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Panther boys splash rival at Cody dual

PHS senior Edward Oursler powers himself to a fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly during Powell’s dual in Cody on Saturday. The Panthers won 99-69. PHS senior Edward Oursler powers himself to a fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly during Powell’s dual in Cody on Saturday. The Panthers won 99-69. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

The Powell High School boys’ swim team beat Cody High School nicely on Cody’s home ground Friday, with a final score of Powell 99 to Cody’s 69.

And a freshman diver qualified for state, to boot.

“This brings the total number of qualifiers to 12,” said Powell High School assistant swim coach Jerry Rodriguez.

“That’s a good, solid lead,” added PHS coach Stephanie Warren.

All three PHS divers now are qualified in the 1-meter dive. Seniors Jake MaGill and Quin Wetzel are in, and now freshman Garret Henderson will join his mates at state.    

Senior diver Quin Wetzel came in second with 171.20 points and Jake MaGill, also a senior, was third with 164.65 points. Henderson was fourth with 150.05 points.

Three athletes qualified in additional events for state, Rodriguez said. 

Senior Jakob Bowers took first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:06.38 to add to his list of qualified events.  

Sophomore Seth Fuller nailed first in 100 butterfly with a time of 1:06.68 to add another event to his resume, and junior Ben Wetzel added the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke with times of 1:07.44 and 1:19.53, respectively.

The Panthers had eight first-place finishes out of the 12 events, and in five of those events they captured second as well, Rodriguez said.

Junior Alex Bjornestad took first in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:11.69. Right behind him was sophomore teammate Josh Riedhammer for second with a time of 2:22.60.

Bjornestad swam to first in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:05.86, and junior Billy Baker swam hot on his heels for second with a time of 1:06.50.

Bowers hit first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24:90. Fuller was second with a time of 25.74.

Bowers was first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:06.38.

Fuller grabbed first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:06.68. Ben Wetzel was a close second with a time 1:07.44.

Baker came out on top in the 100 freestyle with a time 56.52.

The team of Bjornestad, sophomore Tyson Wages, senior Edward Oursler and Ben Wetzel won first in the 200 yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:44.11.

Panthers Fuller, Baker, Quin Wetzel and Bowers pooled their resources to take first in the 400 freestyle relay with time of 4:03.94. The team of senior Dan Liggett, Riedhammer, junior Ben Argento and Bjornestad were second in the same event with a time of 4:26.74.

Baker, Oursler, Bowers and Ben Wetzel swam a second place in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.39.

Winning relay teams add more points to the scoreboard. “Relays always help,” Warren said.

Wages snagged a second in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:43.27.

“Several other swimmers are getting very close to qualifying in multiple events,” Rodriguez said. “This will be a very busy week as we head into the final half of the season. Three meets are on the schedule for our swimmers.”

PHS will host Worland High School at 5 p.m. today (Tuesday), followed by the Panthers’ last home meet of the season at 5 p.m. Friday against Cody.

“This will be the final home meet for our six seniors, Jakob Bowers, Dan Liggett, Jake MaGill, Edward Oursler, Nic Tracy and Quin Wetzel,” Rodriguez said.

The Panthers will travel to compete in the Worland Invitational at 10 a.m on Saturday.

The big win in Cody heightened the team’s enthusiasm. “They’re feeling very good about what has been happening so far in the season,” Warren said.

Worland is going be a tough meet, but all the 3A team standings are close. “Overall, I think we’re going to have a pretty good season going into our conference at state,” Warren said.

The 3A conference is in Lyman Feb. 14-15 and state is Feb. 27-28 in Gillette.

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