Ashley Loyens took a while to find her sport, but she's not wasting any time excelling in it.
The Park City junior was recently named to the Junior Women's National Team.
"She's only been swimming competitively for two years, and she just started playing water polo 14 months ago," said her father, Dave Loyens. "She's not the biggest player, but she's very strong. She's very competitive. She's an animal in the pool."
Loyens was chosen from more than 160 athletes for the 33-member team, which is just one step below the Olympic water polo team. Now, instead of getting a tan this summer, the honor student will be training in California June 19-22 for an upcoming tournament in Australia.
"I didn't expect it at all," said Loyens of being named to the team. "I was in complete shock. I'm excited, but it will be a lot of work."
NEW COACH FOR TIGERS: Ogden High has hired Jake McKee as its boys basketball coach. The human biology and health teacher spent eight years as an assistant at Fremont High.
"We're really excited to have him on board," said Phil Russell, the school's athletic director and girls basketball coach.
McKee hosts a basketball clinic at Ogden High starts today for players from elementary to high school. From 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. he'll instruct elementary age students, and then from 10 to noon, McKee and his staff will work with middle school students. The high school clinic will start at noon and end at 2 p.m. each day.
HOOPS CAMP: Skyline High will host a girls basketball camp June 9-13 for players of any skill level in grades 4-12. The camp is coached by Eagles head coach Deb Bennett and also features former Alta Hawks and Utah Avalanche coach Anita Rowland.
The camps are divided into different sessions for each age group. Grades 9-12 will meet from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Grades 4-8 will meet 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The cost of the camp is $40 and includes a T-shirt. Anyone interested can sign up at Skyline High by calling the school or by attending the first day of camp.
FINAL FOUR APPEARANCE: The Utah Pump n Run U15 team reached the semifinals at the recent Rumble in the Bay Tournament in Santa Clara, Calif. The local team lost to the Fairfield (California) Ballers U16 team. The field consisted of 28 teams that started the tournament with pool play.
Leading scorers in the tournament for the squad were Nathan Fakahafua, Highland High, who averaged 13 points per game, and Tanner LeBaron, American Fork, who averaged 11.4 points per game. Fakahafua was also the team's leading rebounder with 44, while teammate Austin Bankowski, Woods Cross, and Peter Howie, Woods Cross, each grabbed 26 boards.Tanner LeBaron and Nathan Fakahafua were selected to the All Tournament Team by coaches and tournament organizers. The 15U Utah Pump n Run team is coached by Jason Long and Dave Thompson.