LARAMIE – Following Friday’s finals, Rawlins swimming ended the 2019-2020 with a respectable fifth-place team finish, with 115 points. Meanwhile, Lander’s 353 points nabbed them first place overall.
According to coach TJ Johnson, yesterday’s finals, however, didn’t fully reflect the great showing his team produced during Thursday prelims.
“Yesterday, those guys swam like we were the talk of the meet,” Johnson said on Friday. “We really put ourselves in a great position today.”
Johnson said the Outlaws on Thursday produced several great time drops, but going back-to-back days had an adverse impact on Friday’s times.
“Guys always struggle on the second day,” he said. “And we struggled today.”
But where there was struggle also came good results on Friday. Rawlins swimmer Dalton Coleman led the pack, taking a second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. Coleman’s 1:01.66 finish was a little more than a second shy of first place, nabbed by Powell swimmer Nate Johnston’s 1:00.53.
Coleman would also notch himself a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle, recording a 1:51.85.
“Today, Dalton had a strong 200 free,” Johnson said. “He had a chance to win it, but he struggled down the stretch a little bit.”
Another notable performance came by way of teammate Isaac Nitschke, who recorded a 57.43 on his way to a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Nitchske would also come back to take a 22.89, fifth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle event.
“Nitschke had a good 50 free,” Johnson said.
For the relays, the Rawlins 400-yard freestyle nabbed a respectable finish. Equipped with swimmers Henry Smith, Gunner Mayer as well as Coleman and Nitschke, they’d take a 3:31.18, third-place finish, while Lander’s relay took first place with a time of 3:18.50.
“I’m glad those guys rallied in the 400 free relay and finished third,” Johnson said. “That was the best relay we had all day.”
With that, Johnson reflected on the season, which has been riddled with illnesses.
“It’s been a tough season trying to keep these guys healthy,” Johnson said. “But I’m proud of the way the guys raced, the way they guys finished and how much they improved. We need to continue to improve if we’re going to be the program we should be and can be.”
200-yard medley relay
6th: Rawlins, 1:45.34 – Isaac Nitschke, Dalton Coleman, Caleb Johansson, Gunner Mayer
3rd: Dalton Coleman, 1:51.85
8th (consolation): Henry Smith, 2:01.30
5th: Isaac Nitschke, 22.89
6th: Henry Smith, 5:35.23
10th (consolation): Heyden Roberts, 5:40.24
200-yard freestyle relay
9th (consolation): Rawlins, 1:41.41 – Caleb Johansson, Heyden Roberts, Jonathan Karstens, Henry Smith
4th: Isaac Nitschke, 57.43
11th (consolation): Gunner Mayer, 1:04.93
2nd: Dalton Coleman, 1:01.66
400-yard freestyle relay
3rd: Rawlins, 3:31.18 – Isaac Nitschke, Henry Smith, Gunner Mayer, Dalton Coleman
5th: Rawlins, 115 points