PINEDALE − Sublette County swimmers are gearing up to compete at the big state meet this weekend in Laramie. The event, swam from Thurs., Nov. 1, to Saturday, Nov. 3, will be at the new Laramie High School swimming pool.
Thirteen athletes on the Sublette County swim team qualified to contend for a state championship this year. Each swimmer is allowed to compete in two individual events and two relays. Head Coach Greg Gray told the Roundup that final decisions on who will compete in what event are still pending.
Coach Gray said that the team is looking forward to state and is primed for action.
“We plan to make a move or two and drop some times,” he said. “It will be a challenge breaking into the top five places, though. The top teams in the state are tough. But we’re ready. After resting over the past week, the girls are going to be ready to go.”
Two members of the swim team qualified in every individual event except diving this year. Pinedale junior Natalie Hunt and Pinedale sophomore Emma Rogers will have plenty of races to chose from: the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard individual medley.
“It’s pretty exciting qualifying in every event,” Rogers said, “This gives me a good choice of events to swim in at state.”
Rogers added that her favorite race is the 50-yard freestyle – the shortest but fastest sprint where a hundredth of a second can make a difference between winning and losing.
“The 50-yard is down and back the length of the pool one time,” she said, “It’s deal or no deal – win or don’t win.”
Hunt also has a lot of options open at Laramie.
“I’m pretty excited and a little nervous going into state,” Hunt said. She hopes to win a second state championship in the 100-yard butterfly.
“I was state champion last year, but I have some really big competitors again this year,” she added.
Eleven other athletes from Sublette County will vie for state after qualifying in different events this season:
Big Piney junior Israel Seemann will get to choose from the 50-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle, the 500-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke at state.
Big Piney junior Adalyn Bennett qualified in the 100-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.
Big Piney sophomore Hayden Thoman has options of the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle or the 100-yard butterfly.
Big Piney sophomore Cassidy Espenscheid will chose from the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.
Big Piney junior Kaylee Day qualified in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.
Big Piney junior Paige Nielson qualified in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breastroke.
Pinedale senior Meleah Covill and Pinedale freshman Mia Buchanan qualified in the 100-yard freestyle. Pinedale freshman Sierra Hattan and Pinedale sophomore Reese Noble qualified in the 100-yard butterfly. Pinedale Darbie Paulson will represent Sublette County in the 1-meter diving event.