NHS swimmers off to good start

Sonja Karp

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Editor


The Lady Dogies opened up their 2021 season by making the long trek to Lander for a relays meet on Friday, followed by a pentathlon on Saturday. The format of the two meets is unique and provides a great opportunity for all swimmers to get their feet wet.

“I think the biggest thing for us this year is that we have two really brand new swimmers so getting Lilly [Ralls] and Ruth [Rose] prepared and ready to go was a big focus,” began head coach Doug Scribner. “For the other girls, it’s a matter of getting back into the groove.

Lydia [Anderson] and Raeleigh [Shipp] both swam over the summer, and Hailey [Beastrom] swam over the summer and has been a part of the club as well.”

For Beastrom, Scribner was looking to see where she is beginning her first high school season of competition, while for Anderson and Shipp he wanted to see how they started their season compared with how they finished last year. 

With only six swimmers able to compete on Friday, Scribner was only able to man two relays on the day. Fortunately, the meet offered individual races in which the Lady Dogies were able to enter. As a team, Newcastle finished in sixth place with 79 points. 

“I’m happy with how we swam and how we placed,” Scribner determined. “Raeleigh and Lydia both improved over their times from last season and are starting a little bit faster, which is what we want to see. There were improvements from Friday to Saturday as well.”

Shipp finished sixth in the 200 Free and ninth in the 100 Breast, Anderson was fourth in the 100 Back, Beastrom finished ninth in the 50 Free and fifth in the 100 Back, Rose was 16th in the 50 Free and 15th in the 100 Breast, while Ralls was 19th in the 50 Free and DQ’d in the breaststroke.

In the 200 Medley and 500 Free Relays, the ladies finished ninth and fourth respectively. Anderson, Shipp, Beastrom and Ralls manned the former while Rose, Anderson, Beastrom and Shipp raced in the latter.

The 500 Free Relay is a crescendo relay where the first swimmer races a 50, the second a 100, the third a 150 and the anchor leg swims a 200.

“Raeleigh ended up swimming the 200 twice because she was in the open and then was the anchor in the 500 relay,” Scribner explained. “She had pretty good times in each and Hailey and Lydia both had really good times with their swims as well.”

On Saturday, the Lady Dogies were back in the pool for their second consecutive day of competition. Shipp and Beastrom were the only two swimmers to get an overall score in the Pentathlon because in order to tally a score, you must compete in all five events. 

Anderson and Ralls didn’t compete in the 100 Butterfly while Rose DQ’d in the Fly and the Backstroke, while Rebekah Olson DQ’d in the Breaststroke. 

Shipp finished in 41st place with a combined time of 6:07.99, while Beastrom was 50th with a time of 6:18.28.

With the first weekend of competition complete, Scribner walked away feeling good about his swimmer’s first outing.

“After this weekend Lydia, Raeleigh and Hailey are in range to qualify. Lydia started the backstroke two seconds faster than last year which puts her in a great position to qualify, so she is only four seconds out there and just a couple of seconds away from the 100 Free,” Scribner said. “Hailey as a freshman has a great deal of potential in the backstroke, and with a 1:19 time, she is only six and a half seconds away from qualification in that event, which I feel confident she can accomplish.”

Scribner went on to note that Ralls and Rose each performed well in their debut weekend, and was impressed with how far the two novices have come since practice began just over two weeks ago.

“They still have some technique issues to fix, but those are pretty easy to address,” he stated. “They both learned all their strokes so that they were able to compete in the pentathlon, which is a pretty cool accomplishment in such a limited amount of time.”

Olson didn’t have enough practices to compete on Friday, but her warmup the first day gave her what she needed to participate on Saturday.

“Rebekah has really progressed a lot over the past year in all of her strokes,” Scribner nodded. “She ended up with the fastest time of the team in the Butterfly where she shaved off over three seconds from her best time from last year.”

“It was a pretty good first weekend for us and we got to see where we stand,” Scribner declared. “I think the biggest thing is that despite our less than perfect start given our mechanical issues with the pool, the girls did really well in their opening weekend.”

The Lady Dogies are open this weekend, which means they will have a couple of weeks to iron out their various issues before they head to Cody on Friday, Sept. 10, and then Powell on Saturday, Sept. 11, for invitational meets. 


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