PROVO — Competitive swimmers in the central and south end of Utah County swim under the banner of the UVRays, or Utah Valley Aquatics Incorporated.

Coach Brian Sorensen said that includes about 250 swimmers a year with a core membership of 170.

"Within the organization we have from a 6-year-old who can make it across the pool one time to the college students who are serious about their swimming," said Sorensen.

"In the summers, we get a pretty broad mix because we cover Utah County from Santaquin, Payson to Springville and Provo."

Sorensen said the UVRays generally compete head-to-head with Hilltop Aquatics and the Cottonwood Heights team for top positions. "We have numerous kids competing in out-of-state meets as well and consistently take third or fourth in state events.

"At the Region 7 high school swim meet, our girls won every single event, eight for eight. In the boy's division, they won six of eight."

Sorensen said he likes that fact that high school and community rivalries generally can be set aside in a swimming competition.

"We have kids that swim on our team from seven different high schools. They work together in the water. They compete together as a team. It's almost like an all-star team," he said.

The swimmers on the team train year round, renting pool time at the Provo facility. The organization, which is three years old (the result of a merging of the former Provo Aquatics Club and the Springville Seals) is parent-owned and directed.

There are two UVRay swimmers who have their sights set on someday being in the Olympics: 16-year-old Meagan Stone of Provo and Kenny Clark, a Brigham Young University student from Springville.

Quite a few swimmers win scholarships to help pay for college, said Sorensen. "It provides a nice stepping stone for them."

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