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PHS wins triangular, adds another qualifier

Alex Bjornestad approaches the turn during the butterfly lap for the individual medley Friday night at the Powell Aquatic Center. Bjornestad earned his second state qualifying time in the event. Alex Bjornestad approaches the turn during the butterfly lap for the individual medley Friday night at the Powell Aquatic Center. Bjornestad earned his second state qualifying time in the event. Tribune photo by Don Amend

The Powell state swim team grew by one last week and five more swimmers added qualifying times in new events as the Panthers won their last home event and swam to fourth in the Worland Invitational.

Jake Magill became the 12th Panther to qualify for state competition with a 165-point performance in the Powell Aquatic Center on Friday. Magill was on track to qualify last week when he failed to complete his fifth dive. This time he successfully executed the backward somersault with a twist and followed with a double somersault to earn his first trip to state.

Telton Pederson earned his third qualifying time on Friday in the 200-yard freestyle by knocking more than seven seconds from his seed time, and he cut almost 14 seconds in the individual medley to earn another qualifying time on Saturday. Edward Oursler snagged a new qualifying time in the 500 freestyle, giving him qualifying times in all eight individual swimming events. Nic Tracy led off the 200 freestyle medley with a time of 25.97 to qualify in the 50 freestyle. Ben Wetzel swam the 100 in under a minute to qualify in his second event and Alex Bjornestad cut more than five seconds from his seed time in the individual medley for his second qualifying time.

The Panthers handily won Friday’s triangular, piling up 410 points to Worland’s 333 and Cody’s 272. They opened with a 1-2 finish in the medley relay. Tracy, Oursler, Kyle Anderson and Pederson won the event with Billy Baker, Matt Riedhammer, Quin Wetzel and Ben Wetzel following.

The Panthers swept the 500, as well, with Jarred LaPierre, Quin Wetzel and Oursler finishing 1-2-3. Other winners for the Panthers were Tracy in the backstroke and Pederson in the 100.

Pederson and Tracy each earned a second place as well, Pederson in the 200 and Tracy in the individual medley. Jakob Bowers, who was second in the 50, led off for LaPierre, Oursler and Pederson to earn second in the 400 relay. Third-place finishers were Bjornestad in the individual medley, Magill in diving, Anderson in the butterfly, and the 200 relay team of Tracy, LaPierre, Anderson and Bowers.

Oursler, Matt Abraham and Bjornestad earned fourth place team points in the 50, diving and backstroke, respectively. Reidhammer finished fifth in the 200 as did LaPierre in the 50, Bowers in the butterfly, Ben Wetzel in the 100 and backstroke, Anderson in the 500 and Quin Wetzel in the breaststroke.

Also contributing to the team score were Riedhammer’s sixth in the breaststroke, Baker’s seventh in the 100 and ninth in the 50, Zach Kienlen’s seventh in the 500 and 11th in the 200, Magill’s 11th in the 50 and Abraham’s 12th in the butterfly. The 200 relay B team of Abraham, Kienlen, Magill and Bjornestad finished sixth and Reidhammer, Ben Wetzel, Bjornestad and Quin Wetzel finished fourth in the 400 relay.

In Saturday’s competition in Worland, the Panthers finished behind Lander, Buffalo and Worland in the 10 team meet, outscoring Riverton, Douglas, Rawlins, Cody, Sheridan and Newcastle. Individually, the highest finish was recorded by Pederson, who finished third in the 100, and he also earned a seventh place in the individual medley. LaPierre finished fourth in the 500 and Tracy earned two fifth places in the butterfly and the backstroke. Oursler earned sixth in the 100 and eighth in the 200. Bowers added a seventh in the 50 and an eighth in the 100 to the team score and all three relay A teams finished fifth. 

Rounding out the team scoring were a 10th by Quin Wetzel in the individual medley, 12ths by Ben Wetzel in the 100, Riedhammer in the breaststroke and diver Magill.

With just over a month left in the season, the Panthers will next travel to Lander for the Lander Invitational on Saturday, and will follow up with another triangular on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

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