Mar 11, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorVeteran swim coach Bruce Gresly knew extending the state title streak by the Lander Tigers wasn't going to be automatic at the Class 3-A state swim meet earlier this month in Gillette.
The Tigers were pushed by the rest of the field in two days of competition in the pool, but they still managed to keep the streak alive.
Lander now has won the last 18 state titles under Gresly.
"We are pretty excited, because this is one of the few meets that we knew we would have trouble winning," Gresly said.
The Tigers racked up 274.5 points to hang up another championship banner for the Fremont County school.
Powell came in second with 195.5 points, and Worland was third (176.5).
"Rawlins and Worland both had five pretty good swimmers," Gresly said. "If you don't win an event, then you have to your depth come through. That is what we worked on."
Lander won just one event championship.Rawlins won four first places but only managed a fourth-place overall finish with 154 points.
"It only takes one relay, and then it's real close," Gresly said. "We were planning on our depth to hold us in there."
"The first day was an exceptional day for us," Gresly said. "We had 100 percent best times that day."
The first day of the state swim meet is for seeding for the finals and the consolation finals.
The finals are made up of the top six swimmers. The consolation finals are for swimmers seven through 12.
"If you don't swim good on the first day then you are a spectator on the second day," Gresly said.
"That is what happened to Worland and Powell. They really didn't focus on that first day. A lot of them ended up No. 13 or No. 14."
Sophomore Ryan Crawford took first in the 100-yard breaststroke for Lander with a time of 1:01.06.
Crawford edged Nick Snyder from Cody (1:01.41) in the finals.
"You can expect a lot from Ryan in the future," Gresly said.
"He had a great finals in the 200-yard IM and in the 100-yard breaststroke."
Crawford finished third in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:04.76.
"I knew he was going to be in the breaststroke because around the championship meets he always steps up," Gresly said.
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