SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School swimmer Isaac Otto and head coach Brent Moore have come to a consensus — the standout freshman is doing better than expected. And Friday night’s Pre-Invite at Sheridan Junior High provided further proof of that.
Otto logged a victory and a couple second-place finishes as the Broncs toppled Natrona County 102-26 and fell to Cheyenne East 111-64.
“He’s maturing physically, but he’s maturing mentally, as well,” Moore said. “He shows up and he wants to do well and he’s a kid that always wants to do his best. It’s really cool. He’s gotten an opportunity to race every single week, and he takes it seriously.”
Otto’s victory Friday occurred in the 50-meter freestyle where he logged a time of 27.67 seconds. He didn’t enter the race with the fastest seed time but still finished first, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the state meet.
And it was with that mindset of qualifying that he attributed to his personal-best time.
“I just really wanted to qualify today, and I felt like I could do it,” Otto said. “I believed in myself, so I pushed myself pretty hard.”
Otto missed out on qualifying by two-tenths of a second, but there’s still plenty of time this season to do so. The freshman also touched second in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:25.92 and in the 400-freestyle relay — with Thomas Yates, Bryson Shosten and Walkara Robinson — which clocked in at 4:33.70. Otto credit his strong start this season to a heightened workout regimen that comes with high school swimming.
“In USA swimming, I hadn’t really improved much, but in high school, I’ve improved a lot,” Otto said. “I think it’s harder practices. They push us really well in high school.”
Otto will swim a couple different individual races Saturday during the Sheridan Invite.
He’ll compete in the 200-meter individual medley and the 100-meter freestyle. His versatility gives Moore many options when it comes to choosing how best to utilize him in any given meet this season.
Yates boasted the Broncs’ other victory Friday. This senior posted a time of 2:20.54 to win the 200-meter freestyle. Yates also placed second in the 100-meter backstroke, recording a time of 1:14.79, and in the 200-meter freestyle relay — Ben Patten, Cisco Gallegos and Matt Thompson — which clocked in at 2:03.83.
Gallegos also took runner-up in the 100-meter butterfly, boasting a time of 1:21.73, and Shosten place second in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 1:04.47
Emmett Potter logged a second-place finish in the 1-meter diving, tallying 188.95 points. Potter is one of two Sheridanites that have qualified for the state meet already — Yates being the other. Potter competed at last year’s state meet, as well, but qualified much sooner in this his senior campaign.
“He put in a lot of time this summer,” Moore said. “He was with (diving coach) Wendy (Vigil) a lot. … He’s not starting from scratch, and he’s willing to try some harder dives and get them done in competition.”
Sheridan will have a quick turnaround and host the Sheridan Invite tomorrow, which will be comprised of eight teams. The diving portion of the meet will begin at 9 a.m., while the swimming portion will get underway around 11 a.m.