Swimmers are back at it 

Sonja Karp

Photo courtesy of Doug Scribner

Freshman Ruth Rose made a splash last weekend, surprising herself by winning her heat in the 100 Free on Friday in Cody.


Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Editor


After taking the Labor Day weekend off, the Lady Dogies jumped back in with back-to-back meets in Cody and Powell on Friday and Saturday. 

“We haven’t had a meet in two weeks, so on Friday I had to encourage them to get excited to compete after all that time just working in our own pool,” head coach Doug Scribner explained. “I wanted them to be ready to race and drop some time since this was just our second weekend of competition this year.”

The young team took what their coach had said to heart as each competed hard and dropped time in nearly every event over the two days of racing.

“There was really quite a little bit of improvement, especially with the newbies,” Scribner said. “As they improve their technique and endurance, we will see some dramatic improvement.”

Freshman Hailey Beastrom has a bit of a leg up on the other swimmers who are new to the sport. Because she swam in club, she came into the season with some endurance, and according to Scribner it’s more about cleaning up her technique and knowing how hard she can push herself at this point.

With her performance this weekend, it is clear that Beastrom is getting the swing of high school competition. Throughout the two days, she found herself in heats where she was up against competition which was close to her level. 

“Especially in Cody in the 100 Free, there were four girls that came in with close to the same time she put up,” Scribner explained. “I just talked to her about racing and being competitive, which she did and then she did a pretty good job in Lander and started to figure it out.” 

In Cody, Beastrom dropped about five seconds in the 100 Free which, given the length of the race, is a significant drop. 

“She won her heat in that race, and I think it surprised her,” Scribner chuckled. “I’m not sure she thought she could do it, so she really gained some confidence there.”

Beastrom is already knocking on the door of putting up state qualifying times in the 100 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke and 100 Breaststroke as she is just six and seven seconds away from hitting the magic number in those events.

Raeleigh Ship, the junior veteran of the team, is focusing on qualifying for the state meet, and Scribner is confident she will achieve that goal given she is not far away in more than one event.

In the 50 Free, she put up a time of 31.24 in Cody which leaves her just three seconds shy of qualifying, and then on Saturday in Powell, she went 1:07.96 in the 100 Free so only needs to cut five seconds there to punch her ticket.

Scribner also requires everyone to swim the 500 Free once, and Shipp opted to get the hard one out of the way early. As such, she took on the grueling race on Friday in Cody and though it’s a challenge, the junior took off time from her best time last season. 

“It was kind of interesting because coming off of the three-day weekend over Labor Day without any competition, it was almost like starting over,” Scribner admitted. “Tuesday at practice was kind of like just getting back into the swing of things which is a little disappointing, but we’ll get back where we need to be. At the same time, it was exciting for the girls because despite all the challenges, they all were able to drop time.” 

Scribner described another great race swam by freshman Ruth Rose. She, like Beastrom, was in a heat with several girls who had similar times as she had put up in the 100 Backstroke. 

“Ruth has really been working on the backstroke and has gotten her flip-turns down pretty well, which makes a world of difference,” Scribner emphasized. “She also won her heat and got out of the water and there were still
girls swimming. She didn’t believe me that she won so I took a picture of the scoreboard to prove it, and that all went a long way toward building confidence.”

Though she DQ’d the 100 Back in Lander, between the time she recorded there and her time in Cody, she dropped 30 seconds, which is huge in a race that short. 

Rebekah Olson also made improvements over the weekend. She dropped 13 seconds in the 200 Free and then in the 100 Butterfly she dropped a little over a second. In the 50 Free, the sophomore is now six seconds away from a state qualifying time and 10 seconds away in the 100 Butterfly.

“The fly is her favorite stroke, and she is also working on her breaststroke to try to perfect her technique, so that is really improving,” Scribner said. “As she continues to improve her technique in all of her strokes, she can then use the strength she has to really go fast.”

The Lady Dogies also competed in the 200 Medley relay as well as the 400 Free relay over the weekend, and Scribner noted that there was improvement across the board in those events.

“The girls always bemoan the fact that I like the 4 Free, but both days they improved so that’s awesome,” he grinned. “With the medley, I am rotating the girls to see where the best fit is. All of them are able to do all the strokes so we are working to figure out how to put the best combo together.” 

This weekend, the Lady Dogies will be in their home pool. On Friday, beginning at 4 p.m., is a triangular where they will host Cheyenne South and Worland. Those two, along with Buffalo and Douglas, will also both be on hand for the Newcastle Invite on Saturday. Competition will begin Saturday morning at 10. Both events will run as a regular meet beginning with the 200 Medley Relay.

“The girls are excited to have one at home,” Scribner said. “I think they are liking high school meets and are getting excited.”


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