“We went into the meet knowing that we were pretty evenly matched, especially since we were missing three of our top swimmers,” said Powell High School assistant swim coach Jerry Rodriguez.
Seniors Nic Tracy and Quin Wetzel and junior Ben Wetzel were attending the Wyoming Music Educators Association State Music Conference in Laramie, Rodriguez said. They will be swimming at the home meet Friday and invitational Saturday.
The swimmers who did compete performed well, however.
“We are continuing to take off time and that is what we like to see,” said PHS head coach Stephanie Warren.
“Our remaining swimmers swam some off events trying to get additional state times,” Rodriguez said. “It paid off for five of them.”
Junior Alex Bjornestad added the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:07.21 — a personal best — to his state qualifications, and did so while winning the event. Bjornestad also nailed first in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:23.37.
“Sophomore Seth Fuller trimmed 41 seconds in his 500 freestyle time from last year,” Warren said. Fuller’s time of 6:02.74, good for for second place, qualified him for state.
Senior Dan Liggett added the 200 individual medley to his state qualification by cutting 6.69 seconds, Rodriguez said.
Liggett swam third in the 200 IM with a time of 2:32.75.
“(Senior) Edward Oursler added the 500 free to his list of qualifications and (sophomore) Tyson Wages cut 1.40 seconds from his best 100 free time to get that Q,” Rodriguez said.
Oursler’s 500 free time was 6:14.55 for third. Wages’ 100 free time was 58.71 for fourth.
“That gives us five athletes now qualified in all of the swimming events,” Rodriguez said, terming it “a great milestone for this part of the season.”
The 200 medley relay team of Bjornestad, Oursler, senior Jakob Bowers and junior Billy Baker took first by nine seconds with a time of 1:57.56.
Bowers sprinted to win two events. In the 50 freestyles his time was 24.92 and he won the 100 free in 54.57.
“Also of note, a Worland diver, Austin Rettinghouse, broke his own PAC pool record for six dives with a score of 271.35,” Rodriguez said.
Senior Jake MaGill took second with 151.65 points and freshman Garrett Henderson was third with 143.5 points.
“Our final home meet is on Friday against Cody at 5 p.m.,” Rodriguez said.
Friday’s meet will have the entire team swimming if everyone is healthy, Warren said.
The Worland Invitational is at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Panthers will be swimming against as many as eight other teams, some from the 3A East Conference, Rodriguez said. Friday’s meet will be an opportunity to salute the team’s seniors.
“It is our senior night and we will be recognizing them during the meet and celebrating with them after the meet and invite others to join us,” Warren said.