#Smiles: LVHS Girls Swimming & Diving team takes second place at States

    A series to share #smiles across our community through the achievements of our local youth, brought to you by Olsen Orthodontics.

    (Gillette, WY) – Anyone who thinks swim meets are boring wasn’t present at the Girls 3A State Swim and Dive Championships this weekend in Gillette. This meet had it all—overwhelming favorites, come-from-behind underdogs, record-breaking performances, a few tears, lots of cheers, and even some groovy dance moves. Overall, the weekend demonstrated what high school swimming and diving is all about—working hard and giving it your best on that particular day.

    Green River was a heavy favorite going into the meet according to WyoPreps last week. They won the West Conference meet two weeks ago by almost 100 points over Lander, while Powell had taken top billing in the East Conference by 55 points over Douglas. In the end, Green River did take the state meet over Lander, but the margin of victory was only 36. Powell took third, with Cody and Douglas rounding out the top five teams. Riverton placed tenth.

    The state meet is a two-day affair with all qualifying athletes competing on the first day in circle-seeded heats. The top twelve finishers in each event earn the opportunity to compete on the second day for team points. Each individual athlete can enter a maximum of four events including a maximum of two individual events. This setup makes high school swimming both an individual and a team sport. Even if a team has a superstar swimmer that has the fastest times of the year in most events (i.e. Green River’s Tavia Arnell this year), they still must have a strong supporting cast to compete for the team title.  Conversely, a strong swimmer or diver from a school with a small program can still compete on an individual level (i.e. this year’s diving champion, Evanston’s Rachel Johnson, and Kemmerer’s strong freestyler Kylie Price).

    The first day of competition, many local athletes had excellent swims showing much improvement, but not enough to advance to the second day. Arianna Applegate cut 4.55 seconds off her 200 Yard Freestyle time to place 23rd. Applegate also placed 25th in the 100 Yard Freestyle. Madi Clancy placed 18th in diving. Ella Giesmann placed 20th in the 50 Yard Freestyle and 24th in the 100 Yard Freestyle.  Cira Hampton placed 15th in the 200 Yard IM and 15th in the 100 yard backstroke. Emilia Hou-Carleton placed 21st in the 100 yard freestyle. Ruby Johnson cut 3.65 seconds on the way to her 17th place finish in the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Liv Ooten cut 4.24 seconds in the 200 Yard Freestyle and 11.06 seconds in the 500 Yard Freestyle. For Riverton, Addison Peart placed 16th in Diving, Stella Pfisterer placed 23rd in the 200 Yard IM cutting 3.83 seconds, Chloe Smith placed 17th in the 200 Yard Freestyle, Julianne Spradlin placed 22nd in the 50 Yard Freestyle and 26th in the 100 Yard Freestyle, Amelia Tate placed 25th in the 200 Yard Freestyle and 17th in the 100 Yard Butterfly, and Kendall Vincent placed 15th in the 100 Yard Freestyle and 19th in the 100 Yard Backstroke.

    After the first day, this year’s powerhouse program Green River had 20 individual entries in finals to Lander’s 16. Riverton had three.

    On the day of finals, the first event, the 200 Medley Relay featured both of Green River’s superstars, Tavia Arnell and Tanith Smith. Lander’s Emma Jones smoked the backstroke leg of the race to give Lander an early lead. Lander held on through the next two legs but couldn’t overcome Tanith Smith’s incredible freestyle leg as Green River took the race in 1:52.32 to Lander’s 1:53.04. Riverton’s relay placed ninth.

    Lander controlled the 200 Yard Freestyle event with Lara Robertson taking first and Daegan Reinhardt in third. In the 200 Yard Individual Medley, Green River’s Tavia Arnell showed her dominance winning in a time of 2:10.08. Lander’s Emily Anderson placed 2nd. Two Lander freshmen made strong debuts as well, with Emily Plaisted earning 4th and Chayse Denton 12th.

    Green River’s Tanith Smith took the 50 Yard and 100 Yard Freestyle events and Tavia Arnell won the 100 Yard Butterfly event with a new state record time. For Lander, Josey Johnson placed 4th in the 50 Yard Freestyle and 5th in the 100 Yard Freestyle, Katy Anderson took 2nd in the 100 Yard Butterfly, and Emma Jones placed 7th in the 100 Yard Butterfly. Riverton’s Prestley Barta took 5th in the 50 Yard Freestyle.

