Park City boys varsity water polo team takes state title
It was another extremely entertaining event Saturday night at Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center. Park City once again faced off with Kearns to determine the best high school boys water polo team in Utah. The teams had met four times this season with each team winning twice. It was fitting that they met one more time to determine the Class 6A winner. (Two years ago Park City petitioned to move up to 6A to face better competition and to take on the best teams in Utah.)
The pool stands were so packed that organizers brought in two extra bleacher sets to accommodate the raucous crowd. As the game progressed, Park City maintained a two-point lead through the game as both teams were trading off scores. It looked to be a wrap with 1:30 left in the match and Park City up by three. But Kearns called a few brilliant time outs and coordinated a comeback to tie the game as time expired. It was heart breaking. But in overtime Park City grabbed the lead and held on to win 16-15 for the state championship. It was the fourth straight state championships for the Park City boys water polo team.
Both teams played great and hats off to a new coach at Kearns that raised the bar to a new level this year.
The Utah State Most Valuable Player award was given to Park City’s Kiyan Mohebbizadeh and first-team All-State awards went to the Miners’ Braden Horton and Jack Troxel. Goalie Austin Veenendaal was selected for third-team All-State.
The Park City varsity boys only graduated one senior this year, so they look to return with a strong team next year, anchored by Troxel and Horton. Many Park City players will head off to practice this summer against California teams, and then will play with the Mountain Premier All Star Team in the Junior Olympics tournament held in Orange County, California, in July.
The Varsity girls finished third this season, barely losing 6-4 to Kearns in the semifinal game. Kearns took the girls crown once again, winning it for the fifth consecutive season. Park City’s Waverly Golden and Jessica Beyer earned first team All-State honors and Maya Mohebbizadeh was named to the second team. The Park City girls graduate three seniors but have a very promising young team that won the junior varsity state championship this year. Hopefully next year the girls varsity team can take down Kearns in the final and win gold.
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Chase Campbell, a Park City High School sophomore, has a busy summer schedule, including the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships on July 22-23.