Sublette swimmers finish fast in last chance

GREEN RIVER – The Sublette County girls swimming team had its final tune-up of the season Thursday (Oct. 26) in Green River. The meet was the swimmers' last chance to qualify for state, and it gave the Sublette swimmers another opportunity to keep climbing up the peak before the state championships currently taking place in Gillette.

Reese Noble capitalized in the last chance meet, becoming the 14th Sublette swimmer to qualify for state. Noble punched her ticket to the 3A championships in the 100-yard butterfly with a fourth-place finish in 1 minute, 16.27 seconds.

Cassidy Espenscheid also qualified for state in two more events, the 50-freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, while Adalyn Bennett added the 100 free to her previous qualification in the 200 free.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Israel Seeman finished second in 2:17.96, knocking off over 2 seconds from her previous qualifying time. Hayden Thoman finished fifth in 2:24.74, just missing a qualifying time by 1.24 seconds.

Hunt won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:34.73, slashing almost 7 seconds off of her previous qualifying time. Davison placed fourth in the same event in 2:38.91, knocking over 7 seconds off her previous best to qualify in the event.

Espenscheid qualified in the 50-free for the first time, taking sixth in 28.40 seconds.

Fourteen girls swam qualifying times in the 100 free, including Bennett with a 1:04.14.

In the 500 free, Hunt placed fourth in 6:35.81, which was also a qualifying time.

In the 100 backstroke, Seeman lowered her previous best qualifying time by .71 seconds, placing seventh in 1:13.13. Kaylee Day also lowered her previous best time by .83 seconds, but missed qualifying in the event by a little more than a second with her 1:15.27 finish.

Only two girls swam qualifying times in the 100-yard breastsroke, and both were from Sublette County. Davison won the race in 1:19.25 while Espenscheid qualified for state with a 1:21.33, both slashing over 2.5 seconds off their seeded time.

The Sublette swim team began competing at the state yesterday, as this paper was going to press.

The other girls who have qualified to compete at state include Meleah Covill, Day, Emma Rogers, Dana Wilson, Jennifer Wheeler, Paige Nielson, Thoman and Darbie Paulson.

To earn all-state honors from the Wyoming Swim Coaches Association, the swimmers will have to place in the top-three in the individual events and the relays. The Wyoming Coaches Association only recognizes the top-two individuals and winning relay as all-state.

To score team points, however, the swimmers and relays only have to finish in the top-12. A 1st-place finish is worth 16 points while 12th-place is worth one point in individual events, and double in relays.

Several Sublette swimmers are seeded in the top-12, or close to it.

Davison ranks second in both the 50-free and 100-free and is No. 14 in the 100-yard breaststroke. Davison's 25.38 in the 50-free helped win her win a conference title and is also a school record.

Hunt, who set a new team record in in the 200-free (2:08.63), ranks No. 6 in that event and No. 4 in the 100-butterfly. She earned all-conference honors in both of those events, and also ranks No. 10 in the 50-free.

Hunt, along with Emma Rogers, received the Adam Denton Memorial Award for qualifying for state in all eight individual events.

Rogers ranks No. 18 in the 200-IM, one spot behind Hunt. Both swimmers are about three seconds behind the No. 12 seed.

Day will take the No. 12 seed into the 500 free with her 6:05.06.

Seeman qualified in six events and also swam on the three qualifying relays. She's seeded No. 14 in the 500 free with her 6:11.47.

Paulson is seeded No. 9 in diving.

Sublette's three relays all rank in the top-10. Different girls have helped the relays qualify, but the teams with the fastest times are Davison, Hunt, Seeman and Day in the 400-free relay (No. 3, 3:58.52), Davison, Hunt, Seeman and Bennett in the 200-free relay (No. 4, 1:47.72) and Hunt, Rogers, Davison and Seeman in the 200-medley (No. 9, 2:05.12). The 400-free relay also earned all-conference honors with its second-place finish at the conference meet.

Lander is the favorite in the 3A state meet, but Sublette County has enough talent to win a trophy.

"Lander is still in control of their destiny, (but) second and third could be taken by about four teams including us," Sublette County Head Coach Gregory Gray said.

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