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December 20, 2011 9:17 am

Panther swimmers post 12 state times in Lander dual

Written by Don Amend

Panther swimmer Edward Oursler approaches the turn in the breaststroke on his way to a close second and a state qualifying time in the event. It was Oursler’s fourth state-qualifying swim, and he joined six other Panthers in achieving qualifying times during last week’s dual meet with Lander.  Panther swimmer Edward Oursler approaches the turn in the breaststroke on his way to a close second and a state qualifying time in the event. It was Oursler’s fourth state-qualifying swim, and he joined six other Panthers in achieving qualifying times during last week’s dual meet with Lander. Tribune photo by Don Amend

The Lander Tigers outpointed the Powell Panthers in the pool Saturday, but the Powell swimmers counted it as a successful outing.

The Panthers couldn’t match the depth of the perennial state champions, but they won four events and added three new state qualifiers. Five more swimmers added new qualifying times to their records.

“Any time that we swim against Lander and win an event, we are doing well,” said assistant coach Jerry Rodriguez. “This time we won three individual events and one relay.”

Jakob Bowers won two of the individual first places for the Panthers, touching first in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. Kyle Anderson added the third in the butterfly and both swimmers played a role in the big win, joining Edward Oursler and Telton Peterson to trigger a celebration when Peterson touched the wall just .03 seconds ahead of Lander.

Others adding to the team score were Quin Wetzel who finished second in the 200, followed by his brother Ben in third place. Trevor Zickafoose finished fifth to give the Panthers three of the five scoring swims in the event. Nic Tracy finished second and Telton Pederson fifth in the individual medley, and Oursler finished second to Bowers in the 50 by a fingernail, touching just .02 seconds behind his teammate.

Quin Wetzel earned another second place in the butterfly, a couple of seconds behind Anderson, and in the 100, four of the five scoring swims came from Panthers. Jarred LaPierre came in second behind Bowers, Alex Bjornestad came in fourth and Garrett Hall finished fifth. Tracy finished second in the 500, and Bjornestad was third in the backstroke, with Anderson coming in fifth. Oursler and LaPierre finished second and third in the breaststroke with Ben Wetzel coming in fifth. Jake Magill earned fourth place points in diving and Matt Abraham collecte points for fifth.

In the other relays, Tracy, Oursler, Anderson and Pederson finished third in the medley relay and Tracy, Quin Wetzel, Ben Wetzel and LaPierre finished second in the 400 freestyle relay.

Adding their names to the state swimming roster were Anderson with his swim in the butterfly, Bjornestad for his time in the 100 and Ben Wetzel for his finish in the 200. Adding state qualifying times to their resumes were LaPierre in the 100, Oursler in the 50 and the breaststroke, Tracy in the 500 and individual medley, and Quin Wetzel in the 200 and the butterfly.

The final team score was Lander 105, Powell 81.

The meet was the last for the Panthers until Jan. 6, when they travel to Riverton for a quadrangular meet with the Wolverines, Lander and Cody. They will return home Saturday, Jan. 7, to host the annual Gene Dozah Invitational at the Powell Aquatic Center.

During the break, though, they plan to keep sharp by hosting an alumni challenge meet. Current Panther and Lady Panther swimmers will take on all alumni swimmers in a meet that will include two mixed relays on Friday, Dec. 30, at 8 a.m. in the Powell Aquatic Center.

“We think it will be a fun meet,” Rodriguez said.

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