Feb 18, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterErik Horyza stroked to a first-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle to gain all-conference honors for the Riverton Wolverine boys swim team at the Class 4-A North conference meet Friday and Saturday in Gillette.
Horyza is the first swimmer in 14 years to gain all-conference status for the Wolverines, according to Riverton head swim coach Jay Dayton. Only conference champions are considered all-conference swimmers.
Horyza was seeded third from Friday's preliminary swim but finished strong with a 23.04 swim Saturday to win.
"Going into the wall, I think he was almost last to turn, but he really poured it on the last 25-yards," Dayton said.
The Wolverines finished in third place overall with 144.5 points behind conference champions Casper Kelly Walsh with 432.5 points and Gillette with 320 points. Cheyenne South was fourth with 139 points, Sheridan fifth with 138 points and Casper Natrona sixth with 55 points.
Horyza also tied for second with Caleb Gray from Kelly Walsh in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.33, behind Noah Beaver from Gillette who swam 50.71.
Tyler Matsen finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke with a personal-best time of 1:04.87, 2.5 seconds behind Jeremy Young from Kelly Walsh. Travis Fisher jumped up two places from his preliminary seed to finish fourth in the 100-yard backstroke, finally breaking the 1-minute barrier with a 59.92.
Horyza, Matsen and Fisher have qualified for the state swim meet in multiple events, and Justyn Root has qualified in diving.
In Saturday's consolation swims, Fisher grabbed seventh in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.37, and Matsen finished seventh in the 100-yard butterfly with a personal best time of 53.37.
Riverton's 4x100-yard freestyle relay team of Horyza, Baylor Beers, Matsen and Fisher finished second, ahead of Gillette with a time of 3:39.25, and the Wolverines' 200-yard medley relay with the same team members placed third with a time of 1:49.34.
Root ended in sixth place in diving with total score of 298.30, and Beers placed 12th in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:09.98.
"We had no room for error to beat Sheridan and Cheyenne South. We didn't swim well Friday, but we had a good meet Saturday," Dayton said.
Adrian Cook, Jonathan Gunther, Romelo Cortez, Tyler Campsey, and Jody Stransky also swam for the Wolverines at the conference meet but did not place in the top 12 in their individual events.
Riverton had no new state qualifiers at the conference meet, but non-qualifying swimmers will have one final chance to make state times Thursday at the Last Chance Meet in Lander.
This is the final season that teams will swim in north and south divisions in Class 4-A. Next year, Riverton will swim in the Class 4-A West, similar to volleyball and basketball conferences.
Riverton's state swim qualifiers as of Monday evening (seed, swimmer, time).
50-yard freestyle: 11. Erik Horyza 23.08, 28. Travis Fisher 24.23; 100-yard freestyle: 21. Erik Horyza 52.68, 33. Travis Fisher 54.23; 200-yard freestyle: 23. Travis Fisher 2:00.38, 28. Tyler Matsen 2:01.88; 500-yard freestyle: 17. Tyler Matsen 5:27.77, 31. Travis Fisher 5:35.61; 100-yard backstroke: 19. Travis Fisher 1:01.23; 32. Tyler Matsen 1:03.90; 37. Erik Horyza 1:04.21; 100-yard breaststroke: 6. Tyler Matsen 1:05.11; 23. Erik Horyza 1:09.65; 100-yard butterfly 16. Travis Fisher 59.40, 17 Tyler Matsen 59.65; 200-yard individual medley: 18. Travis Fisher 2:12.60; 22. Tyler Matsen 2:14.25; Diving: 1-meter 6 dives: 23. Justyn Root 183.35; 1-meter 11 dives: 13. Justyn Root 294.95.
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