Seniors leave a lasting legacy for PCHS swim
Werner hopes underclassmen will continue excellence
In high school sports, Senior Night is one of the most-looked-forward-to events.
Feelings are bound to surface at such happenings: Parents are emotional after seeing slideshow presentations of their babies growing into soon-to-be high school graduates. Student-athletes can’t believe their high school days are coming to an end. And coaches, who see this year after year, realize they will have to let go of another group that has been instrumental in building a program.
This was the case for the Park City High School swim teams at their senior night. The teams will soon say farewell to 10 swimmers — Aliza Falou, Madelyn Poston, Matt Whipple, Kelly Wasser, McKenna Ehrmantraut, Jack Loyens, Joelle Hess, Rozie Selznick, Alec Occon and Alex Yokubison — collectively on the boys’ and girls’ teams following this season.
“[The seniors] came up through the Park City program and they’ve led by example for years,” PCHS Head Coach Mike Werner said. “They try to make everyone feel included and part of the team. They just really helped carry on our tradition of excellence. So for them to be able to leave that, they’ve absolutely left a lasting impact with the program.”
Werner and the rest of the Park City swim community honored the seniors last Wednesday when the Miners hosted Box Elder, Spanish Fork and Grantsville High Schools in the final regular-season meet of the season at Park City Aquatic Center. While the group will certainly be missed beyond this season, Werner is excited to see what’s in store for the program.
“It’ll be fun to watch the underclassmen step up and hopefully surpass the legacy that [the seniors] are leaving,” Werner said. “Hopefully they celebrate the success and say, ‘Hey, let’s build on what they left us and keep this rolling.’”
The Miners were rolling on Wednesday afternoon, as a mix of senior and underclassmen talent helped the girls’ team win 11 of 11 events to finish on top at the quad-meet with 632 points. Box Elder finished in second 112 points behind PCHS.
Meanwhile, the boys’ team claimed first-place finishes in nine of 11 races, but that wasn’t enough to secure the top spot. That belonged to Box Elder, whose flurry of second- and third-place finishes helped top the Miners by just 18 points.
Overall, Werner was pleased with the production from his team, especially when you factor in that most the swimmers were in the midst of Finals Week.
“I was happy with how the kids swam,” Werner said. “These kids were physically exhausted. They were emotionally exhausted, but they still put on a big show. They swam really well.”
Next up for the Miners is the Region 10 Championships, which will be held in their backyard at the Park City Aquatic Center on Saturday. With the State Championships just two weeks later, Werner and company are preparing for both meets now.
“Right now, I’ve got a couple of different groups in the pool with different focuses,” Werner said. “I have a group that’s really focusing on [Region Championships] that are just outside that [state] bubble. I have another group that should [qualify for] state.
“I think region is going to be a good meet for us and I think that state is going to be the absolute culmination of all of their hard work. I think it’s going to be pretty neat,” he added.
The Region 10 Championships are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Park City Aquatic Center.
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