SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School swimming and diving head coach Brent Moore has lauded his team’s improvement thus far this season. But if there was one area he’d critique, it would revolve around how the Broncs finish meets.
While Sheridan typically has logged faster times in the first half of meets, the back half is where they need some work.
“Even [Saturday at the Sheridan Invite] with more time in between events they still kind of petered off at the end. … We had some great swims,” Moore said. “We just got to find out how to finish. We just need more work, and we got to put in the training to get there at the end.”
That notion showed in Saturday’s final race at Sheridan Junior High School. The 400-meter freestyle relay team — Isaac Otto, Thomas Yates, Walkara Robinson and Bryson Shosten — entered the meet with a seed time of 4 minutes, 10.36 seconds, but clocked in at 4:26.26 to place sixth.
That same four also logged a sixth-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle relay, recording a time of 1:56.23. That race occurred much early in the meet Saturday and the Sheridan quartet only clocked in two seconds slower than its seed time.
Otto, Robinson, Shosten and Yates have swum in the same A relay now for the past few meets. The four have developed some chemistry, which will continue to build as the season wears on and they swim alongside one another more.
“We are pretty close,” Yates said. “Honestly, it’s because we are a small team. If we weren’t this small of a team, I feel like our relays would not be as close. We are all pretty much friends where we are pretty comfortable together. In those relays, we are ready to go and compete for each other.”
The cohesiveness helps in more ways than one.
While it helps with each swimmer wanting to do their very best for his teammate, it also helps in the exchanges.
In the example of the 400-meter freestyle relay, Yates has a pretty good idea of how Otto finishes his leg and when he can begin his relay start, and the same goes for Robinson and Shosten.
Constructing a freestyle relay is relatively easy for Moore. He simply groups together the four fastest times.
Where Moore can tweak his relay is in the order in which they swim.
“I like to load the front half and put some pressure on those guys in the back half to hang on,” Moore said. “I like to get them out in front and put some pressure on those guys who aren’t as fast to have to step up and go a little faster.”
Otto boasted the Broncs’ best individual finish Saturday. He touched seventh in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 1:03.43, only missing the state qualifying mark by a couple seconds. Yates finished ninth in the 100-meter backstroke, recording a time of 1:13.03, and 10th in the 50-meter freestyle, logging a time of 28.90. Emmett Potter laid claim to the other top-10 finish as he took 10th, recording a score of 297.45.
Sheridan placed sixth as a team with 78 points, while Laramie won the meet Saturday accumulating 314.5 points.
The Broncs are back in the pool Friday in Laramie.