Lady Rangers compete at Evanston Invitational

Lady Ranger senior Arianne Dearden finished second in the 100 breaststroke at Saturday’s Evanston Invitational, with a state-qualifying time of 1:22.76. It was Dearden’s first state-qualifying time of her high school career. (GAZETTE PHOTO/Don Cogger)

Price wins 500 free; Bartschi, Dearden 1-2 in 100 breaststroke

EVANSTON — The Kemmerer High School girls’ swimming and diving team closed out Homecoming Week at Saturday’s Evanston Invitational, placing third as a team.

The Lady Rangers won three individual events, en route to 259 points. Host Evanston took the top spot with 371.5 points, followed by Lyman in second, with 273.5 points.

“Things are going great for the Lady Rangers,” said KHS head coach Amanda Aimone. “These girls are right where they need to be. They are working hard, but tired – especially coming off homecoming week.”

The Lady Rangers were led by wins from Kylie Price in the 500 freestyle (6:24.97), Kaylie Julander in the 100 backstroke (1:14.24) and Ally Bartschi in the 100 breaststroke (1:19.14).

“At our midway point, I couldn’t be happier,” Aimone said. “We have seven out of 12 girls qualified for the state meet, which is well over half the team. You can’t be too sad about that.”

The Lady Rangers claimed the top two spots in the 100 breaststroke, with senior Arianne Dearden swimming into second place behind Bartschi. It was a memorable swim for Dearden, whose time of 1:22.76 qualified her for the 3A State Meet, scheduled for Nov. 3-4 in Gillette. It was the first state-qualifying time of her high school career, and one she’s trained hard to attain, according to Aimone.

“Through the week, Arianne had been swimming at practice so well, and swam the 100 breaststroke at our home meet and looked really good,” Aimone said. “I kind of thought, ‘Wow, she could do it this week.’ Especially in the Davis pool, where the depth is your friend, since you don’t have the reverberation of the waves back at you as you swim.”

After talking with Aimone about the splits she would need to swim to punch her ticket to state, Dearden went out and did exactly that, with splits of 40.42 and 42.34.

“It was so exciting,” said Aimone, who cheered her swimmer on at the finish. “Also, when you watch a kid like Arianne – who works hard, and never backs down – not reach a qualifying time until her senior year, you can’t help but get excited for her. She really emulates determination, and the will to never give up.”

The Lady Rangers also swam well in the relay events, with the 200 medley relay team of Ally Bartschi, Arianne Dearden, Kylie Price and Tyler Thatcher placing second, with a time of 2:11.92; the 400 freestyle relay team of Arianne Dearden, Tyler Thatcher, Kylie Price and Ally Bartschi also placed second, with a time of 4:29.76.

Other notable performances from Saturday’s meet included Bartschi in the 200 freestyle (3rd, 2:23/56), Hanna Walker in the 200 IM (4th, 3:27.88) and Dearden in the 50 freestyle (8th, 30.39).

In diving, Walker finished third, with a score of 333.00, while Julander placed fourth, with a score of 314.35.

“Our divers have been doing a great job, especially for being just sophomores,” Aimone said. “They have been working on some new dives, which they have taken head on. That’s important in diving. These two girls do what we call “baby dives” really well – almost as good as anyone in 3A – but now they are moving on to harder dives. They are going to be very important for our team when conference and state come along.”

The Lady Rangers are back on the road this weekend, with a meet in Lander Friday, and Pinedale Saturday.

“We added a meet in Lander for this Friday, which I am really looking forward to, because we will get to see some teams we haven’t seen since we were in Lander at the beginning of the season,” Aimone explained. “Then we have Pinedale on Saturday, and we always love that pool, it’s great.”

Evanston Invitational

Team Scores

1. Evanston 371.5, 2. Lyman 273.5, 3. Kemmerer 259

200 Medley Relay

2. Ally Bartschi, Arianne Dearden, Kylie Price, Tyler Thatcher 2:11.92, 5. Eva Hunter, Hanna Walker, Destiny Shepherd, Emma Culler 2:53.89

200 Freestyle

3. Ally Bartschi 2:23.56, 7. Destiny Shepherd 2:58.64

200 IM

4. Hanna Walker 3:27.88

50 Freestyle

8. Arianne Dearden 30.39, 9. Eva Hunter 33.50

Girls 1 Mtr Diving

3. Hanna Walker, 333.00, 4. Kaylie Julander 314.35

100 Butterfly

5. Tyler Thatcher 1:28.02, 6. Emma Culler 2:41.51

500 Freestyle

1. Kyle Price 6:24.97, 5. Destiny Shepherd 8:10.32

200 Freestyle Relay

4. Kaylie Julander, Eva Hunter, Destiny Shepherd, Emma Culler 2:20.49

100 Backstroke

1. Kaylie Julander 1:14.24, 7. Eva Hunter 1:30.06

100 Breaststroke

1. Ally Bartschi 1:19.14, 2. Arianne Dearden 1:22.76, 4. Tyler Thatcher 1:27.20, 5. Kylie Price 1:33.14

400 Freestyle Relay

2. Arianne Dearden, Tyler Thatcher, Kylie Price, Ally Bartschi 4:29.76