Along with 3A State Championship victory, six LVHS girls swimming, diving team members made all-state

From the first dive of prelims on Thursday to the last relay of the finals on Friday, Lander swimmers and divers gave it their all at the state meet, turning in excellent performances. It was that team effort that kept them ahead of rival Green River to take home the 3A State Championship trophy.

(Check out the victory parade here.)


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This meet had it all for Lander—seniors stepping up big at their last meet, a new school record for a relay team, state champions, athletes conquering their nerves and swimming smart, and athletes supporting each other. 

This was truly an exciting meet. A disqualification on Green River’s medley relay during finals gave Lander an unexpected early lead, but Lander still needed all their athletes to perform at their best to hold off their strong rivals.

The coaches couldn’t have been more pleased. Head Coach Erik DeClue commented on Lander’s performances. “The team overall performed awesome. Everyone swam into solid positions on the first day like they knew they could. What was amazing though was that second day of swimming. All the kids were swimming up and wanting that win. I’m so proud of how they performed. These girls learned to be really tough this year. With how they bought into the coaching and trusting us with the workouts all season made this year so astonishing.” This was DeClue’s first year as head coach and clearly he did a stellar job.

Wyoming Swimming and Diving meets consist of 12 different events. Teams are awarded points based on individual placing in each event. However, each athlete can only participate in a maximum of two individual events and two relays. So it becomes very much a team sport. A team may have several individual champions, but still come up short on points. At the state level, athletes compete the first day during prelims hoping for a placing in the top 12 which allows them to swim in finals the next day. Only during Finals are points awarded.

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Seniors

The team’s seniors provided great leadership at this meet. Lainy Duncan led the charge, swimming powerful legs of two first place relays and then taking first in the 100 breaststroke out-touching the pre-meet favorite from Green River. Duncan also took second in the 200 Yard IM. 

Divya Forbis turned in her highest scoring diving performance of the season placing 8th. Then she turned around and provided much-needed depth on the swimming side placing eighth in the individual butterfly and swimming the butterfly leg of the first place medley relay. 

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Lillyan Hamilton cranked out a string of impressive sprint freestyle swims in the individual events and on two of the relays. She placed 5th in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. 

Katelyn Brinda cut more than 6 seconds off her 200 yard freestyle time and 16 seconds off her 500 yard freestyle time at this meet, proving taper was working well for her. She swam better during finals than in prelims, recording her personal best time of 5:56.80. 

Senior Diver Sophie Shearin performed her first seven dives as well as she had all season and was just on the threshold of qualifying for finals, but needed a high scoring dive to keep up with the high degree of difficulty dives the leaders were performing. Diving Coach Faith Hamilton had her dive order arranged perfectly with her most difficult dive next.  Shearin laid it all on the line attempting a double summersault dive, but couldn’t quite stick it and did not make finals. Despite the disappointment, she was still there the second day, supporting and cheering on her teammates. 

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Senior Kelsey Plaisted swam in the 200 Yard IM and the 100 Yard Backstroke in prelims, recording a personal best time in the backstroke to close out her high school swimming career.

Relays

None of Lander’s relays were top seeds going into finals and relay points count double, so these races were important if the team had a chance to win. The Finals session always starts with the 200 Yard Medley Relay.

On paper, Green River was a heavy favorite in the race and indeed touched the wall three seconds ahead. However, their leadoff swimmer had made a critical error staying underwater from the start past the 15-meter mark which resulted in their team being disqualified. Lander’s team of Katy Anderson, Lainy Duncan, Divya Forbis, and Lillyan Hamilton was awarded first.

Event number 9 was the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. Cody’s team had the top time going into finals, due in part to the presence of state freestyle record-holder Tara Joyce swimming the anchor leg. 

Lander’s first three swimmers, Josey Johnson, Lainy Duncan, and Lillyan Hamilton all swam their 50 yards with splits under 26 seconds, giving anchor Lara Robertson a couple seconds head start. 

