PINEDALE – The 2021 State Boys’ Swimming and Diving Championships are in Laramie on Feb. 19 and 20. The Sublette County team hit the water for one more chance to qualify at the Last Chance Meet hosted by the Pinedale Aquatic Center on Feb. 11.
Sophomore Owen Nielson capped off a successful day and punched his ticket to State in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Nielson won the 200-yard freestyle, clocking in at 2 minutes, 11.73 seconds.
Freshman Andy DeClue qualified in his fifth event on Thursday, the 100 butterfly, timing in at 1:10.67 and taking first place. In addition to the butterfly, DeClue qualified the 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle earlier this season.
Nielson’s qualifying swims brought the total number of State-bound athletes this year to 12. Junior J.T. Day and sophomore Dillon Boespflug, along with Jackson Fouras and Hunter Scott of Jackson, won the Adam Denton Award for qualifying in all eight individual events. Day also made the cut in diving.
Freshman Ryen Hacklin can choose from three events at the state meet – the 100 backstroke, 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. John Covill, a senior, made it to State in the 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Sophomore Cade Covill also qualified in three events: the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle.
Senior Conner King qualified in the 100 backstroke, sophomore Hampton Jones in diving and sophomore Max Shaw in the 50 freestyle.
“Several of the 12 boys swimming at State this year have a very good chance of placing in one or both of their events and we are excited to see what they can do,” said coach Ron Ruckman.
“Everyone showed maximum efforts on Thursday,” said coach Kursty Day. “Swimming is not an easy sport, and every year, times get faster. These athletes work very hard all season and we are proud of them.”