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

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Warrior swimmers look to close out 2017 strong

 

December 14, 2017

WORLAND - With their first swimming meet of the 2017-18 season in the books the Worland Warriors turn their focus to their final meets of 2017 in Lander and Riverton Friday and Saturday.

At their first meet of the season in Powell, the Warriors had three swimmers automatically qualify for the 3A State Meet in Laramie on Feb. 15-17. Seniors Dalton Jeffries (50-yard and 100-yard freestyles) and Josiah Sanchez (200-yard IM, 100-yard butterfly) and sophomore Zayne Cooper (100-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke) all punched their tickets for the state meet and will continue to add more events to their AQ list as their season progresses.

WHS assistant boys swimming coach Justin Howe is confident that his top three swimmers will be able to AQ in nearly every event this season. The key for state will be to figure out which event they will have the best shot at bringing home an individual championship. Comparing times will play a factor in deciding that, but the eye test will also play a role as Howe scouts the top swimmers from every team at each meet this season.

"They'll qualify for everything we put them in. Then from there, we'll figure out what kids from other schools will be competing in," said Howe of Cooper, Jeffries and Sanchez. "At Powell, I was watching Kacey Creed from Powell, he's fast and will be among the top finishers in whatever he swims."

The Warriors 200-yard freestyle relay team (first, 1:44.09) and 200-yardd medley relay team (second, 1:55.76), both with Cooper, Jeffries, Sanchez and freshman Zach Cole, also qualified for the state meet.

The performance in Powell was an excellent start to the season, WHS boy swimming head coach/diving coach Jeff Bishop said. He was also impressed that there were no disqualifications, as nerves at the beginning of the season can lead to false starts, and even when goggles weren't functioning correctly his swimmers still finished the race strong.

"We had some kids swimming in their first meet and didn't have one DQ ... We had some interesting things happen with goggles. Some of the boys' goggles fell off during a race but they didn't quit, they finished," said Bishop.

Howe was equally excited for his swimmers and more specifically freshman Zach Cole, who did not know he was swimming in the 200 medley and freestyle relays until the meet was happening.

"They were awesome and for the first meet, it was a good start. Zayne, Dalton and Josiah all swam right where we thought they would be ... I purposely didn't tell Zach that he was on the fast relay because I didn't want him to get nervous, but he stepped up and did awesome," said Howe.

Cole's performance in Powell coupled with his hard work in practice and other things led to Bishop and Howe selecting the freshman as the team's Swimmer of the Week.

"Our criteria includes pool, out of pool, attitude and effort in practice. If a swimmer messes around during practice all week but does well in a meet, we're not going to give it to them Swimmer of the Week," said Howe when talking about what it takes to be the Swimmer of the Week.

This week the Warriors travel to Lander on Friday and Riverton on Saturday for their final meets before heading into Christmas break. More AQs and switching up the Warriors swimming events will be the M.O. for Bishop and Howe this weekend.

"We're looking at a different relay and just looking different ideas. We'll have kids swimming in different events," said Bishop.

 
 

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