The Wyoming boys high school state championships took place in Gillette this weekend. In 4A, the state’s big school division, Kelly Walsh High beat out defending champs Cheyenne Central by 60 points to win the state title, breaking a 4A record in the 200 free relay on the way. In addition, Kelly Walsh breaststroker Levi Jensen just missed a state record of his own while winning the 100 breast.
In 3A, for the state’s small schools, Lander Valley took home its 18th straight state title in a strong team effort highlighted by 100 breaststroke winner Ryan Crawford.
Kelly Walsh High School had a huge finish to the meet, making attacks on a pair of state records late to push past defending champs Cheyenne Central for the 4A title.
The biggest momentum boost for Kelly Walsh came in the 200 free relay. The team of Levi Jensen, Andrew Belveal, Talon Marquard and Jeremy Young went 1:25.95 to outrun both Campbell County and the state record. The front half of that relay, Jensen and Belveal, were both seniors, and helped power Kelly Walsh away from Campbell, which finished just behind in 1:26.33.
Jensen came off that relay to make a run at a second state record just two events later. After going 57.79 in prelims of the 100 breast, Jensen put up a 56.62 at finals, crushing the field by almost 6 seconds but coming up just a few tenths short of the state record set earlier this year by Cheyenne Central’s Kyle White.
White elected not to swim the 100 breast, instead going after relays and the 200 and 500 freestyles. He first helped Central to the 200 medley relay title, swimming backstroke on the relay that just beat out Kelly Walsh 1:35.90 to 1:36.27. White then turned around and won the next event, the 200 free, going 1:42.45 to beat Laramie’s Slade Sheaffer and Jensen, who finished second and third. White wasn’t able to repeat the feat in the 500, though, as Rock Springs junior Kayden Harbison roared away to a 4:38.93 that got within three seconds of the state record set by current Cal Golden Bear Nick Dillinger.
White was able to come back for his third state championship of the night, though. He anchored Central’s 400 free relay that went 3:12.96, rattling but not quite breaking the state record set by Gillette 15 years ago. Also on that relay was senior Thomas Reams, who was Central’s other individual winner, taking the 100 free in 46.81.
After taking second to White in that 200 free early on, Sheaffer got a win of his own in his senior season, pacing the 100 back in 52.33. His teammate Nick Mavriplis went 53.76 to win the 100 fly and make it a pair of state titles for Laramie.
Kelly Walsh had two more state champs in their team run to the trophy. Jeremy Young, anchor on that state champ medley, went 1:56.83 to run away with the 200 IM two events later, and diver Brady Saunders scored 357.85 to win his event by just a point and a half over Campbell County’s Tyler Klamm.
Cheyenne East junior Ben Wisdorf took the 50 free after the top two seeds left prelims tied for the top spot. Wisdorf was 21.51 to break the tie with Campbell County’s David Bowersox, who ended up second.
Top 5 Teams
1 Kelly Walsh High School 265
2 Cheyenne Central High School 205
3 Campbell County High School 204
4 Laramie High School Swim/Dive 179
5 Cheyenne East High School 141
Lander Valley rolled to its 18th consecutive state title in 3A in what was truly a team affair. The school won just one event, the 100 breast where sophomore Ryan Crawford went a lifetime-best 1:01.06 to outpace Cody High senior Nick Snyder in a tough two-man race for the state championship.
Lander continually picked up points even though Rawley High spent the most time at the top of the podium. Rawley senior Zach Cain won four titles in all on the weekend. Individually he won the 100 fly (54.67) and 100 back (54.88) going away, and he also led off the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Rawley won that medley easily in 1:43.65, but had to outlast Lander by about a half-second to take home the 400 free relay title.
The other swimmer to take home multiple individual titles was Worland junior Connor Petty. He won the 200 IM (1:59.16) and 100 free (47.71) handily, and that 100 free knocked nearly a full second off his lifetime-best. Petty’s senior teammate Austin Rettinghouse also grabbed a state title for Worland by winning the diving event by over 100 points. Rettinghouse was just about 40 points shy of the state record.
Powell High School topped Worland in a close battle for second place, getting a 500 free win from junior Ben Wetzel in 5:00.47. Wetzel showed massive improvement this season, dropping 24 seconds off what he went last year to claim the state crown.
Wetzel also added a runner-up finish in the 200 free, which was won by Sublette County’s Taner Trujillo in 1:48.97.
Kemmerer senior Garrett Walton dominated the splash-and-dash. In prelims, he dropped almost a full second off his lifetime-best, dipping under 23 for the first time at 22.61. Then at finals he made it a full second and more improvement from a year ago, going 22.39 for the state title. He also anchored Kemmerer’s 200 free relay, which nipped Worland for the state championship.
Top 5 Teams
1 Lander Valley High School 274.5
2 Powell High School 195.5
3 Worland High School 176.5
4 Rawlins High School 154
5 Kemmerer High School 147.5