Werbelow debuts impressively for WHS

by nathan oster

Students from Greybull and Riverside high schools continue to excel as members of the Worland Warrior swim team.

Coach Kim Wyman reported a number of breakthroughs from Thursday’s home dual against Powell and a seven-team invitatational Saturday in Powell.

On Thursday, Taylor Werbelow, an Emblem teen who attends RHS, was the big story. In her first weekend of competition, she took second in the 500 freestyle, swimming a 29.24, which is just a shade off the state qualifying standard (28.5) in the event.

“We expect as she continues her training this goal is very attainable and exciting as well,” said Wyman.

Werbelow also joined Elizabeth Dietrich, of GHS, and two Worland girls on the 200 medley relay team which took top honors.

In other highlights, Brianna Jolley, fresh off her qualifying performance in the 100 fly, improved her time in the 50 freestyle with a 32.4 and is “showing her strength each week,” while Brittany Butz “improved her breaststroke by taking off several seconds from last week, showing her fortitude and endurance.”

Saturday’s invitational in Powell featured the home team as well as Jackson, Lander, Buffalo, Cody, Riverton and Worland.  Among the highlights of that meet:

• Jolley placed 14th out of 40 swimmers in the 200 free.  In the 100 backstroke, she was 12th, coming within five seconds of a qualifying time.

• Kara Michelena was among a quartet of swimmer who drew praise from the coach for showing “internal courage and mental toughness” for swimming the grueling 500 freestyle (20 laps) — and then following that up with legs on a 200 freestyle relay team.

• Dietrich and Werbelow swam legs on Worland’s top 200 free relay team, which placed seventh out of 25 teams. “Each sprinter covered the length of the pool and back 30 seconds or under,” said Wyman. “What’s fun about that is that it is only going to get better as we near the halfway point of our regular season.”

• Werbelow placed 16th and Dietrich 17th in the 100 breaststroke, with Werbelow coming within two seconds of qualifying.

• In the 400 freestyle relay, a team featuring Werbelow and Dietrich placed fifth out of 22 teams.

The swimmers will be in Buffalo on Friday and in Newcastle Saturday.