Laramie Swimming and Diving Could Be Pushed in 2023 [VIDEO]
The streak is at six. Laramie would love to make it seven in a row, as the 2023 girls’ high school swimming and diving season starts this weekend.
Laramie has won the last six Class 4A state championships and several were in dominating fashion.
This year could be different. Jackson and Cheyenne Central are expected to push LHS at the state meet in Gillette on Nov. 2 and 3, 2023.
Second-year head coach Tamara Bretting says it could be interesting.
“We had a lot of power graduate, and we have a couple of swimmers that are very powerful, but not as much as we used to. Tuesday, we did our intra-squad meet and saw a lot of girls rise up and do some pretty impressive things, so our depth is going to be strong, and that’s always what saves Laramie.”
The Lady Plainsmen return 14 state qualifiers and add a 15th with a transfer, move-in.
Two of the returners are seniors Michelle Shoales and Braley Smith. They spoke to KOWB’s David Settle about the 2023 season and this year’s team in the video at the top of the story.
Bretting says, for her, year two is also different.
“I feel a little bit more prepared. I feel like I’m going to have to call (former coach) Tom Hudson a little bit less. That’s a good thing, but I can still call him, of course, whenever I want.”
She understands that the 2023 season is already unlike a year ago because of their personnel.
“We lost a lot of seniors, so we’re trying to focus on some team building and building leaders out of the girls that are here, and learning how to train for some of the girls that are jumping up into the varsity group. (I’m) just trying to see what they can do.”
Bretting feels Laramie will be strong in the distance freestyle and on the diving board this fall. She pointed to depth in both events that will aid LHS this season. They are not as good in the sprint freestyle races, an area where Bretting looks to improve.
Laramie opens the 2023 season at home with the Laramie Relays on Friday and Laramie Pentathlon on Saturday.
Bretting says, “The relays meet, sometimes, makes us seem stronger than we are because we have that depth, so we can make more relays, which gets us more points, so that kind of favors us. The pentathlon has never been a strong meet for Laramie. Very rarely do we win that one because we have a lot of really good 200 freestyle, 200 I-M, and 500 freestyle swimmers, and the pentathlon doesn’t really show those strengths.”
Laramie’s schedule is front-loaded with the first two weekends at home, but most of the middle section will be on the road for LHS. They will host some duals on Sept. 1 and 2, and then will not be back at home until Sept. 30. Laramie will host the conference championships on Oct. 20 and 21.