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

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Lady Warriors hit the pool for the final time this season


November 2, 2018


Lady Warrior Kaci Bentley launches from the starting blocks during a Sept. 7 meet at the Worland Aquatic Center in Worland.

WORLAND - The 3A State girls swimming meet begins today in Laramie with preliminary races and finals races on Saturday, and the Worland Lady Warriors are ready to make the most of the season's final meet of the season.

"Having a weekend off seemed like exactly what everyone needed as we headed into state week," said WHS girls swimming coach Mike Blissett. "The team has a mood that makes me believe they're not only recharged but chomping at the bit to get to Laramie to compete. We're seeing some exciting speed coming out of our girls in practice, and they have a ton of energy which is exactly where I want them to be. We're ready."

The Lady Warriors do not have the numbers to contend for a state championship but will contend for championships in a few events. Senior Juli Warren is out to defend her titles in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke.

The Lady Warriors 200-yard medley relay team will also be in contention for a state championship. The field for the medley relay is going to be fierce and as the first event on Saturday the hope is with a win, it will energize the Lady Warriors for the rest of the meet.

"Looking at the results from 3A West, the medley relay could shake out to be a pretty incredible race between about four different teams. You never really know until the day of finals how coaches will load up their relays, but history shows that the medley is one that always produces exciting races, and being the first race of the day a win can really fire up a team," said Blissett.

In total, the Lady Warriors bring seven total athletes to state. Seniors Kaci Bentley, Kyra Klinghagen and Warren are well-versed in the atmosphere and intensity of state and will look to guide their underclassmen through the meet.

"All of our girls are going to have great competition in the water, whether they're going for a win on a relay, an individual win, or trying to make top six or top 12. There's also the internal competition every athlete has within themselves, going for personal best times or points, or best finish.

"All we ask is that each girl gives everything they have to give at that moment, in that race. We only have seven girls headed to state this season, but our three senior captains will help guide our three sophomores and one freshman through a meet that can be full of excitement and distractions, to remain focused on their swims and do the best they can," said Blissett.

The Lander Lady Tigers will be going for their fourth straight 3A State championship. The Lady Tigers have had a stranglehold on 3A swimming, but considering how tough the 3A field is this season, their reign could come to an end this weekend. Lyman and Powell pushed Lander during the 3A West regional meet in Lander on Oct. 19-20 and now with the added competition of the 3A East, it should make for an entertaining state meet.

All the makings are there for a great finish to the 3A girls swimming season and while there might be uncertainty as to who will finish where. One thing you can count is the Lady Warriors giving it their all during the season's final competition.

"There are so many strong teams this season," said Blissett. "It'll be very interesting to watch how the interaction between the East and West with all teams fully tapered causes the results to come together. Will the East hold Lander back enough to let Powell win? Will the West hold Buffalo back enough to let Worland beat Buffalo?

"Crazy and unexpected things can happen at state, I think it's going to be a lot of fun to watch that story develop as the meet progresses. Of course, our main attraction is watching our girls do what our girls do best – swimming and diving their hearts out for each other one last time."


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