The reigning 3A-State championship Lander Valley High School girls swim team showed they are the team to beat in the pool over the weekend. They scored two wins at home at the Lander Relays on Friday, Aug. 24, and the Bruce Gresly Pentathlon on Saturday, Aug. 25.
On Friday, the Lady Tigers topped seven teams, winning with 367 points. To most spectators’ surprise, the biggest competition came from relatively unknown Lyman, who brought a large team and took second with 319 points. The next day, the same two teams overshadowed the rest of the competition with Lander winning with 767.5 points and Lyman finishing second with 618.5. Before the competition, most assumed Jackson Hole, who just returned to the 3A division after two years in 4A, would be Lander’s biggest rival. But the Lady Broncos finished a distant fourth on Saturday with 359.5 points, while Powell grabbed the third spot with 362.
Head Coach Shawna Morgan said she “was really pleased with our performances.” “We found some things we need to work on, and we still need to get in shape,” she said. “We saw ten of the thirteen 3A teams on Saturday, and every team has extreme talent. It’s going to be anybody’s title to grab this year. If we want it, we are going to have to do things we’ve never done before. It’s going to be exciting.”
On Friday, Lander showcased its strength by capturing first place in five of the six relays. The foursome of McKenzie Lilygren, Olivia Fowler, Lily Gose, and Ashlon Koch took first in the 400-yard medley relay, where each swimmer completes a 100 I.M.. The team of Makayla McPherson, Noelle Harris, Gose, and Anastasia Cornale then won the 200-yard butterfly relay. For the 200-yard freestyle relay, Lilygren, Leah Brown, Cornale, and Molly Fehringer sprinted to first. The 500-yard freestyle squad of Brown (50 yards), Fehringer (100 yards), Fowler (150 yards), and Koch (200 yards) took first with room to spare. Rounding out the wins was the 400-yard freestyle relay of Lilygren, Fowler, Gose, and Koch with a decisive win.
In individual events, the Tigers also shone, taking three of five wins. Freshman Koch showed she is a force for the team by taking first in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:09. Another new standout for the team is Italian exchange student Cornale, who is staying with the Fowler family. She outsprinted the fields in both the 50-yard (26 seconds) and 100-yard freestyle (59 seconds) races. In diving, Ann Baron showed she will be a contender for the Tigers with her fifth place finish.
On Saturday, the team returned to test themselves in a swimming pentathlon named in honor of the late legendary LVHS coach Bruce Gresly. Each competitor swam in five events: the 100-yard fly, 100-yard backstroke, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, and 100-yard freestyle. Three Tigers performed well enough to grab spots in the all-around top-10: Cornale finished second, Fowler took fifth, and Koch was seventh.
What’s more, the Lady Tigers showed their might with ten swimmers hitting state-qualifying standards. They are: Koch (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard fly, 200-yard freestyle), Cornale (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard fly), Fowler (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard fly, 200-yard freestyle), Lilygren (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke), Gose (100-yard fly, 200-yard freestyle), Brown (100-yard backstroke), Fehringer (50-yard freestyle), Harms (50-yard freestyle), Makayla McPherson (100-yard fly), and Kristen McPherson (100-yard backstroke).
LANDER RELAYS AUG. 24, 2018
Team Scores: 1. Lander 367, 2. Lyman 319, 3. Sublette 209, 4. Worland 148, 5. Kemmerer 142, 6. Cody 118, 7. Riverton 104,
200 Yard Medley Relay: 1. Lyman ‘A’ 2:01.21, 2. Lander ‘A’ (Brown, Stigers, M. McPherson, Fehringer) 2:08.06, 8. Lander ‘B’ (Chandler, Firth, Baron, Harms) 2:30.15, 11. Lander ‘C’ (Logan, A. Baron, Laird, Bald Eagle) 2:40.52
200 Yard Freestyle: 1. Ashlon Koch LAN 2:09.89, 2. Olivia Fowler LAN 2:11.42, 5. Lily Gose LAN 2:22.03, 9. Makayla McPherson LAN 2:27.96, 10. Noelle Harris LAN 2:28.30
400 Yard Medley Relay: 1. Lander ‘A’ (Lilygren, Fowler, Gose, Koch) 4:44.58
50 Yard Freestyle: 1. Anastasia Cornale LAN 26.58, 5. Anja Harms LAN 28.09, 6. Molly Fehringer LAN 28.11, 13. McKella Stigers LAN 30.11, 25. Lillian Chandler LAN 32.86, 28. Shaylissa Bald Eagle LAN 33.99, 37. Jessica Baron LAN 36.46, 45. Karah Ratliff LAN 40.83
1-mtr Diving: 1. Kyra Klinghagen WOR 164.85, 5. Anne Baron LAN 133.70
200 Yard Butterfly Relay: 1. Lander ‘A’ (M. McPherson, Harris, Gose, Cornale) 2:05.48
100 Yard Freestyle: 1. Anastasia Cornale LAN 59.17, 5. K. McPherson LAN 1:07.66, 9. Sierra Firth LAN 1:10.46, 14. Ann Baron LAN 1:15.79, 30. Karah Ratliff LAN 1:38.04
500 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Lander ‘A’ (Brown, Fehringer, Fowler, Koch) 5:26.12
200 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Lander ‘A’ (Lilygren, Brown, Cornale, Fehringer) 1:51.99
100 Yard Backstroke: 1. Brooklyn Busskohl LYM 1:07.54, 3. K. McPherson LAN 1:11.58, 4. M. McPherson LAN 1:13.89, 5. Leah Brown LAN 1:15.96, 14. Lillian Chandler LAN 1:28.07
100 Yard Breaststroke: 1. Brynlee Busskohl LYM 1:11.88, 2. McKenzie Lilygren LAN 1:15.34, 8. McKella Stigers LAN 1:25.34, 10. Noelle Harris LAN 1:29.66, 11. Sierra Firth LAN 1:31.72, 16. Jessica Baron LAN 1:42.03,
400 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Lander ‘A’ (Lilygren, Fowler, Gose, Koch) 4:05.38, 4. Lander ‘B’ (K. McPherson, Harms, Firth, Harris) 4:37.11,
*Content contributed by Susan Gray Gose