    Then came the 500 Yard Freestyle, the longest distance event in high school swimming. Lander’s Lara Robertson was seeded third behind two Green River swimmers after prelims. But Robertson’s competitive drive took over and she pulled ahead in the first 100 yards and never looked back, dropping almost ten seconds from her prelim time and finishing over six seconds ahead of the second place finisher. However, Green River had four athletes scoring points in the event and the team lead was never in doubt after that. Riverton’s Chloe Smith swam 6:06.85 to finish 11th.

    The 200 Yard Freestyle Relay again featured both Green River powerhouse swimmers on the leadoff and anchor legs and they held off Lander’s strong second place showing.  Riverton’s relay dropped time with a strong race to finish 10th.

    The next race, the 100 Yard Backstroke featured a 1-2-3 sweep for Lander. Katy Anderson, who set the Lander school record the day before in her preliminary race (58.74 seconds) finished first in 59.44, Emma Jones was second in 1:01.74, and Daegan Reinhardt was third in 1:03.15.

    The 100 Yard Breaststroke featured a very tight race. Douglas’s Payton Yost just edged out Lander’s Emily Anderson at the wall 1:08.53 to 1:08.69. Anderson’s swim was 0.08 off Lander’s school record and capped off a great swim career for the senior. Lander’s Emily Plaisted finished 6th and Chayse Denton 10th. Riverton’s Prestley Barta took 8th.

    Lander athletes had lots of great performances at the meet according to Head Coach Erik DeClue and Assistant Coaches Greg Anderson and Faith Hamilton. Six Lander swimmers received all-state recognition from the meet: Emily Anderson, Katy Anderson, Emma Jones, Josey Johnson, Daegan Reinhardt, and Lara Robertson.

    The late swim coach Bruce Gresly often said, “It all comes down to the last relay.” Lander was not going to win this meet, but they were determined to show their grit with one more strong performance in the final event, the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. The first leg featured Lander’s Josey Johnson who hung with Green River’s Alayna Kellhofer coming in just half second behind. Next up Daegan Reinhardt used a strong second fifty to touch ahead of Courtney Clark. Meanwhile Cody’s Kelsey Pomajzl turned in a strong showing in her leg to bring Cody into contention less than a second back. The third leg featured Katy Anderson for Lander, who turned in a blistering 54.46 in her hundred to touch well ahead of Green River’s Haley Luth. Lara Robertson anchored for Lander, beating out Green River’s Haley Clevenger while Cody’s Ellie Ortner had a strong final leg to bring Cody to the wall just 0.49 seconds behind Green River.  A race like that demonstrates exactly what the Wyoming high school state meet is all about.


    Girls 3A State Swimming and Diving Championships

    November 3-4, 2023

    Top 3 places and Fremont County finishers only


    • 200 Yard Medley Relay

    1 Green River 1:52.28, 2. Lander 1:53.33, 3. Douglas 1:56.97, 11. Riverton 2:08.25

    • 200 Yard Freestyle

    1 Robertson LAN 2:00.98, 2. Reinhardt LAN 2:03.20, 3. Clevenger GRV 2:04.30, 17. Smith RIV 2:16.08, 18. Ooten LAN 2:16.17, 23. Applegate LAN 2:18.76

    • 200 Yard IM

    1 Arnell GRV 2:09.16, 2. E. Anderson LAN 2:16.13, 3. Clark GRV 2:21.59, 5. Plaisted LAN 2:24.13, 9. Denton LAN 2:30.27, 15. Hampton LAN 2:34.27, 23. Pfisterer RIV 2:41.42

    • 50 Yard Freestyle

    1 Smith GRV 24.57, 2. Price KEM 25.34, 3. Zimmerman DOU 25.78, 4. J. Johnson 25.98, 5. Barta RIV 26.15, 20. Giesmann LAN 28.17, 22. Spradlin RIV 28.25


    Semilfinals:  1 Johnson EVN 282.40, 2. Maertens BUF 280.70, 3. Walker KEM 249.80, 16. Peart RIV 152.35