Robertson swam a 25.13 second split and was just able to hold off Joyce who swam her leg in 22.61 seconds. Lander’s winning time of 1:41.58 set a new school record for this race.

Lander’s last relay, the 400 Yard Freestyle, held their seed place in the final race, finishing third. The team of Josey Johnson, Katy Anderson, Emily Anderson, and Lara Robertson cut more than two seconds from their preliminary time to finish in 3:48.37. 

Johnson also placed third in the 50 Yard Freestyle and fourth in the 100 Yard Freestyle. Emily Anderson contributed solid individual races as well, placing third in the 100 Yard IM and fifth in the 100 Yard Breaststroke.

All three relays from Lander swam times fast enough to qualify for Sectionals.

State Champions/All-State Performances

While the whole team is celebrating the team championship, several individuals earned all-state designation as well. 

First place finishers from Lander in individual events were:  Lainy Duncan in the 100 Yard Breaststroke and Katy Anderson in the 100 Yard Backstroke. 

All-state designation is awarded to the first two finishers in individual events and the members of the first place relay teams. 

Earning all-state for Lander were:  Katy Anderson, Lainy Duncan, Divya Forbis, Lillyan Hamilton, Josey Johnson, and Lara Robertson.  Anderson, Duncan, and Robertson (two second places) earned individual honors, in addition to the relay qualification.

Swimming Smart

Swimming is about speed and power for sure, but it can also be a mind game. Assistant Coach Greg Anderson was reminded of that as he was watching freshman Daegan Reinhardt swim her races. 

Reinhardt was seeded fourth going into the finals of the 200 Freestyle Yard with Green River swimmers in 3rd and 5th. 

The 200 is a long enough distance that swimmers must pace themselves or run out of energy before they complete the race. The Green River swimmers sprinted off the start, attempting to match the speed of reigning champion Tara Joyce. 

Reinhardt knew she had to swim the race at her own speed and kept it in check.

Coach Anderson saw that and said he knew Reinhardt would be able to catch the other two at the end because they had started too fast.  Sure enough, she out-touched the Green River swimmers, moving up to 3rd place and securing more points for the Lander team.

Conquering Nerves and Supporting Teammates

Hanging around the athletes during the two-day meet you notice lots of nervous energy.  Some can’t sit still, some get emotional, some bite their fingernails. Ideally you want to channel that energy into the pool, but it can be difficult. 

Lander swimmers try to do that at the start of their races in various ways. You may have seen the raised fists, the flexing, or even the dancing before their starts. This is also where teammates can play a critical role in distracting an athlete from their nerves and providing encouragement. 

What could possibly be more encouraging than seeing teammates (and siblings) at the other end of the pool cheering you on as you reach the turning point of your race? Lander athletes who missed out on finals provide this critical role on day two and Tenley Reisig, Keigann Watson, Maddie Flint, Kelsey Plaisted, and Sophie Shearin did just that—proving the win belonged to the whole team.

The above and below information was provided to County 10 by Lander Swimming.

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Wyoming Girls 3A State Swim Meet—Laramie, WY

Finals 11/4/22

Overall Team Scores:  1) Lander 276, 2) Green River 232, 3) Powell 201, 4) Cody 139, 5) Douglas 135, 6) Kemmerer 98, 7) Rawlins 86, 8) Buffalo 62, 9) Worland 47, 10) Evanston 43, 11) Riverton 24, 12) Lyman 21, 13) Sublette 7, 14) Newcastle 3

First Three Places and Local Finishers

200 Yard Medley Relay: 1) Lander (K Anderson, Duncan, Forbis, Hamilton) 1:53.98, 2) Powell 1:57.21, 3) Douglas 1:57.63, 8) Riverton (Griffith, Mikesell, Montano, Vincent)  2:06.26

