LARAMIE — The Laramie High girls swimming and diving team finished another regular season with a perfect dual record Friday as it begins to turn its attention to the postseason.
The Lady Plainsmen — winners of the past four state championships dating back to 2017 — notched a 17-0 record for duals when they beat Cheyenne Central, South and East during the Cheyenne South Quad meet. The perfect dual record extends back several seasons during Laramie’s current run of state titles.
“It was a really hard-fought meet,” veteran LHS coach Tom Hudson said. “We got off to a slow start, losing in the first six events and then we regrouped to come back strong in the second half of the meet.”
The Lady Plainsmen, boasting another season of combining top-end power with overall team depth, currently has 19 state qualifiers with a few more meets left until the state championships scheduled for Nov. 5-6 at the Campbell County Aquatic Center in Gillette.
Laramie will compete at a two-day state preview next Friday and Saturday at the Gillette Pre-Invitational and Invitational, respectively. The West Conference regional meet is slated for Oct. 22-23 in Rock Springs. A Last Chance meet to give those who haven’t qualified for state one more chance to do so is schedule for Oct. 29 at the LHS Natatorium.
Earlier this season, the Lady Plainsmen added three swimming state qualifiers at a Kelly Walsh Quad meet Sept. 24 during wins against Kelly Walsh (118-67), Natrona County (163-3) and Jackson (137-44). They were senior Mischa Yurista in the 50-yard and 100 freestyle, senior Mayci Wade in the 100 butterfly and sophomore Zoey Lozano in the 100 breaststroke.
LHS then added two divers to its state qualification list the next day Sept. 25 with junior Paige Emerson and freshman Rowyn Birdsley rounding out a large, strong diving squad for the Lady Plainsmen at the Sheridan Invitational.
The Lady Plainsmen won the Sheridan Invite with 586 points. Cheyenne Central was runner-up with 487.5, followed by Sheridan (359.5), Jackson (203), Cheyenne East (184) and Natrona County (85).
“Overall, it was great weekend as the girls swam really well in their off events (during the duals) and the meet events (Sheridan Invite) and everyone had fun,” longtime LHS assistant coach Tamara Bretting said.
The Lady Plainsmen then celebrated 15 athletes for Senior Night during a home dual against Rawlins (a 104-55 win) on Oct. 1.
“I think this the biggest senior class I’ve ever had in my career,” said Hudson, who is in 32nd year of coaching the girls and boys teams.
In addition to Mischa Yurista and Mayci Wade, the rest of the LHS seniors this year are Katrina Yurista, Mercedes Bennett, Anna Chen, India Griffiths, Mallorie Hamel, Jordan Johnson, Maya McReynolds, Libby Moore, Anna Roesler, Natalie Six, Piper Sprott, Morgan While and Kayley Yother.
The next day on Oct. 2, the Lady Plainsmen hosted the Laramie Duals with wins against Green River (126-59), Evanston (147-32) and Cheyenne Central (97-89). A strong Central team has consistently challenged Laramie with close duals or invitationals throughout the season.
“Central gave us everything we wanted and we were a bit shorthanded,” Hudson said. “It was a tough meet to the very end and we were able to hold on to remain undefeated in duals.”