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Jason Smith, a member of Woods Cross High's swimming team, placed only 12th this year in two events at the Region 6 swimming tournament.

Not great, but not bad, either, considering he was only a 9th grader.His coach, Lynn Robinson, says Smith has a lot of potential.

Unfortunately, according to Smith and Robinson, that potential may go untapped if the Davis School Board approves a proposal to eliminate competitive swimming in the Davis School District.

Smith also may not realize his goal to get to college on a swimming scholarship.

More tragic, he said, is that several students at Woods Cross and other high schools would be kept out of the sport they do best.

"A lot of kids are good athletes in the water but not on the ground," Smith explained. "They may not be able to run but they can beat anybody in the water."

So Smith's mother, Leigh Smith, and a group of parents throughout the district are circulating petitions this weekend to urge the school board to save the swimmers.

The board plans to discuss the matter during its next meeting, Tuesday, June 4, at 5:30 p.m.

"We feel that the state core curriculum stresses fitness for life and swimming happens to be one of the best exercise sports that people can do," said Leigh Smith. "We have so many top kids in the district, it would be a shame to cut the program."

According to a letter that district Superintendent Rich Kendell sent to the school board, the district's six high school principals unanimously favor phasing out the competitive swimming program.

A lack of district-owned swimming pools, a lack of teacher-certified coaches and increasing transportation costs are the main reasons the principals cited.

Robinson, however, said he doesn't perceive those issues as being serious enough to warrant the program's death sentence.