Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Cooper, Russell and Warren swim for Team Wyoming at Senior Western Zone Championships


August 29, 2017

COURTESY/Chuck Russell

Zayne Cooper (left), Ellyse Russell (middle) and Juli Warren (right) pose together while at the Senior Western Zone Championships in Clovis, California on August 1-5.

WORLAND - Standout Worland High School swimmers Zayne Cooper, Ellyse Russell and Juli Warren competed in the Senior Western Zone Championships Aug. 1-5 at Clovis, California.

The Senior Western Zone Championships is a USA Swimming sanctioned event that brought the best swimmers from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming to compete amongst each other and as states.

To compete in the Western Zone Championships all swimmers had qualifying standards in their respective events.

Cooper, Russell and Warren all took the time to talk about their experiences and what it was like battling against some of the best swimmers in the west.

The experience of competing against the best...

Juli Warren: It was freaking amazing.

Ellyse Russell: It was a really great experience because I was able to go with my teammate Juli Warren. Then a lot of people of Team Wyoming I knew from swimming against for years. It was really cool because we all were close and were able to bond even more during the trip.

Zayne Cooper: There were 50 of us total on the [Wyoming] team and we all had a great time. Everyone was cheering each other on, there was just great team spirit and I had lots of fun.

Best takeaway from competing with elite swimmers...

Warren: It thought it was cool cause in Wyoming it's competitive but not to the level of some other states. We swim at the 3A level, but there most those teams had swimmers from 5A, 7A and it was awesome to know that we could hang with them.

Learning from other swimmers...

Russell: It was really cool to learn from other people's strokes and things that I could work on personally. I've been trying to work on a faster stroke speed in freestyle and a lot of the girls I competed against had faster pulls. So I definitely got that to work on this season.

Cooper: I was watching a few swimmers and there is wide variety of techniques used. They swam a little bit differently and it was fun to watch to see what you can do to change your own technique.

Warren: Most teams there were going into two-a-days and were talking about it. That taught me I need to lift more and train harder if I'm going to be the best swimmer I want to be. I'm more of a visual learner and there were somethings I saw that I tried using. Like with the breaststroke I watched this one girl and I'm going to try doing the same thing, that I think will help me this season.

Traveling with teammate...

Russell: It was cool because we were there for each other and were able to talk about our races. It's really cool to swim all summer together then carry that into this season and be leaders for our teammates this season.

Warren: Yes it was amazing, now we know how far we can go and push each other.

Favorite moment in or out of the pool...

Warren: We got to go to the mall and we went idiot shopping where you go look at the crazy things you could buy and try on the craziest clothes you can find. I loved it and it was so much fun to hang out with the team.

Russell: On our last night we were able to hang out and went to this mini golf go-kart place and after that we were able to stay up all night with the team. The memories we made together with meeting new people and being able to spend quality time together was probably the best part.

Cooper: Cheering each other on was fun. As a whole team all 49 of us, because during finals there was someone always swimming, we'd all get up and go cheer on our teammate. It was awesome because we got pretty loud.

Next year...

Cooper: I look to go back next year. This year was about going to see how it is and next summer I want to train hard and place better than I did this year.


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