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The City Journals

Bingham swimmers progressing as region and state meets loom

Feb 05, 2019 04:20PM ● By Josh McFadden

The Bingham swim team has been a tight-knit group during the 2018–19 season. The boys and girls are preparing for the 6A state meet, Feb. 7–9. (Photo courtesy of Rachael Kankamp.)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

All the hard work in the offseason, all the early morning practices and all the regular season meets lead up to the big finish in high school swimming: the state swim meet. If previous performances have any indication, the Bingham swim team could be a factor in the postseason.

The Miners have fared well on both the girls’ and boys’ sides as they prepare for the region meet and the Class 6A state event, which will take place Feb. 7–9 at Brigham Young University. 

Head coach Rachael Kankamp is optimistic about her team’s chances once the swimmers get into the pool with other competitors across the state. She said the boys and girls have improved as a unit during the season.

“I am happy with the season so far,” she said. “The swimmers are ahead of where they were at this point in the season last year. That is a good sign they will perform well at region and at state.”

Not only have the swimmers worked hard on their technique and skills—which has paid dividends in cutting down times and winning races—but Kankamp said everyone has had the proper mindset in practices and meets. She believes if everyone does the little things in and out of the pool, the team should achieve its goals. 

“The kids have had a great attitude and have been putting in the work every day,” she said. “Granted, there are always ups and down, but overall, they have been great. From here on out, the swimmers need to continue to put in the work and push themselves. They need to make sure they are taking care of their bodies, eating right, getting plenty of sleep and staying healthy.”

Kankamp highlighted the efforts of a trio of swimmers. She is particularly pleased with Logan Johnson, Kamree Kelley and Jake Truman. Johnson has taken on the challenge of swimming in different events this season. He has added the breaststroke in the medley relay and also swims the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke—both of which are new to him. Kankamp said he hasn’t complained about the new assignments. 

As for Kelley and Truman, Kankamp has loved the way they have worked hard and displayed a positive attitude.

“[Kelley] has stood out due to her work ethic,” Kankamp said. “She put in the work over the summer, and it has shown thus far this season. Each day, she is one of the hardest workers on the team and never complains. She has already achieved lifetime personal bests. [Truman] has stood out with his leadership. He has stepped up and taken a leadership role on his own. He is one that you can go to when you need something to be done. It has been unexpected, and he has been great.”

Kankamp said her fondest moment of the season so far was when the team participated in the Judge Invite. At this meet, almost every swimmer had a best time in at least one event—if not two. 

“They had a great time and swam well,” she said.

Now, as the season winds down and the boys and girls get ready for bigger challenges from some of Class 6A’s top teams and swimmers, Kankamp needs her pupils to stay hungry and continue to push themselves to be the best they can be. 

“The biggest challenge is keep the team motivated to continue to work hard,” she said. “They have long days and sometimes get bored with swimming back and forth. We have been able to keep every swimmer invested and continue to work toward their goals.”