Newcastle swimmers making gains

Sonja Karp, Sports Editor

Photo courtesy of Lydia Anderson

Hailey Beastrom was off to the races last weekend as the Lady Dogies competed in Worland and Powell on Friday and Saturday. She improved in several events and is now just four seconds away from qualifying for the state meet in the backstroke.


It was another long haul over the mountain for the Lady Dogie Swim team Friday and Saturday, but head coach Doug Scribner’s squad made the most of their back-to-back meets in Worland on Friday and Powell
on Saturday to cut their times in their events.


“We had eight improvements, either personal bests or improvements on the season in Worland,” Scribner said. “Going into the weekend, the girls had to pick something new to swim and something they wanted to improve in, and everyone either PR’d or improved, so they swam really well.”


Scribner also kept track of where each swimmer was seeded in their heat and how they finished in their heat. His goal was to give them something more to work toward, and it proved effective since, in six different races, they improved from their seeding to their finish.


For example, Ruth Rose was ranked sixth in her 50 Freestyle heat, however, she touched the wall first to win it. Jaydenn Nelson was seeded sixth in the 200 Freestyle and ended up winning her heat and she also won her heat in the 100 Backstroke on Saturday. Rose doubled down and won her heat in the 50 Freestyle on Saturday, giving her two back-to-back improvements.


“We basically played golf. I added up their seedings, and then added up their finishes,” Scribner explained. “We were looking to drop their overall score from their seedings to their finish. Though they may not necessarily win the event when there’s five heats, if they can move up in their heat, then they can scaffold up to hopefully make it into faster and faster heats, which will improve their overall finish in the end.”


On Friday in Worland, Veronica Ayers took an incredible 34.56 seconds off her previous best 200 Freestyle time and 5.14 seconds off her 100 Backstroke time. Beastrom took 1.25 seconds off her 200 Freestyle and 1.33 seconds off her 50-yard leg of the 200 Freestyle Relay, Rose cut 4.23 seconds off her previous best in the 500 Freestyle and .25 seconds off her time in the 50 Freestyle, while Aiko Miyamoto carved nearly four seconds off her 100 Breaststroke. 


“We scored 72 points as a team with only seven of us competing, so that is pretty good,” Scribner said. “The girls really started figuring out the golf scoring on Friday.”


On Saturday, although there weren’t as many lifetime personal records, Nelson picked one up by taking 1.34 off her best time in the 200 Freestyle, Rose took another half a second off her time in the 50 Freestyle and Qualheim cut .44 of a second off of her best 50 Freestyle time. 


There were also some season improvements, as Rebekah Olson took nearly two seconds off her best 200 Freestyle time of the year. 


In a surprising turn of events, five members of the team swam the 100 Butterfly on Saturday. 


“I’ve been trying to get the girls to swim the ‘fly, so I asked each of them if they would do it on Saturday,” Scribner said. “When they found out others were going to swim, they each decided they would. I then asked if we could get them all in the same heat, and since four of them had no times, the meet director was able to get all but Rebekah into the same heat since Rebekah already had a time, and that was fun for them.”


As it turned out, the strategy worked out well for those who opted to take their turn in the event.


“We just swam for fun and I swam faster than I thought I could,” said Beastrom. “Now I think I should be able to swim it even faster, because I think that I could have pushed myself harder.”


As it was, Beastrom cut nearly seven seconds off of her previous lifetime best in the race.


“Hailey is getting close to qualifying in the backstroke, and is just four seconds off the mark,” Scribner said. “Her freestyle is really looking good, and she commented to me that she is really starting to like it. Her practice times are getting close to qualifying so she should get there in the 100 Free.”


This weekend are the home meets for the Lady Dogies. On Friday, they will host Cheyenne South in a dual starting at 4 p.m., then they will host their invitational on Saturday, hosting South, Buffalo and Douglas, with action beginning at 10 a.m.


Scribner noted that once again the goal will be to try something new and improve in something they’ve competed in before.


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