    Prelims 18. Clancy LAN 94.75

    • 100 Yard Butterfly

    1 Arnell GRV 56.39, 2. K. Anderson LAN 1:00.15, 3. Yost DOU 1:00.52, 7. Jones LAN 1:06.20, 17. Tate RIV 1:10.75

    • 100 Yard Freestyle

    1 Smith GRV 53.58, 2. Price KEM 55.89, 3. Ortner COD 56.51, 6. J. Johnson LAN 57.26, 15. Vincent RIV 1:00.70, 21. Hou-Carleton LAN 1:02.55, 24. Giesmann LAN 1:03.07, 25. Applegate LAN 1:03.16, 26. Spradlin RIV 1:03.39

    • 500 Yard Freestyle

    1 Clark GRV 5:34.23, 2. Clevenger GRV 5:35.22, 3. Robertson LAN 5:36.04, 11. Smith RIV 6:04.87, 17. Ooten LAN 6:16.29

    • 200 Yard Freestyle Relay

    1 Green River 1:41.35, 2. Lander 1:43.39, 3. Kemmerer 1:46.22, 11. Riverton 1:53.02

    • 100 Yard Backstroke

    1 K. Anderson LAN 58.74, 2. Reinhardt LAN 1:02.44, 3. Lythgoe DOU 1:04.02, 5. Jones LAN 1:04.51, 15. Hampton LAN 1:10.02, 19. Vincent RIV 1:12.52, 22. Peart RIV 1:14.53

    • 100 Yard Breaststroke

    1 B. Uhrig GRV 1:08.82, 2. E. Anderson LAN 1:08.83, 3. Yost DOU 1:10.13, 6. Plaisted LAN 1:12.61, 9. Barta RIV 1:16.58, 12. Denton LAN 1:17.88, 17. R. Johnson LAN 1:19.77

    • 400 Yard Freestyle Relay

    1 Green River 3:49.21, 2. Lander 3:49.78, 3. Cody 3:51.99, 9. Riverton 4:15.42


    • 200 Yard Medley Relay

    1 Green River (Neher, B. Uhrig, Arnell, Smith) 1:52.32, 2. Lander (Jones, Anderson, Anderson, Reinhardt) 1:53.04, 3. Douglas 1:57.91

    • 200 Yard Freestyle

    1 Robertson LAN 1:58.77, 2. Clevenger GRV 2:03.00, 3. Reinhardt LAN 2:05.05

    • 200 Yard IM

    1 Arnell GRV 2:10.08, 2. E. Anderson LAN 2:17.31, 3. Clark GRV 2:22.79, 4. Plaisted LAN 2:24.39, 12. Denton LAN 2:32.02

    • 50 Yard Freestyle

    1 Smith GRV 24.72, 2. Price KEM 25.17, 3. Zimmerman DOU 26.05, 4. J. Johnson LAN 26.06, 5. Barta RIV 26.34


    1 Johnson EVN 398.20, 2. Maertens BUF 398.10, 3. Sepos EVN 361.65

    • 100 Yard Butterfly

    1 Arnell GRV 57.61, 2. K. Anderson 1:00.59, 3. Yost DOU 1:00.62, 7. Jones LAN 1:06.40

    • 100 Yard Freestyle

    1 Smith GRV 53.23, 2. Price KEM 55.60, 3. Zimmerman 56.82, 5. J. Johnson LAN 57.38

    • 500 Yard Freestyle

    1 Robertson LAN 5:26.06, 2. Clevenger GRV 5:32.94, 3. Clark GRV 5:33.98

    • 200 Yard Freestyle Relay

    1 Green River 1:41.24, 2. Lander 1:42.65, 3. Douglas 1:46.37, 10. Riverton 1:51.69

    • 100 Yard Backstroke

    1 K. Anderson LAN 59.44, 2. Jones LAN 1:01.74, 3. Reinhardt LAN 1:03.15

    • 100 Yard Breaststroke

    1 Yost DOU 1:08.53, 2. E. Anderson LAN 1:08.69, 3. K. Uhrig GRV 1:09.50, 6. Plaisted LAN 1:13.36, 8. Barta RIV 1:16.43, 10. Denton LAN 1:18.23

    • 400 Yard Freestyle Relay

    1 Lander 3:46.25, 2. Green River 3:49.10, 3. Cody 3:49.59, 8. Riverton 4:09.12


    1 Green River 296, 2. Lander 260, 3. Powell 185, 4. Cody 135, 5. Douglas 131, 6. Kemmerer 90, 7. Worland 62, 8. Evanston 50, 9. Buffalo 46, 10. Riverton 41, 11. Rawlins 40, 12. Lyman 34, 13. Sublette County 6, 14. Newcastle 1

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

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