Ten years on: Central’s last girls swimming and diving championship

In 16 years of professional newspapering I’ve seen a lot of stuff. Blowouts, squeakers, 0-0 ties, four-overtime ridiculousness, 90-point bull rides – it takes all kinds to make an interesting existence in this line of work.

Few events have equaled the sheer excitement of the 2004 WHSAA State Swim and Dive Championships.

Cheyenne Central won its second straight championship by one point over host Gillette. One. Point. Continue reading

Central swimmers use licks for good luck

Cheyenne Central swimmer Katie Summers was on both winning relays during the SWAC meet. Miranda Grubbs/staff

Cheyenne Central swimmer Katie Summers was on both winning relays during the SWAC meet. Miranda Grubbs/staff

CHEYENNE – The world is still trying to figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsiepop.

But the number of licks it takes to relax a group of Cheyenne Central girls relay swimmers? Four. One for each skullcap.

Before the start of every relay, the four members of Lady Indians team take a lighthearted moment to relax and lick each others skull caps.

It’s a strange tradition. But you can’t argue with the results.

At Friday’s Southern Wyoming Athletic Conference finals, Central won two of the three relay events and placed second in other.

“We decided it was lucky my freshman year. The seniors would lick all the freshmen’s caps and it kind of went from there. We have a lot of superstitions. It helps us get in the right mindset,” Hannah Thomas said. She was on both winning relays. Continue reading

East’s Urban ready for swim team leadership role

CHEYENNE — It should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen her compete that Abby Urban spent most of the summer in the pool.

After finishing runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle and the third in the 200-yard freestyle at the 2012 Class 4A girls state meet, the Cheyenne East junior used her time off from school to refine her swimming skills even further.

“I swam a lot,” Urban said with a laugh. “Every day we were in the water.”

All her offseason training culminated with one of the biggest swim of her career — the USA Swimming Zone Championship in Fresno, Calif. Continue reading

South divers use summer camps to up skill sets

Amber Codr

Amber Codr

CHEYENNE — Amber Codr made a decision on how to spend a portion of her vacation early.

The Cheyenne South junior got word that the University of Wyoming would be hosting a diving camp this summer. Whether or not to attend was an easy choice.

“This year is my junior year so it’s really my year to make it shine if I want to go far with diving. And hearing that the college I want to go to had something promoting diving was really neat to hear about so I jumped all over it,” Codr said. Continue reading

Junior varsity-varsity distinction sets tone, now Indians must sort it out

CHEYENNE — The water has finally calmed for the Cheyenne Central boys swim team.

Now it’s time to figure out who gets to jump back in and where.

Over the course of the 2012-13 season, the Indians kept grabbing state qualifier after state qualifier. Heading into today’s state meet, Central has 18 individuals qualified for at least one event.

Those 18 athletes account for 80 different qualifying marks in eight swimming and one diving event. Continue reading

RILEY OPINION: Central’s White sets the standard, makes others better

Cheyenne Central’s Kyle White is the standard setter for boys swimming in Wyoming. Miranda Grubbs/staff

CHEYENNE — There are five swimmers all within a few inches of each other approaching the wall. Each of them is counting off how many more strokes it’ll take before they tuck and turn.

For Kyle White, that moment was has come and gone. Now it’s time to swim the next 25 yards.

“He just has that competitive edge when he hits the water,” Cheyenne East coach Jamie Winkler said. “When that gun goes off, it just triggers something in his head and he just tears it up. He’s got a gear that most people don’t have.” Continue reading

Central swimmers looking beyond conference title, focused on state

Cheyenne Central’s Justin Hood swims the second leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay during Saturday’s Southern Wyoming Athletic Conference championship meet. The Indians won the event in 3 minutes, 27.40 seconds. Miranda Grubbs/staff

CHEYENNE — Last year, the Cheyenne Central boys swimming and diving team made history by winning the Southern Wyoming Athletic Conference championship, the first such title in the program’s history.

Heading into the 2012 Class 4A state swim meet, the Indians were one of the teams favored to win the state title. They finished second.

Call it a wake-up call or a moment of clarity. Whatever it you label it, the runner-up finish made many the Indians rethink their approach.

“We’re trying to change our mental approach to swimming. Last year we kind of rolled our way to victory and then kind of faltered at state,” Justin Hood said.  Continue reading

South’s Emerson joins the pool party

Cheyenne South’s Erik Emerson qualified for the Class 4A state meet with a time of 1:04.76 in the 100-yard backstroke on Saturday. Miranda Grubbs/staff

CHEYENNE — Erik Emerson hadn’t even made it out of the pool and already he was being mobbed.

First, it was Devyn and Conrad Nuanes who helped him out of the water. Then, it was a dozen teammate all looking for a handshake or a pat on the shoulder.

“My team so far is just the best. I don’t care how stupid they act,” Emerson said of the goofy antics the Cheyenne South swimmers have been known to pull.

“They’re the best. I like how supportive they are and they don’t care what other people think.” Continue reading

South diver Nuanes is learning to deal with pressure

CHEYENNE — Devyn Nuanes calls the last few weeks “rough.”

The Cheyenne South boys swimming and diving competitor has been saddled with an illness he just couldn’t seem to completely shake, no matter how hard he tried.

Nuanes wanted to get better. He wanted to be back in the pool. He wanted to be competing.

On Friday, he got his wish.

Facing Capser Kelly Walsh and Casper Natrona County in a double dual, Nuanes posted 178.8 points on six dives to finish second at the event.

“It’s good to be back,” Nuanes said. Continue reading

South swimmer Erik Emerson ready to build off last season

Cheyenne South swimmer Erik Emerson

CHEYENNE — What Erik Emerson did at the Class 4A boys state swim meet last season is an anomaly. The sophomore swam in all three relay events for Cheyenne South.

Normally, swimmers are held to just two relays to go along with two individual events at state championship meet. But since Emerson did not qualify as an individual last season, he was allowed to swim in the three team events.

That’s something he hopes never happens again.

“I’ve been training all offseason and I’ve been training all summer and (coach Jason Garman) expects me to go that extra step forward and qualify this year. And my goal this year is to at least qualify in four events,” Emerson said. Continue reading