Bingham swim team has a year full of personal bests
Feb 14, 2017 01:40PM ● Published by Billy Swartzfager
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The Bingham High School swim team had a successful 2016–17 season, which began back in October and wrapped up with the state championship swim meet on Feb. 10 at Brigham Young University.
Fourteen Bingham swimmers qualified for the state swim meet after a superb showing at the region swim meet on Jan. 27, where many swimmers dropped time in their events and even recorded not one but two personal best times.
One of Bingham’s yearlong goals was to drop as much time as possible from the beginning of the year to the end. As a team, and individually, the Miners fared well with that goal. It wasn’t an easy goal to achieve, either. The swimmers practiced weekdays after school for two hours. They also practiced on dryland two days a week for an hour before school began.
The team even found time for additional morning practices for certain swimmers to maintain the competitive edge. The group logged many hours and yardage in the pool. The swimmers’ hard work was rewarded with what coaches called an incredible showing at the region meet, which, according to one of the team’s head coaches, Rachel Kankamp, is the culmination of several months’ hard work.
“The first part of the season is really hard, but the hard work pays off through the season,” Kankamp said. “We had an awesome region meet.”
Another goal Bingham had at the beginning of the year, and also one with which it had a lot of success, was to come together as a team. The group’s older swimmers acted as leaders and set the tone for the team members to support one another. They did this throughout the year by staying positive and encouraging everyone else to remain positive as well.
While swimmers were in the water, those who were not could be seen and heard loudly cheering their teammates on, providing the needed positivity and inspiration that can be hard for a swimmer to find while alone in a pool.
“This year’s team isn’t cliquey at all,” Kankamp said. “They really came together as a whole team this year, like I’ve never seen.”
The third goal Kankamp spoke of was to get as many swimmers qualified for state as possible. With more than a dozen young swimmers qualifying for the big meet, the Miners accomplished this goal as well.
Going into the state meet, Bingham was especially looking forward to the boys and girls 500-yard freestyle, as well as the 200-yard freestyle and the breaststroke events. Kankamp considered all of those events to be strengths for her team.
The seniors who participated in the state meet were Logan England, Conlee Guy, Josh Richardson and Ryker Ross for the boys’ side of the team, and Hannah Roberts and Kelley McCall on the girls’ side.
The state tournament was a tough one this year, but Bingham had some great performances. The girls’ team placed 12th overall and the boys’ placed 14th.
Roberts placed eighth in the 200-yard freestyle and sixth in the 500-yard freestyle. McCall placed ninth in the 500-yard freestyle as well. The girls group also took 10th place in the 400-yard free relay, which included Kelley and Roberts as well as juniors, Jenna Hodnett and Lindsey Young. Junior Landon Stalnaker led the boys group with a fifth-place finish in the 200 free and a fourth-place spot in the 500 free.