Ranger freshman Brayden Dearden swims at a home meet earlier this season. Dearden and the rest of the Rangers boys’ swim team will compete in the conference meet at home this weekend and are preparing for a successful performance at the state meet. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Theresa Davis)
The Kemmerer Ranger boys’ swim team is busy preparing for the last few weeks of the season.The Rangers competed at the Sublette County Invite against Lyman, Rawlins, Riverton, Buffalo, Evanston and Sublette County on Saturday, Jan. 27.
“We had some really good things happen in Sublette, but the guys are tired,” Rangers coach Amanda Aimone said. “That is exactly where we want them to be in the season. It means they are on the right track for state.”
In the 200-yard medley relay, the team of sophomore Benjamin Wergin, freshman Brayden Dearden, senior Carl Krell and sophomore Easton Rydstrom earned third place.Alvaro de Vicente earned 3rd place in the 500-yard freestyle. Alvaro finished 6th in the 200-yard freestyle. Wergin swam to 5th place in the 100-yard freestyle and 8th place in the 200-yard IM.
Krell finished first once again in the 100-yard butterfly. Krell also earned a second place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, with Dearden in 9th place and Grady Killian in 10th place. Collin Smith, Wergin, Krell and de Vicente finished in 3rd place in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Rangers will host Lander, Lyman, Riverton, Sublette and Powell for the Conference swim meet in Kemmerer on Friday, Feb. 2, at 1:00 p.m and on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 10:00 a.m. Coach Aimone said she and the team are excited for the conference meet.
“We get to swim in our own pool in front of our own crowd — it will be so much fun,” Aimone said. “Conference is a meet where we want to show effort. We are still going to be tired, but (we’re)going to give the best effort out of all the teams. Coming into conference and state we want to refine those very important skills such as turns and starts.”
Coach Aimone said conference is important as the Rangers look forward to a strong performance at the state meet in a few weeks.
“Our biggest focus is going to be on state. That has been the ultimate goal for our season and we are going to continue to focus on that,” Aimone said.
According to Coach Aimone, the Ranger swimmers that have qualified for state so far are Carl Krell, Alvaro de Vicente, Brayden Dearden, Ben Wergin and Grady Killian.
Aimone discussed the strides the team has made since the beginning of the season.
“The biggest way they have grown is understanding that every guy counts,” Aimone said. “We look at it like they are pieces to a puzzle. If there is one piece missing, then the puzzle isn’t complete, it’s not whole, therefore it doesn’t meet its ultimate goal. That’s the same thought with the boys. If one guy isn’t on board, or they aren’t working for the ultimate goal then we cannot fulfill that goal. I think after we went to Riverton and Lander they really started to understand how important that concept is.”
Although the team has grown a lot already this season, Aimone knows that the state meet is not an easy performance to prepare for.
“I believe that the biggest challenge for these boys right now is to trust the process they go through to get to state,” Aimone said. “They need to understand that they work to exhaust themselves, only to build themselves back up. We work them to make them tired and with this time of year illness comes with it too. You get tired and you might get sick, so it may dim your spirits and sometimes that’s hard to overcome. These guys will need to trust the process, trust themselves, trust their team, and rest when we ask them to. If they do those things, great things can happen.”