CHEYENNE – Sydni Sawyer has only been at Cheyenne East for a few weeks, yet she has had a big impact on its swimming and diving team.
That impact isn’t only felt in the points her finishes as to the team standings. Sawyer is emerging as a leader despite being new to the team and an underclassman, Lady Thunderbirds coach Jon Andersen said.
“She is one of those kids who doesn’t back off,” he said. “If she’s working out in a set and isn’t happy with how it’s going, she’s not going to whine about it. She’s going to push it. If her times aren’t where she wants them, she drives that much harder.
“She takes criticism really well, but the biggest thing is the leadership. She is driving the other girls and leading by example. It’s bleeding into the rest of the team. They see what she does, and they want that success.”
Sawyer spent her freshman season at Cheyenne Central, but her family has since moved into East’s boundary. Sawyer helped the Indians to a runner-up finish at the Class 4A state meet by placing third in the 500-yard freestyle (5 minutes, 29.87 seconds) and fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:20.84).
“That team has been really welcoming and supportive, and it’s been a lot of fun to become part of this team,” Sawyer said. “We’re working really hard and developing a good, strong, team bond.
“I just always try my best and try to have fun. Staying positive really helps with the workouts.”
On Saturday, Sawyer placed second in the 200 free (2:08.91) and 100 butterfly (1:09.34) to help East to a third-place finish at the Cheyenne South Invitational. Sawyer excels at distance races, but doesn’t have a specialty.
“She is such a good all-around swimmer that it’s hard to say what’s her best event,” Andersen said.
Sawyer is not a big girl. She doesn’t muscle her way to fast times. Instead, technique carries her ahead of the pack.
“She wants to make sure she is swimming the right way,” Andersen said. “When you’re swimming the right way, the speed comes after. She’s not a big, bulky girl, but she knows how to cut through the water and push her endurance.”
“It’s a lot of technique and a lot yards,” she said. “It’s all about training hard and getting stronger.”
East takes second at South Invitational
Junior Denali Bronder touched third in the 100 breaststroke (1:23.83) and fifth in the 500 free (6:40.48) to help East place second at the seven-team Cheyenne South Invite on Saturday.
The T-Birds also got a third-place effort from sophomore Kinsington Dobler in the 100 backstroke (1:14.98).
South placed fifth in the team standings. Sophomore Janaeh Brown placed second in the 50 free (28.18 seconds) and fifth in the 100 butterfly (1:18.88). She also joined Allie Robért , Abi Fisher and Ellie Brewer on the winning 200 free relay team (1:53.12).
Freshman Hannah Fisher placed second in the 100 backstroke (1:13.28). Robért, Brewer, Fisher and Kaylin Fardella took second in the 400 free relay (4:14.82). The Bison’s 200 medley relay team placed third. The members of that team were not listed on the results.