SHERIDAN — “My friends are degenerates; but I’d never change them; liars, cheats and hypocrites; not the type for saving.”
As the rush of water glides past the shoulders of Bryson Shosten, often times these lyrics and others from his favorite fast-paced songs glide through his mind.
But Saturday, in the last race of the morning, Shosten was only thinking, “I need to win for my team. I need to win for my team.”
Outside of his busy mind, screams and chants from rival schools echoed between the sweaty walls of Sheridan Junior High School’s pool room.
Shosten and his three teammates in the 400-meter freestyle relay — Isaac Otto, Thomas Yates and Ben Patten — didn’t win this one, but in the eyes of Broncs head coach Brent Moore, a third-place finish was as good as a first-place win. Kelly Walsh and Laramie high schools are consistently the top two in the state for 4A.
“Third place here is awesome. Kelly Walsh and Laramie are going to be the top two teams in the state, so if we’re right behind them that’s a pretty good finish,” Moore said.
The grind doesn’t taper at the end of the week for the young Broncs, who pushed hard up until and through their first of two home meets of the season. This tactic keeps the boys strong and successful in postseason performances.
“It definitely shows because we’re all tired during our normal races and once we start tapering, we feel good all the time during championships,” Shosten said.
Moore has seen it work in years past and especially after a two-week holiday break, he’s sure to push the boys to perform at their best, even when exhausted.
“Most of our guys swam a little bit tired and they start to fade, but we don’t really ever back off or ease off training before we’ve come into the meet,” Moore said. “They should be feeling it a little bit but still able to perform pretty well, so I thought they did really good.”
The method of pushing all the way up to competition time is in preparation for the postseason.
“If we don’t stick to it, then we don’t have anything to back off from,” Moore said. “…If they can do something great when they’re tired, it sets them up to be really confident for the rest of it.”
The Broncs finished up in exactly the place Moore anticipated — third with a score of 242, trailing first-place Laramie (470) and Kelly Walsh (453).
Contributing to that third-place finish was Shosten, who earned third in the 200-meter individual medley and the 400-meter freestyle Saturday.
Otto finished fifth in the 200-meter freestyle; Patten finished seventh in the 50-meter freestyle; and sole Broncs diver Emmett Potter earned seventh with a personal best score of 330.50.
The Broncs return to the pool Friday for a dual in Laramie starting at 5 p.m.