Jan 2, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorLander Valley High School already has qualified 21 swimmers for the Class 3-A state meet after the first month of the season.
Coach Bruce Gresly has 28 swimmers on his roster. The Tigers are going for 17 Class 3-A state titles in a row.
The number of LVHS swimmers qualified this year is the most in the Class 3-A division.
"That is a really good start," said Gresly. "What we have to do is get some of the single event qualifiers in multi events. I have several seniors qualified in all of the events except diving. I do have a couple of divers qualified in other events."
Gresly had a hard time getting his LVHS swimmers together for practice during Christmas break. LVHS last competed Friday, Dec 14, in a dual with Riverton High School.
The Tigers had a couple of meets before the dual.
"With Christmas vacation in here, it interrupts a lot of things," Gresly said. "We didn't practice a whole lot on vacation because of the way that Christmas and New Year's fell."
The Tigers swim Friday against Cody, Riverton and Worland in Cody.
LVHS competes Saturday at the Powell Invitational. The Powell meet will give the Tigers an opportunity to swim vs. Buffalo for the first time this season. The meet will have a number of Class 3-A teams in the field.
Gresly believes Buffalo will be the strongest team from the Class 3-A East conference this year. LVHS is a power in the Class 3-A West.
Another team that could push LVHS is Worland.
"Worland has two excellent kids in one sophomore and one freshman," Gresly said. "They have a couple of more kids that are coming along pretty good."
"I like the dedication the kids have put forth so far," Gresly said. "They know that they have a hard road to go because I had a lot of seniors last year. I have a good group of seniors this year. They are the ones that are really putting forth a lot of strong effort."
Lander's Griffin Leemon has the state's fastest 3-A time in the 50-yard freestyle at 18.12. Symen Ooms of Worland is second in 23.07. Leemon's teamamte Darren Pursel is No. 5 at 23.64 and Bobby Cercele is No. 6 in 23.88.
"The seniors are doing a great job for me," Gresly said. "They are the ones that are pushing the underclassmen. I have a good group of freshman and sophomores. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Lander's Matt Robinson is No. 2 in a time of 1:09.61.
Zach Cain from Rawlins has the best time at 1:04.15.
"We are still pretty deep," Gresly said.
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