On November 1st and 2nd, the Lady Plainsmen swim team won the state meet held at Laramie High School’s own pool. The team competed in events on Thursday and Friday, and the scores were announced on Friday after the final event.

Laramie won the state meet by 129 points, and while they were ranked as the first in the state going into the meet, they were only expected to win by 30 points but ended up outperforming their ranking in meet.

The girls swim team has been doing extremely well for the entire season, winning all of the duel meets leading up to state. In a duel meet, schools compete only against one other team, while in other meets schools will compete against two or more.

At the state meet the athletes competed against swimmers from every 4A school in Wyoming.

State is different from other meets in the sense that schools can only take four swimmers in each event and in order to qualify and those swimmers must hit a standard time.

The swimmers compete in one of many distances and types of strokes. The distances range from 50 meters to 500 meters, and the different strokes are freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. The events also include relays like the 200-medley relay, where each swimmer in the team of four swims 50 meters in a different stroke, or the 400-freestyle relay, where each swimmer swims 100 meters, all in the freestyle stroke.

One individual swimmer will compete in up to four of these events, unless they are trying to hit a time in an event, in order to qualify for state or another regional or national meet.

“In a normal meet, the good swimmers will do four [events], and then if someone is trying to hit a certain time, they will only do two or three,” Said Alyssa Dale, a swimmer on the team.

The head swim coach is Tom Hudson, and Tamara Bretting, a science teacher at LHS is the assistant coach.

Although state is the final meet in Wyoming, many of the Laramie High School swimmers are aiming to hit times for other regional or national meets. These include Zones and Sectionals that will take place later in the year.

The swimmers train very hard over the course of the season. Their practices include afternoon practice for an hour every day after school, and morning practices before school. The afternoon practices are in the pool, but only the Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning practices are swimming. Tuesday and Thursday mornings the swimmers work out at a CrossFit gym, to build up strength.

Although this strenuous schedule is important to the success of the swimmers, it is also important to take time to rest before the final competition. The swimmers that are able to compete at state stop training and begin “taper” after their conference meet, and if they do not qualify for state, they begin taper a few weeks before conference. this tapering allows the swimmers bodies to slowly relax from their intense training, instead of stopping so abruptly after their season is over.