Plainsmen Swimming and Diving Celebrates Another Conference Crown
It was another banner weekend for the Laramie Plainsmen, who won the 4A West Conference Swimming and Diving Championship Saturday in Evanston.
Laramie ran away from their competition with 373 team points and six event victories.
Plainsmen head coach Tom Hudson said it was a great team effort.
“Starting off with the four freshmen that qualified (for state). That was probably the highlight, team-wise, and then to pull away at the end of the meet, like we did, was really nice.”
The weekend belonged to junior Max DeYoung. He won two individual events and led off two winning relays. He set three conference and two school records.
Hudson called it a breakout weekend.
“Just a great weekend for Max, all-around, and that’s un-tapered, so we’re looking for really great things in a couple of weeks.”
DeYoung captured first place in the 200 individual medley race in 1:58.84, which broke the conference mark. He added another win in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.96. As part of the relays, DeYoung set two more conference records and broke two school marks. His lead-off time of 46.32 on the 400 freestyle relay is a school and conference record. The big highlight came in the lead-off position for the 200 freestyle relay. He smashed the conference record and school record with a 20.41 second time. It broke Heber Richardson’s old mark from 1993 of 21.23.
Hudson mentioned the 50 freestyle time on the 200 free relay means automatic All-American status for DeYoung.
The 200 freestyle relay finished first with a time of 1:30.58 and won by nearly five seconds. The 400 freestyle relay also came in first place. Their winning time was 3:21.74 with a margin of victory close to four seconds.
Senior Christopher Bury won diving with a score of 451.60. He beat teammate Trenton Hamel by 57.55 points.
Hudson said, “Christopher won diving kind of like Max won his events. Christopher could’ve probably zeroed a dive and still won that meet. He blew away the competition.”
Freshman Collin Fontana pulled through with an amazing victory. He won the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:12.12.
Hudson said that came after Collin was not feeling well on the day one in the prelims.
“He went a 5:25, almost wasn’t gonna swim, but he got through it, and then comes back in finals, feels a lot better, drops a best time of 5:12 and wins the 500 (free) as a freshman. Just a great effort from him.”
As for the four freshmen that qualified, Thomas Smith made it in the 100 butterfly, Mace Spiker-Miller qualified in the 50 freestyle, Christopher Blackburn made it in the 100 breaststroke, and Hardy Greene qualified in the 100 breaststroke, as well.
After Laramie compiled 373 points, Kelly Walsh took second with 288 and Green River was third at 277. Evanston, Rock Springs, and Natrona County rounded out the team standings.
Next up is a ‘Last Chance’ qualifying meet Friday at Laramie High School. The event begins at 5 p.m.
Hudson knows it’s time to get ready for state.
“Trying to figure out exactly where we’re going to place everyone. That’s pretty much set, but not 100 percent… I think our number of qualifiers is good, but I’m going to try and get some of those freshmen to qualify in another event, so they can fill their slate out. We have 17 qualifiers, but some of them only have one event, so we’ll try and double them up.”
The Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships are Feb. 14 and 15 at the Campbell County Aquatics Center in Gillette.