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By ALEX KUHN
Sports Editor 

Lady Warriors set for final home meet this season

 

September 28, 2023

Alex Kuhn

Lady Warrior Elena Gunderson heads into the final turn of the 500-yard freestyle during the Warrior Invitational at the Worland Aquatic Center on Sept. 23.

Today, the Worland Lady Warriors swimming and diving team is in the pool at the Worland Aquatic Center as they host the Warrior Triangular at 5 p.m.

It's also senior night for the Lady Warriors, as they will honor their two seniors, Elena Gunderson and Maci Newell, during the meet.

The Lady Warriors had two meets last week, one in Buffalo on Sept. 22 and the other, the annual Warrior meet on Sept. 22.

This point in the season is among the toughest for the Worland swimmers. Practices are harder with yardage being upped and multiple meets in a week.

"We had a meet in Buffalo the day before and were pretty tired," said WHS girls swimming and diving coach Danielle Warren. "We didn't see too many time cuts at home, but just to be able to maintain was something we talked about. We were excited that they did that and were so positive."

Time drops aren't expected during this point in the season, and the Lady Warriors will work on maintaining their times. But occasionally, a swimmer cuts time or adds another event to their state qualifying list.

Gunderson, who already qualified in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyles, qualified in the 500-yard freestyle during last week's home meet, swimming a 6:26.54.

Worland also has a few swimmers seconds away from qualifying in other events.

"I love that we have more and more close to qualifying. Yards are going up, and the girls are still

maintaining or cutting time. The next couple of weeks are hard with homecoming and stuff, but I love how hard the girls are working.

"Elana picked up the 500, Keira [Warren] is two seconds from the 200 IM, and Ada Pratt is half a second away in the 50 and a second away in the 100. Our less experienced girls are working hard in practice, and they're cutting two, three and 10 seconds," said Warren.

At the start of the season, Warren thought this team would see a big boost in improvement from Day 1 to the last day of the season. So far, that has played out as the calendar flips to October and the postseason draws closer.

Worland's top swimmers have made strides in the pool and are checking off season goals. Then, many of the Lady Warriors newcomers are gaining confidence in the pool and taking on challenging events.

"Caroline Leach asked to swim the 500 because she wanted to challenge herself. Before the season, she didn't know what a flip turn was, and now here she is, saying she's ready for the 500. Things like that are fantastic. Each swimmer is making strides in their own way.

"They've been learning and improving on all those little things that make a world of difference. We have a lot of diversity on this team as far as ability. It's fun to watch them hit their milestones even though they're completely different milestones," said Warren.

 
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