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Park City High School swimmers dive towards postseason meets

The Park City Miners swim team is gearing up for region and state meets, and it’s getting support from team captains.

For 23 years Gadi Shamah has been coaching swimming. Most of that time was spent in California.

He and his family moved to Park City just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He started out as a part-time coach at the University of Utah before becoming Park City High School’s coach in July.

This season, he said everyone is working together and gelling. He attributes that to the team captions.

There are four team captains, all of whom are seniors.

One of those is Reef Yoked. He has been swimming since he was in third grade. He got into swimming thanks in part to some of his friends and his grandma who visited from Israel.

Yoked explained that swimming to him is a very peaceful sport and also gives him a chance to reflect on life.

“I'm just able to not only just reflect on swimming, and like my technique and how I'm doing and that, and that area of area and aspect of my life. But I can also, you know, think about how schools going and how my social life is going.”

Yoked said since his freshman year he has known that being a team captain was something he wanted. He was inspired by then-senior Jack Troxel, who inspired the team as a role model and made sure that all swimmers were happy.

“So for me to be a team captain. One, I think like I said, it's just a big step for me like coming out of my comfort zone and just maybe doing something that isn't the easiest for me. So I think it's a really great opportunity for me from social like interactions and growth in that arena. And then second, I mean, I just I love being the person that others can look up to and others can talk to for advice. And yeah, just love giving advice to other swimmers because I think in terms of a mental aspect, I've learned a lot through swimming, and I'm able to just give some valuable insight to some of the younger swimmers.”

Shamah said the team is preparing for the region meet followed by the state meet. Over the next few weeks the team will swim more aggressively to speed up their times. He wants to make sure that the team can send as many swimmers as possible to the state meet, as only the fastest 32 per event qualify.

Yoked is ranked 11th in the state in the 100-meter breaststroke. He said he will train harder and harder over the next month to prepare himself because he wants to end his high school swimming career on a high note.

“I can tell you my goal is I mean, I want to be a state champion in 100 breaststroke this year. I just think I need to take advantage of these practices, even though that the meet is about a month out over a month out at the moment, I need to know that what I do now is going to impact how I perform in a month from now.”

Yoked and the rest of the high school swimmers only have two more home meets at the Park City Aquatic Center this season.

The first of those is Friday January 20th at 3:00 p.m. against Murray and the second is January 27th at 1:00 p.m. against Olympus. That meet is also senior night.

A link to the results from all the meets this season can be found here.