By: Shawn O’Brate

FREMONT COUNTY – This past weekend marked the second week of the Wyoming High School boys’ swimming season and, unsurprisingly, the Lander Valley (LVHS) Tigers have shot out to a strong start, as has the Riverton Wolverines as well. 

Both teams held their own duals this weekend and participated in events with talented swimmers from all across the state testing their might against the Fremont County stronghold. 

First up, on Friday, the LVHS team hosted a triple dual against Cody and Sublette County. Lander took first in both duals thanks to some characteristic traits in the pool by Tigers like Benny Kulow (1:52.64) and Reed McFadden (2:00.39), who finished first and second respectively in the boys’ 200 yard freestyle race. 

The Lander 200 yard medley relay team also placed first, as well as third and fourth, to go along with their 200 yard freestyle relay team who beat the rest of the competition by over ten seconds. 

In fact, LVHS took first place in all the relay events as well as all individual events except for 100 yard freestyle and backstroke events. At the end of the day it was Lander beating Sublette County in total points (110-51) as well as Cody (102-74) while the two other schools battled until Cody (112) handled Sublette County (53).

The dual in Riverton came against Worland on Friday night. It was close for most of the afternoon with both schools trading wins and top finishing times. 

Riverton’s Zach Osborne was the only Wolverine to finish on top of multiple individual races as he toppled the Warriors’ best swimmers in the 50 yard freestyle (23.50 seconds) and the 100 yard butterfly (58.83 seconds). Osborne also helped the Riverton relay teams win in both the 400 yard freestyle (3:53.63) and the 200 yard freestyle (1:39.84). 

Finn Richards swam in the 200m IM Friday in Lander. (p/c Carl Cote)

Other notable Wolverines to finish on top were Jackson Hill in the 200 yard freestyle (2:11.05), Cory Logan in the 500 yard freestyle (6:33.41), Zander Hinkley in the 100 yard backstroke (1:12.74) and Mason Lemley in the one-meter diving (252.70 points). 

Riverton would end up victorious over Worland by a score of 134-123, marking a solid win over a competitive team in the second week of the season. 

The next day the Riverton team would stay nice and comfy at home as they hosted the Riverton Invitational. Cody, Powell, Sublette County and Worland would compete down at the Riverton Aquatic Center and put up some stiff swimming test for the Wolverines. 

Osborne would continue to dominate, this time in the boys’ individual 200 yard freestyle event as he beat Cody and the rest of the swimmers with a time of 1:55.66. He also finished in first in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:26.35, ten seconds better than the next-best swimmer, and Osborne helped the 400 yard and 200 yard freestyle relay teams win as the anchor leg.

Lemley also won first place again in the one-meter diving event (243.05 points), just ahead of his teammate Talon Prestwich (189.25 points) who placed second. Meanwhile, Hill finished in second in the 100 yard freestyle event to Worland’s Walker Cooper by a total of seven-tenths of a second. 

Sadly, Powell’s swimmers proved they had what it took in the tight races to pull out the team victory as they totaled up 289 points which barely knocked out Riverton (276) and Cody (248) as well as Worland (230) and Sublette County (138).

The Lander team did not have the luck of the draw like Riverton as they had to travel to Green River to partake in the Green River invite against the likes of Laramie, Rock Springs, Kemmerer, Rawlins, Lyman, Evanston, Jackson and the home team Green River. 

LVHS would take the 200 yard medley relay once again, this time with a finish of 1:40.58. Lander’s Dylan Huelskamp finished first in the 200 yard freestyle event (1:50.34) as well as the 100 yard breaststroke (1:03.52).

Benny Kulow swam in the 500m freestyle race in Lander Friday. (p/c Carl Cote)

Kulow (2:06.71) and McFadden (2:09.19) also finished on top of the 200 yard individual medley race, much like they did in the 200 yard freestyle the day before. McFadden (56.48 seconds) also took first in the 100 yard fly while Kulow took second in the 100 yard freestyle by five-tenths of a second.

Colby Blackburn (58.54) and Kody Mathill (1:00.79) also took first and second in the 100 yard backstroke. 

Sadly, the LVHS relay teams did not finish on top except for the 200 yard medley relay. Instead, the Laramie team would come out on top of the rest (200 yard freestyle & 400 yard freestyle) which propelled them over Lander at the end of the day. 

Laramie (321) barely finished above Lander (284) while the rest of the competition only garnered 200 points or less. 

Up next for both Fremont County teams is holiday break before returning to swim in Laramie on December 29 and 30th.