City’s high-school program. 

“Moved out here before COVID in 2019, I owned my own club back in California as well as worked for a few others,” he said. “And then, during COVID, I helped out as the volunteer assistant at the University of Utah swim program, and then this job opened up. Very happy to be a part of a new team.”

Park City has also been a good fit for Shamah and his family. His two sons are skiers, and his family participates in the many recreational activities the town offers.

“We love Park City, we love being in the mountains,” he said. “On my off time, my kids and I mountain bike. Being so close to the ski resorts and great skiing access has been amazing.”

Shamah is taking over a Park City program that saw its girls team finish fourth and the boys team in sixth at the state meet last year. Shamah sees plenty of upside in this year’s squads as well.

Gretchen Lane had two third-place finishes in individual events at the state meet last year.
Park Record file photo

“Obviously, I think anything in Park City is kind of top notch,” he said. “We have a very athletic pool to draw from here. Just kind of the nature of people who want to be in Park City, so I’m super excited. It’s a very talented group and a very strong group. I do feel like we’re going to move up this year, which I’m super excited about. We’ll see how the season rolls.”

Shamah also serving as the club coach means there won’t be much of an adjustment period since he has experience coaching many of the swimmers on the team. 

“We spend a lot of time together, even when it’s high school or club,” Shamah said. “We’re training a lot, so it’s great to get to know the kids, especially with some of the travels that we do and the travel trips. Even just on the bus rides and having dinner last night with the high school team was super fun and getting to know the kids. It’s just such a great group. And it helps me coaching and getting to know the personalities and how hard we can push and who needs kind of what.”

Park City’s strong senior class includes Sara Wall, who won a state title in the 50-yard freestyle and finished third in the 100-yard butterfly, and Ralph Fiscus, who finished third at the state meet in the 500 freestyle. Sophomores Gretchen Lane and Sebastian Wrona both had strong finishes at the state meet last year despite only being freshmen, and junior Lauren Greenwell had two top-eight results at state as an individual as well. 

Between the seniors and the depth behind them, Shamah’s feeling pretty optimistic about the Miners this year.

“With that huge senior base that we have right now, I think our captains are really strong,” Shamah said. “I think our seniors are going to be really strong and a really big part of passing the torch next year. But this year, I think we have a lot of club swimmers that are really strong and, like I said, a lot of seniors. So, I think that’s going to make us definitely a step above most teams.”

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