Add nine more qualifying times
Before taking third at a Saturday meet in Worland, Powell High School’s girls swim team made the most of their last home competition of the season.
Competing against Cody in a Thursday dual, six PHS girls posted Class 3A state meet-qualifying times in eight different events.
“It was a really good day for qualifications,” PHS head coach Luke Robertson said, adding, “I think everybody looked pretty strong that day.”
Powell amassed 110 points to Cody’s 63 at the Powell Aquatic Center.
In the process, PHS picked up two new state qualifiers — junior Emily McCaslin in the 200-yard individual medley and freshman Anna Fuller in the 500-yard freestyle — while four other girls who’ve already qualified added more events. Those four were junior Aspen Aguirre (the 100- and 200-yard freestyle), junior Rylie Kannard (100-yard backstroke), sophomore Caitlyn Miner (diving and 500-free) and junior Julia Kay O’Neill (100-yard butterfly).
Many other girls barely missed making the cut.
Among eight teams who competed in Worland on Saturday, the Lady Panthers’ finishes earned them 191 points, behind Lander (346) and the hosting Lady Warriors (210).
PHS picked up just one more state-qualifying performance.
“I think we looked a little bit more tired — and we were,” Robertson said.
Senior Claire Miner qualified for the state meet in the 200-IM while knocking more than four seconds off her previous best.
She also finished second in the 100-fly by cutting a half-second off her best time at state last year.
“At a big invite, it’s a big deal,” Robertson said.
Caitlyn Miner, meanwhile, won the 100-yard breaststroke — and, Robertson noted, “beat the field by almost two seconds.”
O’Neill took third in the 100-back while posting her best time by a half a second.
Junior Kendyl Bohlman similarly finished third in the 200-free — “which is really good in a big invite,” Robertson said — and missed a state-qualifying time by three-quarters of a second.
In that same event, freshman Sidney O’Brien cut nine seconds off her personal record and, had it not been for a disqualification for some movement on the starting blocks, senior Beth McCaslin would have posted her best by five seconds, Robertson said.
Rylie Kannard took a half-a-second off her best in the 100-back and finished sixth.
Other time cuts included Gracie McLain slashing a whopping 26 seconds off her prior record in the 200-IM.
“I think that’s just a tribute to how much she’s improved since last year in her swimming,” Robertson said.
McLain also cut three seconds in the 100-free, while senior Katie Brown cut a second of her own record and now just needs to get a second faster to qualify for state.
Senior Eliana Karhu posted her best time in the 500-free against Cody, slashing seven seconds off her previous record, while Rachel Kuntz cut 15 seconds in that event in Worland.
Robertson said that at Thursday’s home dual, Anamia Davila “looked really good” swimming the 100-fly for the first time.
“It’s probably the event that makes new swimmers the most nervous ... but she had good technique and made it through the hard event,” the coach said.
Being the last home competition for the season, the dual with Cody served as senior night for the girls swim team and Robertson allowed the senior to choose which events they swam.
Claire Miner and Brown opted to swim four consecutive events, a feat referred to as, “The Iron Woman.” They swam the anchor leg of the 200-free relay, the 100-back, the 100-breast, then the lead-off leg of the 400-free relay.
Robertson said he gave honorary “Pink Panther” swim caps to Kuntz for her good attitude against Cody and to Kannard in Worland “because she’s always supporting her teammates — and she had two of her best races in her best events.”
200 Medley Relay
3. Julia Kay O’Neill, Caitlyn Miner, Claire Miner and Aspen Aguirre 2:11.60, 7. Beth McCaslin, Emily McCaslin, Rylie Kannard and Katie Brown 2:18.38, 12. Anamia Davila, Rachel Kuntz, Ashlyn Aguirre and Gracie McLain 2:39.17
3. Kendyl Bohlman 2:24.17, 8. Anna Fuller 2:31.55, 11. Sidney O’Brien 2:33.95, 13. Sydney Horton 2:37.01
6. Claire Miner 2:37.96 (3A), 7. Brown 2:46.61 (3A), 13. McLain 3:00.03, 13. Kuntz 3:00.03
8. Aspen Aguirre 28.55, 16. Katrina Twitchell 29.80, 24. Davila 33.22
7. O’Neill 139.05, 10. Caitlyn Miner 134.75
2. Claire Miner 1:11.31 (4A), 5. Rylie Kannard 1:14 (3A)
11. Brown 1:05.12, 13. Aspen Aguirre 1:05.52, 14. Twitchell 1:05.63, 15. O’Brien 1:06.82, 21. McLain 1:12.50
7. Bohlman 6:42.05, 10. Sydney Horton 6:58.24, 14. Ashlyn Aguirre 7:11.61, 15. Rachel Kuntz 7:19.91, 16. Davila 7:47.37
200 Free Relay
7. Brown, Fuller, O’Brien and Twitchell 2:03.32, 10. Beth McCaslin, Kannard, McLain and Emily McCaslin 2:08.88
3. O’Neill 1:09.38 (4A), 6. Kannard 1:11.10 (3A), 11. Beth McCaslin 1:15.24, 23. Lauren Lejeune 1:35.84
1. Caitlyn Miner 1:15.15 (4A), 12. Fuller 1:28.38, 14. Emily McCaslin 1:29.06, 18. Ashlyn Aguirre 1:33.85, 22. Lejeune 1:48.15
400 Free Relay
4. Aspen Aguirre, O’Neill, Claire Miner and Caitlyn Miner 4:20.28, 7. Bohlman, Horton, O’Brien and Twitchell 4:34.36, 11. Kuntz, Davila, Aguirre and Fuller 5:01.60