I was nervous before the race because I was gunning for the state record, but right before the gun, the butterflies went away. —Dusty Ragland
PROVO — With just nine boys on the Park City swimming team, they are truly fielding a "skeleton crew."
But even with things thin as far as numbers go, the Miners — whose squad totals about half of most other teams — are proving that all they need is heart, as they lead after Day 1 of the 3A Utah High School State Championships at BYU.
"I've got a great group of kids," Park City coach Mike Werner said after his team tallied 118 points. "BYU's got some magic water, and we love swimming in it."
Wasatch finds itself in second place with 102 points, followed by Judge Memorial with 67 points. Tooele (65 points) and Canyon View and Juan Diego (tied with 49) round out the top five.
The Miners both started and finished the day's competition with victories. The 200 yard medley relay team took first, while senior Dusty Ragland tied the 3A state record with a time of 21.17 in the 50 yard freestyle.
"I know people will ask me if there's anything else I could have done to be one-one-hundredth of a second faster, and when I think about it, there's nothing I could have done," Ragland said. "I was nervous before the race because I was gunning for the state record, but right before the gun, the butterflies went away."
Oakley senior Ben Branham, who comes from a high school of 80 total students, said the small size of his school makes for tougher training.
"It's difficult because I don't get as much pool time as a lot of others, so I have to make the most of practices, and be really focused and concentrate on getting better," Branham said after winning the 200 yard individual medley.
Oakley coach Justin Spitzer says Branham's attitude as a leader is valuable to other members of the team.
"He's very humble, no attitude, very gracious," Spitzer said of Branham, who came into the event as the defending state champ. "He's got natural talent, but he also has a strong work ethic, and that carries him through those lonely practices."
Mitchell Hutchings, a sophomore from Pine View, won the 200 yard freestyle, just ahead of Park City's Jensen Howard.
3A Boys Results
1. Park City, 118; 2. Wasatch, 102; 3. Judge Memorial Catholic, 67; 4. Tooele, 65; 5. (tie) Canyon View, Juan Diego Catholic, Pine View, 49; 8. (tie) Desert Hills, Dixie, 43; 10. Spanish Fork, 34; 11. Snow Canyon, 23; 12. (tie) Oakley, Carbon, Cedar City, 20; 15. Uintah, 18; 16. Ogden, 14; 17. (tie) Waterford, Stansbury, 12; 19. (tie) Summit Academy, Emery, 6; 21. North Summit, 5.
200 yard medley relay 1. Park City, 1:40.67; 2. Wasatch, 1:41.31; 3. Juan Diego, 1:43.79; 4. Tooele, 1:44.09; 5. Desert Hills, 1:45.87; 6. Pine View, 1:48.28.
200 yard freestyle 1. Mitchell Hutchings, Pine View, 1:48.38; 2. Jensen Howard, Park City, 1:49.19; 3. David Finley, Wasatch, 1:49..73; 4. Richard Edwards, Canyon View, 1:50.42; 5. Colton Christensen, Spanish Fork, 1:50.87; 6. Seamus Appel, Judge Memorial, 1:51.50.
200 yard individual medley 1. Ben Branham, Oakley, 2:00.58; 2. Dillon Beckett, Judge Memorial, 2:07.26; 3. Zach Carfi, Park City, 2:07.64; 4. Garrett Jensen, Park City, 2:07.85; 5. Michael Pantelakis, Desert Hills, 2:07.89; 6. Brandon Johnson, Tooele, 2:08.11.
50 yard freestyle 1. Dusty Ragland, Park City, 21.17; 2. Phillip Hojnacki, Juan Diego, 22.26; 3. Riley Brown, Canyon View, 22.60; 4. Tyler VonHatten, Tooele, 22.95; 5. Eric Armijo, Canyon View, 23.11; 6. Brady Winward, Wasatch, 23.16.