Feb 6, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTyler Matsen and Travis Fisher qualified for the Class 4-A state meet in different swim events Friday for Riverton High School at a big meet in Gillette.
Matsen earned a state time in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:38. Matsen's previous best time in the distance event was 5:47. The state 4-A qualifying time is 5:40.
"Tyler is just getting more confidence," RHS coach Jay Dayton said. "He is improving in everything. We like it when a swimmer gets to state in several events."
Matsen has qualified in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard breaststroke.
Fisher qualified in the 50-yard freestyle at Gillette after being clocked in 24.70.
"Travis has been wanting to get that one," Dayton said. "Travis swims the individual medley. He does a little bit better in the butterfly and the backstroke events."
Fisher will turn his attention to the 100-yard freestyle.
"The freestyle is a little harder for him to get those sprints," Dayton said. "He does have the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Those sprints are a challenge for him. He is having a good year."
The Wolverines ended up 11th in the team standings at the Gillette Invitational. Lander Valley High School placed fifth.
"The Gillette meet was the Ron Thon of swimming," Dayton said, referring to the huge wrestling tournament in Riverton last week. "It's hard to get fast times this time of year because they are tired. We have had a lot of different meets in a row. They are broken down from the training. It's hard to get fast times."
Lyman, Kemmerer and Rawlins were the only swimming teams in Wyoming not at the Gillette meet.
The Wolverines compete at the Class 4-A North regional meet Friday and Saturday at Casper Kelly Walsh.
The first day is used for preliminaries. The swimmers will participate in the finals on the second day.
"I only have 11 kids," Dayton said. "We are lacking in depth. We are aiming for third in the team standings. It will be a difficult challenge. I have some kids that are battling the flu again. I have about four that are sick right now. We are hoping they are better by Friday. "
Casper Kelly Walsh and Gillette are the favorites for the team crown.
"We can't compete against Kelly Walsh," Dayton said. "They have more people than we do. Gillette has an army. They have too many for us to compete with."
Dayton said third place will come down to Sheridan, the Wolverines and Casper Natrona.
"We can compete with Sheridan and Natrona," Dayton said.
Eli Horyza has an opportunity for an individual regional title for the Wolverines.
"It depends on where Gillette puts Collin Baldacci," Dayton said. "He is the top swimmer in the region right now. Sometimes he swims in Eli's event, which is the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard butterfly. "
Dayton said the relays are pivotal if the Wolverines want to finish third.
"We swim all the relays well," Dayton said. "The relays are double the points."
The Last Chance Meet is Feb. 14 in Lander.
Team standings from Gillette Invitational held Saturday
1. Cheyenne Central, 516; 2. Gillette 385; 3. Laramie, 317; 4. Rock Springs, 317; 5. Lander Valley High School, 258; 6. Kelly Walsh, 257.5; 7. Buffalo, 201; 8. Cheyenne East, 201; 9. Worland, 181; 10. Green River, 169.5; 11. Riverton, 136; 12. Powell, 119; 13. Evanston, 72; 14. Cody, 72; 15. Cheyenne South, 44; 16. Douglas, 44; 17. Sheridan, 41; 18. Newcastle, 6.
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