200 Yard Freestyle: 1) Joyce COD 1:50.27, 2) Robertson LAN 1:59.89, 3) Reinhardt LAN 2:03.58, 10) Brinda LAN 2:12.25

200 Yard IM: 1) Arnell GRV 2:10.67, 2) Duncan LAN 2:19.22, 3) E Anderson LAN 2:21.30

50 Yard Freestyle: 1) Smith GRV 24.42, 2) Price KEM 25.20, 3) Johnson LAN 25.41, 5) Hamilton LAN 25.80

Diving: 1) Maez GRV 349.20, 2) Davis EVN 346.05, 3) Maertens BUF 334.90, 8) Forbis LAN 285.40

100 Yard Butterfly: 1) Arnell GRV 59.14, 2) Yost DOU 1:02.06, 3) K Anderson LAN 1:02.86, 10) Forbis LAN 1:09.14

100 Yard Freestyle: 1) Smith GRV 53.31, 2) Robertson LAN 54.54, 3) Price KEM 56.32, 4) Johnson LAN 56.85, 5) Hamilton LAN 57.43

500 Yard Freestyle: 1) Joyce COD 5:13.28, 2) Clark GRV 5:33.97, 3) Reinhardt LAN 5:42.44, 8) Brinda LAN 5:56.80

200 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1) Lander (Johnson, Duncan, Hamilton, Robertson) 1:41.58, 2) Cody 1:42.20, 3) Kemmerer 1:44.62, 7) Riverton (Vincent, Montano, Spradlin, Griffith) 1:48.49

100 Yard Backstroke: 1) K Anderson LAN 1:01.89, 2) Martinez RAW 1:02.78, 3) Sapp POW 1:03.34

100 Yard Breaststroke: 1) Duncan LAN 1:08.97, 2) Uhrig GRV 1:09.16, 3) Yost DOU 1:09.80, 4) Mitchell POW 1:11.28, 5) E Anderson LAN 1:11.91

400 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1) Green River 3:40.23, 2) Cody 3:45.09, 3) Lander (Johnson, K Anderson, E Anderson, Robertson) 3:48.37

Prelims 11/3/22

Top Places and Local Finishers

200 Yard Medley Relay: 1) Green River 1:52.58, 2) Lander 1:54.23, 9) Riverton 2:08.55

200 Yard Freestyle: 1) Joyce COD 1:50.63, 2) Robertson LAN 2:00.31, 4) Reinhardt 2:04.95, 11) Brinda LAN 2:11.02

200 Yard IM: 1) Arnell GRV 2:12.04, 2) E. Anderson LAN 2:21.44, 3) Duncan LAN 2:22.29, 15) Flint LAN 2:37.75, 17) Smith RIV 2:40.17, 18) Plaisted LAN 2:42.73, 19) Reisig LAN 2:43.62

50 Yard Freestyle: 1) Smith GRV 24.52, 4) Johnson LAN 25.55, 5) Hamilton LAN 25.88, 16) Vincent RIV 26.98, 17) Griffith RIV 27.21, 23) Watson LAN 28.21

Diving (5 dives): 1) Davis EVN 164.85, 10) Forbis LAN 130.15, 12) Shearin LAN 127.70

Diving Semifinals (after 8 dives): 1) Davis EVN 264.80, 6) Forbis LAN 213.65, 16) Shearin LAN

100 Yard Butterfly: 1) Arnell GRV 58.94, 3) K. Anderson LAN 1:02.98, 11) Forbis LAN 1:09.15

100 Yard Freestyle: 1) Smith GRV 53.60, 2) Robertson LAN 54.98, 5) Hamilton LAN 57.08, 6) Johnson LAN 57.27, 16) Griffith RIV 1:00.73, 17) Vincent RIV 1:03.05

500 Yard Freestyle: 1) Joyce COD 5:10.66, 3) Reinhardt LAN 5:43.32, 8) Brinda LAN 6:00.47

200 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1) Cody 1:43.32, 2) Lander 1:43.69, 8) Riverton 1:52.04

100 Yard Backstroke: 1) K. Anderson LAN 1:01.99, 16) Plaisted LAN 1:10.53

100 Yard Breaststroke: 1) Duncan LAN 1:09.05, 4) E. Anderson 1:10.96, 15) Mikesell RIV 1:19.71, 16) Reisig LAN 1:20.51

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