Miners & Wasps Girl’s Swim Teams Both Eye State Championship This Weekend

High school swimmers in the Wasatch Back will head to Provo this weekend to compete in the state championships at BYU.

See the original story at KPCW.org.

The state championship meet takes place over three days at the Richards Building on BYU’s campus. Park City High School will compete in the 4A division.

The Miner’s Coach Mike Werner says the girls team has great leadership from a group of seniors.

“We have Elise Beller and Emma Strong on our leadership council for the team.” Coach Werner explained, “They’re going to be leading us and Jessica Beyer those are our three seniors. Then throw in Helana Djunic too. So, I think we ended up with 14 girls qualifying for state. We’re pretty excited to have that many kids going to the meet. They’ve won state the last five years, they’ve been a great group to work with so it’ll be very interesting to see how this year goes.”

Sophomore Helena Djunic has the fastest qualifying time in the 4A division for the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, she also has a top five qualifying time in three other events. Her teammate Senior Elsie Beller has the fastest qualifying time in the 500 freestyle and is top a top five qualifier in three other events. Coach Werner says the path to the girls sixth state title in a row will not be easy.

“It’s going to be a dog fight with Desert Hills they’re very very strong.” Coach Werner continued, “I dare say we’re the underdogs going in this year but we’re okay with that. The kids will rise up, they’re ready to go so it should be fun to go put on a show and see how everybody does.”

Jon Troxel will lead the way on the boy’s side. Troxel qualified with the third fastest time in 4A’s 500 freestyle and top six in two other events. The boys team took second last year at state, but Coach Werner says this year has been a rebuilding year.

“We lost a lot of big seniors last year that we had to refill.” Coach Werner said, “We had a good group of kids come in and they did really well they’ve built into the program. The majority of the boys are actually freshman this year, so they’ve come a long way. Jon Troxel is the other member of our leadership council for this year he will be joined at state by Fischer Caplin, and Zac Robinson and then we’ll have one other freshman boy. So, we’ll have four boys in. Which isn’t a lot but considering where we were and how far the teams progressed that’s a pretty good start to get things going.”

The 4A individual prelim events will begin Friday at 1:00 pm with the finals and team relay events taking place Saturday starting at 8:00 am.

Meanwhile Wasatch High School swimmers will compete in the 5A division. Wasatch High School’s girls’ team will be in the hunt for a top placement in that division. The Wasps placed first in region by over 250 points. Coach Shawn Marsing says they have balanced leadership that could open the door for a shot at the state title.

“Madelyn Sisneros has really been a nice addition for us. She barely just came out for the team just this year.” Coach Marsing explained, “Then Claire Kieffer she’s highly ranked in both the sprint freestyles is also really good for us. Madelyne Moulton who is a junior she’s also, I think she’s ranked 3rd for the state meet in the 100 breaststroke. We’re going to need some really good performances from some other girls that are right there. I think our girls have a legitimate shot to win if everything comes together. It’s going to be a tight race. I think us, Timpview, Skyline, Olympus, and Cottonwood are all right in there to win it. So, whoever swims best will definitely win.”

Meanwhile the Wasatch High’s boys team won the region title by one point. Coach Marsing says that winning that title was their goal for the year and that competing for a team state title might be out of reach. Although they’ll have some standout individuals.

“Led by our team captain Braden Patterson, he’s ranked I think 4th in the 200 I.M. this next weekend and top eight in the 100 free.” Coach Marsing continued, “He won both of those races at our region meet which is really good. Braden, Coleman Atkinson, and Oliver James finished 1,2,3 in the 100 freestyle at region which was a big boost for us to win. All three of those young men have done a great job. We had a lot of improvement form a lot of different swimmers.”

The 5A prelim events begin at 8:00 am on Friday, with the final and team relay events starting Saturday at 1:00 pm.

The 3A state swim meet will take place this Thursday starting at 2:45 at BYU’s campus.

South Summit’s Koven Card qualified in the top five fastest times in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle as well as the 100 fly. On the girl’s side Kaitlyn Caldwell’s top six qualifying time in the 500 freestyle will lead the charge for the Wildcats.

Finally, the North Summit Braves will be led by a top five qualifying time from Tessa Richins in the 100 fly. On the boy’s side Cody Piotrowski will look to medal in the 50 freestyle and 100 fly.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.