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September 16, 2008 4:00 am

PHS swimmers top Worland

Written by Tribune Staff

Lady Panthers third at Dozah Invitational

The Powell High School Lady Panthers outswam Worland in dual competition and earned a third-place finish Saturday in their own Gene Dozah Invitational.

The Powell swimmers earned seven first-place finishes in Worland, split the second-place finishes with the Lady Warriors and took nine of the 12 third-place efforts to earn a 114-71 victory last Thursday.

Monique Zorgati swam to a pair of first-place finishes in both the individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle to lead the Lady Panthers. Samantha Baker topped the field in the 200, and Jenna Hotovec did the same in the breaststroke, and diver Laura Morse earned her third first-place finish in a row. The 200- and 400-yard relay teams completed the first-place finishes for the meet.

Hannah Toland swam her first qualifying time of the year to finish second in the butterfly, and Jessica Curtis finished second in the 50 and the 500. Alice Pinter added a second-place performance in the backstroke, and Kourtnie Rodgers did the same in the breaststroke. The medley relay team added a second-place finish to the team score.

Maddy Jones contributed two third-place finishes in the 200 and the breaststroke, and Baker finished third in the butterfly. Other third-place winners were Jessica Wurzel in the individual medley, Anya Tracy in the 50, Stepfanie Thompson in diving, Rodgers in the 100 and Pinter in the breaststroke, along with two relay B teams in the medley and 400.

Rounding out the scoring were fourth-place efforts by Belen Quillen, Christina Dietz, Ryanne McDaniel, Leigh Bush, Kylie Zickefoose, and the 400 relay C team. Courtnie Pool also earned a fourth-place finish, but as Powell's fourth swimmer in the butterfly, she did not score team points.
On Saturday, Baker led the Lady Panthers to a third-place finish with a first-place performance in the backstroke and a runner-up effort in the 100. She also added first- and second-place finishes as part of relay teams. Baker joined Zorgati, Pinter and Curtis on the 400 relay squad, which edged Lander to end the meet. The 200 relay team of Baker, Pinter, Curtis and Jones finished second.

The Lady Panthers accumulated 227 points to finish behind Lander's 335 and Riverton's 242. Cody finished fourth with 138.

Zorgati earned the Lady Panther's only third-place finish in the 200 and added a sixth in the 400. Pinter earned fourth in the 50 and sixth in the 200, and Jones was fifth in the butterfly and sixth in the individual medley. Curtis was sixth in the butterfly and eighth in the 50, while Alyssa Smith finished fifth in the backstroke and 10th in the individual medley.

Four divers finished in the top 12, including Morse, who finished fourth. Thompson finished seventh, Nicole Emmett 10th and Dietz 11th.

Other top-12 finishers were Quillen in the 200 and 400, Jenna Hotovec in the breaststroke, Tracy in the backstroke, Rodgers in the 100 and the breaststroke, Bush in the backstroke and Sierra Baker in the individual medley.

Toland was the only new state qualifier in the competition, according to PHS coach Karen Roles, but a number of swimmers swam their best times of the season. Hotovec swam her lifetime best in the 100, cutting four seconds off her best previous time, and Dakota Jones cut eight seconds from the time in the 400 meters to swim her lifetime best. Jones also swam her season's best in the 50.

Other season's best times were recorded by Samantha Baker, Jones, Tracy, Zickefoose, Quillen, Sierra Baker, Pinter, Olivia Paxton, and Bush.
Roles said the team's times are normal for this time of the season.

“They're tired right now,” Roles said. “You never swim your best times during the middle of the season.”

Roles said the team has been focused on “streamlining in turns,” and the swimmers have been improving, and she praised her team's energy and team spirit.

“They've been very enthusiastic. There's been a lot of cheering during events,” Roles said. “Our enthusiasm is high, and that's always a plus.”

The Lady Panthers will entertain the Cody Fillies Friday afternoon in their only competition of the week. The meet, originally scheduled to take place in Cody, has been moved to Powell, and the time has been changed to 4 p.m. to accommodate homecoming activities.