Championships Contenders at Girls State Swimming & Diving 2022
The 2022 girls’ state championships for prep swimming and diving are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Laramie.
Here is a breakdown of some of the favorites for individual events and relay races. Plus, a look at how the team race stacks up.
Cody’s senior Tara Joyce has the fastest time in seven of the eight individual events in the state. She’ll be a favorite in whichever races Coach Swett decides to enter Joyce in. Tara is the defending 3A state champion in the 100 and 200 freestyle races.
Green River freshman Tavia Arnell is ranked second or third in all eight swimming events. She will be a factor for the Wolves. As will teammate Tanith Smith. The sophomore is top two or three in five events. She won the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke races a year ago.
The only swimmer not named Tara Joyce that has the fastest time in an individual swimming event in 3A is Payton Yost of Douglas. She has the top time in the 100 breaststroke race by .50 over Arnell of Green River.
Courtney Clark of Green River enters the state swim meet as the defending 500 freestyle champion. She has the fourth-best time in that event during the 2022 season.
The diving board looks to be a two-person race, but two more divers could potentially supply a surprise. Defending champ Kami Jensen of Powell is rated second in both six-dive and 11-dive formats. The senior trails only Olivia Maertens from Buffalo. The junior has the top scores by 21 points on six dives, and by just over 42 points on 11-dives. Evanston senior Tayler Davis and freshman Rachel Johnson are third and fourth in both diving formats. The state championships are 11 dives over two days. Eight are taken in the prelims and semifinals, and the last three are in the finals.
As for the relays, Green River has the fastest times in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. Lander is a close second in the medley relay, while Cody is a close second in the 400 free. The Fillies have a slight edge over the Tigers in the 200 freestyle relay based on top times at the conference meets two weeks ago.
Green River looks to be the favorite for their third straight Class 3A title. Their top-end power combined with the relays and depth might make it hard to beat the Wolves. Powell has some depth, while Cody has Joyce and a few others, and Lander is a dark horse. This team race could get pretty tight depending on some individual swims.
This division features more parody, in terms of the number of top-end swimmers.
Central junior Izzy DeLay is more than likely a favorite in whichever two events she swims. She has the top time in the 200 IM and is top two or three in four other events.
Her teammate Brinkley Lewis is the odd-on favorite on the diving board. She has the best scores in six-dive and 11-dive formats. Lewis has a narrow margin in six dives but she is nearly 35 points ahead in the 11-dive format. Sheridan’s Maggie Turpin and Emily Walton, plus Laramie’s Rowyn Birdsley will be trying to pull an upset.
Kelly Walsh junior Chayse Schierkolk is the favorite 100 freestyle race. The defending champ also has the fastest time in the 50 freestyle. There’s an outside chance she swims in another event but not too likely.
Laramie’s Ashlyn Mathes is the defending state champion in the 500 freestyle race. She also has the fastest time in the 200 freestyle race. Barring an upset, Mathes is favored in the distance races.
Campbell County’s Skye Rehard is the reigning state champ in the 100 breaststroke race. She’ll get some tough competition from DeLay or Olivia Dannhaus of Sheridan, who has the fastest time in the event this fall.
Finally, Jackson freshman Amaya Olivieri will be a factor at the state meet. She has the top time in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke races this season. Both of those came in the last two or three weeks of the season.
In the relays, the medley figures to be a heated battle between Cheyenne Central, Kelly Walsh, and Campbell County. KW and Jackson are neck and neck in the 200 freestyle relay, and it’s those same two teams in the 400 freestyle relay with the Broncs holding the faster time.
In the team race, Cheyenne Central has the role of favorite after winning the big meets throughout the 2022 season. Five-time defending champion Laramie, plus Kelly Walsh and Jackson are trying to close that gap.