SHERIDAN — Walkara Robinson swam all four years and lettered all four years, but it wasn’t until this year that he decided to entirely commit himself to the sport of swimming.
“It’s my senior year, it’s my last year, so I might as well try to qualify this year,” Robinson said.
Robinson has seen the fruits of his labor as he continued his best season in the pool Friday during senior night at Sheridan Junior High School. He logged two second-place finishes as the Broncs beat Riverton 88-79 and fell to Kelly Walsh 113-51.
Robinson took runner-up in the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 44.41 seconds, and he also helped the 400-meter freestyle relay team — of Isaac Otto, Thomas Yates and Bryson Shosten — place second, clocking in at 4:17.05.
For Robinson, though, swimming has been less about times and places and more about the relationships he’s built with teammates and coaches and the enjoyment of sport.
“It’s been a happy-fun time,” Robinson said.
Sheridan head coach Brent Moore has enjoyed the growth he’s seen out of Robinson both in and out of the pool as the lone senior on a team, where more than half of the roster are freshmen.
“He’s always been a bigger leader than he gives himself credit for,” Moore said. “He’s one of the nicest kids, he works hard, and he’s been doing great. I’d love to him get qualified (for state). He just brings a uniqueness that you can’t really describe.”
Moore also enjoyed watching Otto race the 400-meter freestyle for the first time Friday. During the race, Moore calculated splits — the ones necessary to qualify for state — and for a large portion of the race, the Sheridan freshman appeared poised to qualify. Otto tailed off down the stretch, however, Friday’s time of 4:56.32 is another impressive mark in what has been an applaud-worthy season thus far for the freshman.
“We just threw him in, and said, ‘Hey, here’s the strategy. Go for it,’” Moore said. “In the middle of the race, we went, ‘Woah, he’s on it. He’s right there.’”
Otto is still searching for a ticket to state. He’s close in many events, so the challenge now is deciding which ones to focus on with only a few weeks left in the season.
Thomas Yates boasted the lone first-place finishes for the swimming portion of Friday. He recorded a time of 2:20.40 in the 200-meter freestyle, besting the field by more than 16 seconds. His victory in the 100-meter freestyle was much closer, as it came down to a couple tenths of a second as he touched in 1:00.47.
Emmett Potter logged the other win for the Broncs. He scored 200.85 points in 1-meter diving.
Sheridan travels east for the Gillette Invite tomorrow — the last regular-season meet of the season — before conference next weekend.