Seniors Kacey Creed and Hudson Wilkerson each earned first place finishes over the weekend, as the Powell High School boys’ swim team swam to a second-place finish at the 3A West Conference Swimming and Diving Championship in Kemmerer on Friday and Saturday.
Creed broke the conference and Kemmerer pool record in the 100 breaststroke to finish in the top spot of that event, with a time of 1:10.31. Wilkerson continued his winning ways in diving, finishing first with a score of 450.30. The Panthers had 25 top-12 finishes, and each swimmer posted a personal best time.
“Overall we were very pleased with their performance,” said head coach Stephanie Warren, adding that the swimmers are exceeding expectations.
It was the first time this season the Panthers swam in a meter pool.
“It was hard definitely getting used to swimming in meters and the time conversions were very deceiving because the kids kept thinking they were swimming not very well, but indeed they were swimming just fine,” Warren said. “It’s just hard to understand those conversions when we haven’t been around them.”
Lander won the conference championship with a score of 298.5. Powell was second with 238 points, Lyman took third with 177.5 points, Kemmerer was fourth at 168, Sublette County took fifth with 165 and Riverton placed sixth with 148 points.
Just like the state meet, the first day of competition was comprised of the preliminary heats, with the top 12 times getting to compete the next day.
On Saturday, the finals were held for each event, where the top six times compete against one another and those times in seventh through 12th place also compete against each other.
A total of 23 Panthers advanced to Saturday and posted top 12 finishes for individual events.
The first race for swimming is the 200 medley relay, which Warren described as “very exciting.”
Lander won the race with a time of 1:57.02 — just 0.14 seconds faster than the Panther team of Richard Spann, Creed, Jared Fuller and Dillinger Wilkerson, who posted a time of 1:57.16.
Meanwhile, the 200 freestyle relay team of Spann, Hudson Wilkerson, Cox and Dillinger Wilkerson placed fourth.
In the 100 breaststroke, Creed swam the event in 1:10.31 — beating the field, the conference record (set in 2000 by a Lander swimmer) of 1:12.03 and the Kemmerer pool record of 1:11.55, which had stood since 1993.
Also placing in the top 12 in the 100 breaststroke was Dillinger Wilkerson, who took fifth, and Jay Cox in 10th.
In the 200 freestyle, Cox finished sixth, Rogers placed seventh and Matthew Hobbs placed 10th.
Spann placed second and Fuller finished third in the 200 IM.
Hudson Wilkerson placed first in diving and Bryce Hogen finished fourth; Hudson Wilkerson also finished ninth in the 50 freestyle.
Each team can only enter four individuals per event and in the 100 butterfly, Powell had all four swimmers place in the top 12: Creed placed second, Gavin Asay finished fourth, Ben Cannizzaro took 10th and Hogen placed 12th.
PHS repeated the feat in the 400 meter freestyle, where Asay finished fourth, Trenton Wilson placed fifth, Hobbs placed eighth and Cannizzaro took 12th.
Warren said it was “really exciting” to have all four swimmers place.
In the 100 freestyle, Dillinger Wilkerson placed seventh and Rogers took 10th.
In the 100 backstroke, Spann took third and Fuller placed sixth.
Powell had no new state qualifiers but Warren said the team will try to compete in a last-chance state qualifying meet this week.
The 3A State Swimming and Diving Championships will be held in Laramie on Feb. 15-16. The Laramie pool will be in the distance of yards not meters.
200 Meter Medley Relay
2. Richard Spann, Kacey Creed, Jared Fuller and Dillinger Wilkerson 1:57.16
200 Meter Freestyle
6. Jay Cox 2:23.88, 7. Joe Rogers 2:23.17, 10. Matthew Hobbs 2:28.78, *16.Trenton Wilson 2:31.53
200 Meter IM
2. Spann 2:31.04, 3. Fuller 2:33.29
50 Meter Freestyle
9. Hudson Wilkerson 29.05
1. Hudson Wilkerson 450.30, 4. Bryce Hogen 286
200 Meter Butterfly
2. Creed 1:04.20, 4. Gavin Asay 1:08.11, 10. Ben Cannizzaro 1:18.92, 12. Hogen 1:25.52
100 Meter Freestyle
7. Dillinger Wilkerson 1:02. 25, 10. Rogers 1:03. 67, *16. Ryan Galindo 1:16.05
400 Meter Freestyle
4. Asay 5:15.80, 5. Wilson 5:21.06, 8. Hobbs 5:22.30, 12. Cannizzaro 5:38.36
200 Meter Freestyle Relay
4. Spann, Hudson Wilkerson, Cox, Dillinger Wilkerson 1:50.17
100 Meter Backstroke
3. Spann 1:04.77, 6. Fuller 1:10.74
100 Meter Breaststroke
1. Creed 1:10.31, 5. Dillinger Wilkerson 1:16.77, 10. Cox 1:23.11
400 Meter Freestyle Relay
*3. Rogers, Cox, Fuller and Creed 4:16.17
* Preliminary time