Lander sophomore Mason Wietzki swam in the 100 yard butterfly event in Jackson Saturday. (photo by Carl Cote)

BY: SHAWN O’BRATE

STAFF WRITER

JACKSON – On Saturday a momentous occasion occurred out in Jackson Hole at the Teton County / Jackson Recreation Center as Jackson High School hosted their first-ever swim meet. 

At this meet, the Lander Valley Tigers’ dynastic swim team was the only team invited to join Jackson and partake in this momentous event for the Broncs’ first-ever boys team and the recreation center’s first scramble. 

Benny Kulow, Scott Logan, Shane Cunningham, and Brody Blunck dove off the blocks for the 100 yard freestyle race Saturday in Jackson. Kulow won the race. (photo by Carl Cote)

The meet was considered a “scramble” and, thus, was not a sanctioned event that will count toward the teams’ records this year but it was a fun time and a win-win all around for both teams. 

Lander Valley’s 26-straight boys’ swim championships created a huge underdog status for Jackson and their first-ever boys team to be competing in the highly touted sport, and it didn’t matter to either school as it was simply a good time and a nice practice run for the Tigers’ team. 

Lander Boys Swimming head coach Shawna Morgan laid out the rules for both teams during the swim meet Saturday in Jackson. (photo by Carl Cote)

Senior Brayden Brown won both events in which he participated, winning the 200-yard freestyle event by over 11 seconds and the 500-yard freestyle by over 45 seconds. 

Brown’s teammate Dylan Huelskamp, another Lander Valley senior, also won both his events with a 23.11-second run in the 50-yard freestyle, almost two seconds ahead of Jackson’s junior Isaac Zarate. Huelskamp also won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.88 seconds, the only time under one minute. 

Dylan Huelskamp smiled after winning the 50 yard freestyle race in Jackson Saturday. (photo by Carl Cote)

Other winners from Lander’s top-tier swim team included junior Reed McFadden who’s having a spectacular season as usual. McFadden won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:07.41, a state-qualifying time for 3A and 4A swimmers. Brown and Huelskamp also qualified for state (again) with their times in their respective events. 

Reed McFadden popped out of the water mid-breast stroke Saturday in Jackson. (photo by Carl Cote)

In the one-meter diving event it was once again Lander who came out on top with seniors Noah Larson (312.35 points) and Logan Wietzki (306.40) finishing first and second respectively ahead of their sophomore teammate Gage Hampton (283.00). 

And to top everything off, the final two events of the scramble finished with Lander Valley swimmers on top as well with sophomore Colby Blackburn finishing the 100-yard backstroke in under a minute, qualifying for state in two separate classes, and junior Benny Kulow continuing his stellar season with a win in the 100-yard breaststroke. 

Lander and Jackson parents sat in the bleachers in the Jackson Recreation Center Saturday for Jackson Hole High School’s first ever boys swim meet Saturday morning in Jackson. (photo by Carl Cote)

Congratulations again to Jackson for their amazing new foray into boys’ swimming and their swim meet hosting skills! 

Up next for Lander Valley is a home swim meet on Friday at 4 p.m.before traveling to Worland on Saturday at 10 a.m. 

GO TIGERS!