#Smiles: Tiger swimmers take conference, set four records
Submitted by Chase McFadden:
The LVHS swimmers logged over 14,000 yards at the Bruce Gresly Aquatic Center last Wednesday. For those of you scoring at home, that’s eight miles. It’s par for “peak night,” the season’s most daunting practice.
Planning such an exhaustive workout a mere 48 hours before Friday’s preliminaries of the 3A West Conference Meet in Riverton may seem counterintuitive, until you realize that a program like Lander Valley tapers with only one goal in mind: a state championship.
Turns out that taper kicked in a little sooner than expected anyway, as the Tigers dominated the conference field with a record-setting, total-team effort.
Lander coaches Shawna Morgan, Tim Hester and Faith Hamilton were impressed. Again.
“Every week the boys compete at levels that continually exceed our expectations,” Morgan said. “Their times are blowing my mind… we just keep getting faster and faster.”
Personal bests continued to drop for the Tigers during the two-day event, as did four conference marks.
“The 200 freestyle relay team — Caleb Huelskamp, Nick Kulow, Jonny Kulow and Ryan Brinda — broke that record,” said Morgan of the quartet’s effort. “Individually, Nick broke the 100 freestyle record, and Caleb broke the records in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke,” said Morgan.
Huelskamp’s time in the 100 backstroke final — 53.80 — was also fast enough to claim the LVHS record in that event.
Freshman Ramsey Eckhardt clocked a strong swim in the preliminaries of the 500 yard freestyle on Friday, earning a splash at the state meet in the process. He became Lander’s latest state qualifier, and the coaches are hopeful that the team can add a few swimmers to that roster at Thursday’s last chance meet in Riverton.
“We now have 15 out of 19 athletes qualified for state,” Morgan said. “It would be pretty sweet if we could get a couple more at the last chance.”
Athletes currently qualified for the state meet include Huelskamp, Brinda, the Kulow brothers, Nolan McFadden, Preston Plaisted, Dominic Tejada, T Whiting, Bob Blunck, Mason Kinney, Benaiah Dolence, Colton Wietzki, Ross Anderson, Elijah Applegate and Eckhardt.
Their conference title secured, Morgan believes the best is yet to come for this Tiger squad.
“I know that Faith, Tim and I are all so excited to see what these boys accomplish in a couple of weeks at state,” said Morgan. “They have some pretty awesome goals that they want to accomplish, and we can’t wait to see how it all turns out. A team like this comes around once in a lifetime, and I am so privileged to be a part of it.
“As always, these young men and the coaching staff would like to thank the parents, LVHS staff members and community for their continued support of LVHS swimming and diving. We couldn’t do it without them.”
3A West Conference Meet
Feb. 1-2, 2019
TEAM SCORES: 1. Lander 342, Powell 247, Sublette County 192, Riverton 174.5, Lyman 151, Kemmerer 144.5
200 Yard Medley Relay: 1. Lander (Nolan McFadden, Caleb Huelskamp, Ryan Brinda, T Whiting) 1:48.68, 7. Lander (Benaiah Dolence, Ross Anderson, Bob Blunck, Colton Wietzki) 2:02.90, 9. Lander (Luke Morneau, Mason Kinney, Ramsey Eckhardt, Sonny Robinson) 2:27.71
200 Yard Freestyle: 1. Caleb Huelskamp 1:49.41, 2. T Whiting 1:59.61, 6. Colton Wietzki 2:05.07, 17. Elijah Applegate 2:25.93, 22. Sonny Robinson 2:37.92
200 Yard IM: 2. Ryan Brinda 2:08.49, 10. Benaiah Dolence 2:34.49, 14. Ramsey Eckhardt 2:55.09, 16. Mason Kinney 3:01.42
50 Yard Freestyle: 1. Jonny Kulow 22.37, 5. Nolan McFadden 24.19, 13. Bob Blunck 26.94, 17. Dominic Tejada 28.26, 21. Warren Losch 31.69, 25. Luke Morneau 37.69
Boys 1 mtr Diving: 1. Preston Plaisted 333.25, 5. Dominic Tejada 249.75
100 Yard Butterfly: 1. Jonny Kulow 53.66, 8. Bob Blunck 1:06.54, 14. Wilson Winn 1:28.74
100 Yard Freestyle: 1. Nick Kulow 48.79, 2. Ryan Brinda 50.40, 8. T Whiting 54.30, 19. Sonny Robinson 1:12.71
500 Yard Freestyle: 1. Colton Wietzki 5:35.75, 4. Ross Anderson 6:00.05, 9. Elijah Applegate 6:22.25, 12. Ramsey Eckhardt 6:35.82
200 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Lander (Jonny Kulow, Ryan Brinda, Nick Kulow, Caleb Huelskamp) 1:30.16, 5. Lander (Preston Plaisted, Dominic Tejada, Ross Anderson, Bob Blunck) 1:46.59, 9. Lander (Warren Losch, Wilson Winn, Sonny Robinson, Elijah Applegate) 2:03.82
100 Yard Backstroke: 1. Caleb Huelskamp 53.80, 2. Nolan McFadden 59.36, 3. Preston Plaisted 1:04.79, 5. Benaiah Dolence 1:08.05, 12. Luke Morneau 1:18.44, 14. Warren Losch 1:24.43
100 Yard Breaststroke: 2. Nick Kulow 1:04.83, 12. Ross Anderson 1:18.88, 15. Mason Kinney 1:20.91, 19. Wilson Winn 1:23.80
400 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Lander (Nolan McFadden, T Whiting, Nick Kulow, Jonny Kulow) 3:28.96