Boys’ swim team snags place at Big Piney Quad

Robert Galbreath photo Big Piney High School senior Owen Nielson broke the Big Piney swim team record he set the previous year in the 400-meter freestyle at the Big Piney Quad on Friday. Nielson posted a blistering time of 4:59.34 in the long-distance event.

Nielson sets new Big Piney team record

WYOMING – The Sublette County combined boys’ swim team gritted through two intense, back-to-back competitions on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20-21.

Competing in its first home meet, the team bagged second place at the Big Piney Quad on Friday, Jan. 20. Sublette County earned 34 points and beat Kemmerer and Lyman.

On Saturday, Sublette County joined 14 other teams at one of the largest meets of the season, the Bruce Gresley Invitational hosted by Lander.

On Friday, Big Piney High School senior Owen Nielson shattered the Big Piney swim team record he set the previous year in the 400-meter freestyle. Placing second, Nielson clocked in under 5 minutes in the long-distance event, posting a record-breaking time of 4 minutes, 59.34 seconds.

Nielson shaved almost 4 seconds off his previous record of 5:03.29 set in 2022.

Junior Andy DeClue captured gold in the 100-freestyle at the Big Piney Quad. He beat Evanston’s Jaxson Daniels by 0.69 seconds with a time of 1:02.38.

Senior Dillon Boespflug came in second place in the 50-freestyle at Big Piney, posting a time of 27.41 seconds.

Junior Ryen Hacklin, DeClue, Nielson and Boespflug secured gold in the 400-freestyle relay on Friday, timing in at 4:06.33.

In the 200-medley relay at Big Piney, Boespflug, junior Calleb Willson, DeClue and Nielson took third place at 2:09.67. Senior Sage Mahaffey, Willson, junior John Ruby and Hacklin scooped up third place in the 200-freestyle relay at Big Piney, hitting the finish line in 1:59.81.

Top-10 performances in Lander included a ninth-place finish for Nielson in the 200-freestyle with a time of 2:02.26. Hacklin, DeClue, Nielson and Boespflug came in seventh place in the 400-freestyle relay at 3:46.58.

On Friday, the coaches and athletes honored the three seniors on the team – Boespflug, Mahaffey and Nielson.

“I have spent the last four years coaching these young men,” said Co-Head Coach Kursty Day. “They are strong athletes and great role models for our younger swimmers. They will be missed. On Friday we got to watch Owen break his own 400-free meter record. We also saw time drops from Dillon, Sage, Logan, Andy and John in their individual events.”

The meet in Lander gave the team a “chance to see what State could be like,” said Co-Head Coach Cheryl Grossman.

“We noticed that some of the small techniques that we have been working on all season are starting to click for the boys and they were excited to see their results from this weekend,” she added. “Ryen, John, Sage and Calleb are getting closer to qualifying in individual events.”

Big Piney Quad – additional results

  • 200-medley relay: Scotty Ring, Kaden Day, Ruby and Logan Visser in eighth place at 2:39.73.
  • 200-freestyle: Ring in eighth place at 2:59.48.
  • 50-freestyle: Nielson in fourth place at 27.66 seconds, DeClue in sixth at 28.36, Hacklin in ninth at 29.44, Mahaffey in 11th at 29.65, Ruby in 14th at 30.72 and Visser in 24th at 43.14.
  • 100-butterfly: Willson in seventh place at 1:29.57.
  • 100-freestyle: Hacklin in fifth place at 1:04.78, Ruby in sixth at 1:05.38 and Visser in 14th at 1:42.23.
  • 400-freestyle: Boespflug in sixth place at 5:21.40.
  • 100-backstroke: Day in fourth place at 1:21.54 and Ring in sixth place at 1:25.94.
  • 100-breaststroke: Willson in fifth place at 1:32.03 and Mahaffey in sixth at 1:35.19.

Lander – additional results

  • 200-medley relay: Boespflug, Hacklin, DeClue and Mahaffey in 11th place at 1:57.81 and Ring, Day, Ruby and Visser in 26th place at 2:26.45.
  • 200-individual medley: Ruby in 27th place at 2:37.10.
  • 50-freestyle: Boespflug in 16th place at 24.67 seconds, DeClue in 25th at 25.68, Mahaffey in 33rd at 26.62, Hacklin in 35th at 26.88, Willson in 38th at 27.38 and Visser in 74th at 39.79.
  • 100-butterfly: Boespflug in 17th place at 1:05.04 and Ruby in 36th at 1:13.86.
  • 100-freestyle: Nielson in 11th place at 54.62 seconds, Hacklin in 28th at 59.82 seconds and Willson in 40th at 1:04.30.
  • 500-freestyle: DeClue in 13th place at 5:59.55.
  • 200-freestyle relay: Ruby, Mahaffey, Willson and Nielson in 15th place at 1:47.17.
  • 100-backstroke: Mahaffey in 23rd place at 1:11.82, Day in 27th at 1:12.59, Ring in 31st at 1:16.68 and Visser in 47th at 2:09.47.
  • 400-freestyle relay: Willson, Day, Ring and Visser in 25th place at 4:50.86.
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