Dedicated Miner swimmers excited for 2019-20 campaign
Dec 10, 2019 02:54PM
By Josh McFadden
The Bingham swim team is back in the pool and ready for action in a talented Class 6A field. (Photo courtesy of Bingham swimming staff)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
In a sport like swimming, numbers make a big difference.
Swim teams accumulate points by totaling performances in each individual event. If the team doesn’t have swimmers to compete in different event, it’s difficult to keep up with teams that have multiple swimmers in each race.
At Bingham, head coach Rachael Kankamp understands how important it is to build a deep program. Not only is it important to have a large team with capable swimmers, but the athletes must be willing to put in the work.
“The end goal is to have as many kids qualify for the state meet as possible,” Kankamp said. “We always want to have a big team with each kid having multiple swims. In order to meet this goal, the kids are going to have to commit to the team. They need to show up for practice and put in 100% effort each day.”
Fortunately for Kankamp, her swimmers appear to have the right mindset to compete. As the team prepares for the season, she has been impressed with everyone’s dedication.
“The team’s biggest strength is their work ethic,” she said. “When they are at practice, they are putting in the effort. They have positive attitudes and come to practice ready to work.”
Junior Nate Rock will lead the boys team. He specializes in the 200-meter individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Not only does Kankamp like his talent, but she appreciates the way he supports everyone else on the team. He’s also a teachable swimmer.
“He is always cheering for his teammates and always has a positive attitude,” Kankamp said. “Nate is always very attentive and implements any corrections.”
Seniors Heidi Andersen and Jessica Gilchrist are two of the top swimmers on the girls team. Andersen swims the 50 and 100 freestyle, while Gilchrist races in the 100 free and 100 backstroke.
“[Andersen] is easy to talk to and never complains,” Kankamp said. “She is a friend to everyone on the team. She works hard every single day. [Gilchrist] is the one that makes people laugh. She is always cracking jokes and keeps the team’s morale high.”
The Miners hope to climb up the standings at the state meet this year. Last season, the girls placed 10th, and the boys were 16th. One of the biggest barriers to improvement may be staying healthy. Kankamp said last season, a lot of swimmers combatted illnesses in January and February.
“They need to be taking care of themselves in by eating healthy, staying hydrated and getting plenty of sleep,” she said.
Kankamp loves this time of year when she can watch her athletes progress and develop.
“I’m most looking forward to seeing the kids achieve their individual goals,” she said. “There is nothing like seeing them swim faster than they thought they ever could.”
The Miners hit the pool for their first meet of the season on Nov. 15, 16 when they take part in the Bingham Invitational at the Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center.