Just two points ahead of Lyman going into the 400 free relay, the Panthers trailed in the event by almost a full body length when anchor Kacey Creed hit the water for the final leg. Creed would go on to swim the fastest relay split of the season (51.48) and out-touch Lyman by a tenth of a second to secure a runner-up finish for the Panthers.
“It was a very exciting meet for us,” said PHS head coach Stephanie Warren. “We were curious to see how we would match up against Lyman, since we didn’t see them during the season. It really came down to that final relay for second place overall, and we were able to pull it off.”
Creed had a meet to remember, finishing as conference champion in the 100 breaststroke and placing second in the 100 butterfly. His time in the 100 butterfly (57.63) earned him another spot on the PHS Hall of Fame wall at fifth place; his time in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.37) moved him to second place on the HOF wall.
Creed’s teammate Nate MaGill also earned a spot on the wall. His score (418.95) also put him in third place in PHS history, while also being good for second place in the conference in the 1 meter dives.
Hudson Wilkerson finished first in dives to claim the conference championship. Powell claimed the top three spots in the event (Wilkerson, MaGill and Garret Henderson) and Alex Hanson finished sixth. Overall, the divers added 50 points to the Panthers’ total score for the meet.
“The divers did amazing,” Warren said. “To have four of them in the top six is very exciting. Bryce Hogen dove exhibition, and he was able to dive his 11-dive list all the way through, which is great experience for him.”
Powell entered the meet with three swimmers facing their final opportunity to qualify for state in an event. Austen Layton, Dallin Allred and Wes Patrick gave it their best but finished just short of securing their spot in Gillette.
“We didn’t have any new qualifiers, and that was a little disappointing,” Warren said. “They swam really hard, they tried really hard, but we didn’t quite get them there.”
Warren said Friday’s preliminaries set the stage for the finals on Saturday, and she was pleased with the effort every swimmer gave.
“Friday we had some great performances, with people really stepping up and earning their spots for Saturday,” she said. “We had a couple of events where we didn’t have any swimmers in, but we had a good number for the finals. Saturday was a very exciting day, and the kids were just really on fire after we got going. Every race was a good race for them.”
The Panthers now have two weeks to prepare for the 3A State Championship in Gillette, Feb. 24-25. Warren said that time will be used for normal preparation, with tapering as the meet gets closer.
“We’re not exactly sure who’s going to be swimming what at state,” Warren said. “The only thing I do know is the divers that will be diving. A lot of the guys are qualified in multiple events, so that gives us a lot of options, which is wonderful. We have to sit down and decide what our best game plan is and what’s best for the team.”
1. Lander 343
2. Powell High School 261
3. Lyman High School 257
4. Khs Boys 2016-17 146
5. Sublette County Swimming & Div 129
6. Riverton High School 117
3A West Conference Championship - Powell 2nd Place
Men 200 Medley Relay
3. Richard Spann, Kacey Creed, Joe Kuntz and Garret Henderson 1:51.39
Men 200 Freestyle
9. Joe Kuntz 2:09.54, 11. Gavin Asay 2:11.14, 12. Braden Schiller 2:17.17
Men 200 IM
2. Richard Spann 2:16.96, 8. Jared Fuller 2:26.21, 12. Trenton Wilson 2:31.52
Men 50 Freestyle
6. Garret Henderson 24.83, 12. Hudson Wilkerson 26.20
Men 1 Meter 11 Dives
1. Hudson Wilkerson 465.46, 2. Nate MaGill 418.95, 3. Garret Henderson 353.70, 6. Alex Hanson 295.46
Men 100 Butterfly
2. Kacey Creed 57.63, 8. Gavin Asay 1:04.09, 5. Joe Kuntz 1:04.93 11. Ben Cannizzaro 1:14.40
Men 100 Freestyle
7. Joe Rogers 57.18 Prelims-14. Bryce Hogen 1:01.38, 19. Wes Patrick 1:11.02, 22. Dallin Allred 1:15.97
Men 500 Freestyle
7. Trenton Wilson 6:01.02, 9. Braden Schiller 6:15.80
Men 200 Freestyle Relay
5. Dillinger Wilkerson, Trenton Wilson, Chris Lopez and Joe Rogers 1:44.07
Men 100 Backstroke
3. Richard Spann 1:00.13, 6. Jared Fuller 1:04.58, 13. Chris Lopez 1:13.96, 20. Austen Layton 1:27.40, 21. Dallin Allred 1:30.04
Men 100 Breaststroke
1. Kacey Creed 1:04.37, 5. Dillinger Wilkerson 1:10.12, 6. Nate MaGill 1:10.66, 10. Jay Cox 1:16.96
Men 400 Freestyle Relay
3. Richard Spann, Garret Henderson, Joe Kuntz and Kacey Creed 3:39.12