Miners swimming pushes past Juan Diego and Tooele for Region 11 title
Swimming season is drawing to a close, but Park City High School is continuing to dominate the sport, even as they face a larger, stronger state classification.
On Jan. 27, the team took first in both boys and girls swimming at the Region 11 meet in Tooele, setting two records in the process.
The Miners boys team finished with 452 points, besting Juan Diego Catholic High School with 423, followed by Tooele High School with 294. On the girls side, the Miners finished with 591 points, followed by Tooele with 364 and Juan Diego with 235.
The Miners wasted no time in setting a Class 4A record, as Jessi Beyer, Katie Hale, Elise Beller and Helena Djunic swam the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay, in 1:50.11.
The girls then finished the meet with a record, as Djunic, Hale, Emma Strong-Conklin and Beller finished the 400-freestyle relay in 3:40.57 for a new pool record.
“They put together a really nice swim,” coach Mike Werner said. “We had struggled in that event all season and finally threw down pretty good against Wasatch, then in region put down a really, really, nice swim.”
“The region as a whole really improved this year,” says swimming coach Mike Werner. “I had kids that swam last year and did really well and didn’t make the (state) meet this year, so the competition is really open. It’s just going to be who wants it and who performs.”
Records aside, the Miners dominated across the board, taking first in the boys and girls 200 individual relay, the boys and girls 200 freestyle, the boys 50 freestyle, the girls 100 butterfly, the girls 100 freestyle, the boys and girls 500 freestyle, the girls 200 freestyle relay, the boys and girls 100 backstroke and the girls 100 breaststroke.
“Going into the meet, we knew we had to put together some big swims for the kids that were on the bubble of going to state,” Werner said. “Those kids stepped up and did well. The boys meet came down to the last two events, so it was really tight the whole meet. Juan Diego gave us every bit of competition we could handle.”
Like the girls, the boys finished their meet with a win, taking the 400 freestyle relay in 3:22.73 with Dennis Djunic, Jack Troxel, Trevor Malpede and Cole Peterson contributing to the final push.
Werner said this was one of the toughest region meets he has been involved in.
“The region as a whole really improved this year,” he said. “I had kids that swam last year and did really well and didn’t make the (state) meet this year, so the competition is really open. It’s just going to be who wants it and who performs.”
Looking toward state, which starts Friday at 2 p.m. at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful, Utah, Werner said Desert Hills will likely be a contender in both genders, while Sky View will be a contender in the girls competition.
“Mountain Crest has some really fast boys, and I’m pretty sure I’m missing a few (teams),” he said. “It’s going to be very exciting this year, seeing so many people that we’ve never seen before.”
He said though Park City has stood as an example of high-quality swimming for several years, this year is different in that the team is competing in a new, larger classification.
“We just want everyone to realize what we’re doing with swimming right now,” he said. “This is a pretty big deal to watch new teams going into classification, and still being at the top of the competition. We are very excited to go in and just perform our best. I would say we are the underdogs of the meet, but the kids have some surprises in them, they are going to step up and race and hopefully put on a pretty good show.”
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