By Lauren Sampl, Swimming World intern
GILLETTE, Wyoming, November 6. CAMPBELL County racked up 378 points to easily win the 4A state championships held in Gillette from October 28-30th. The Camels finished atop the podium in every event except diving en route to the team title. Laramie and East finished just 17 points apart to round out the top three teams, with final team scores of 217 and 200 points, respectively.
Shaya Shaedler, Ashley Ochsner, Kelsey Ochsner and Jade Ely got the ball rolling for Campbell with a dominating performance in the opening 200 medley relay. The Camels won by more than seven seconds, touching in an eye-popping time of 1:45.53, a new state record. It was the fourth straight state title for Campbell in the event. Laramie finished second in 1:52.65, while East snared third place in 1:53.77.
Fresh off her team's state-record performance in the relay, Shaya Shaedler raced to a victory of her own, taking the 200 free crown in 1:52.45 and just missing her state record of 1:51.53 from prelims. Gabi Summers of Central earned second place honors with a time of 1:55.97, and Jonna Brown of East grabbed third place in 2:01.46.
The race for the 200 IM state title went down to the wire, as Ashley Ochsner of Campbell out-touched teammate Brooke Lang, 2:14.58 to 2:14.80 for the win. Mariah Miller of Central completed the podium with a third place effort of 2:16.01.
Campbell continued to impress as Brenda Bishop sprinted to victory in the 50 free, winning by just over a tenth of a second in 24.93. Teammate Jade Ely was close behind in 25.05, and Haley Hance made it a clean sweep for the Camels with her third place showing of 25.65.
In the diving well, Kari Campbell and Emily Williams provided a 1-2 punch for Laramie, finishing with scores of 396.90 and 384.75, respectively. It was the second state title in a row for Campbell, as she won the event last year with 374.80 points. Hannah Ostrem picked up more points for Campbell County, finishing in third place with 355.50 points.
Campbell County returned to dominance following the diving break, with freshman Kelsey Ochsner racing to a convincing win in the 100 fly in a sizzling time of 56.29. Ochsner just missed the new state record she set during prelims of 56.01. Heidi Hanekamp of Laramie finished a distant second in 1:00.63, and Brooke Lang of Campbell claimed third in 1:01.69.
The 100 free proved to be the closest race of the meet, with the top two finishers separated by just two one-hundredths of a second. Brenda Bishop of Campbell got her hand on the wall just ahead of Gabi Summers of Central, with the pair finishing in times of 53.70 and 53.72, respectively. Jade Ely of Campbell added to her second place finish in the 50 free with a third place effort of 54.57.
Another close battle unfolded in the 500 free, as Kelsey Ochsner came back shortly after her 100 fly victory to earn a second state title in the 500 free. She narrowly out-touched second place finisher Larisa Jones of Kelly Walsh, 5:17.94 to 5:18.25. Mariah Miller added another third place medal to her collection with her time of 5:23.80.
The seemingly unstoppable ladies of Campbell County teamed up for their second relay victory of the meet, this time in the 200 free relay. Brooke Lang, Brenda Bishop, Haley Hance, and Jade Ely posted a time of 1:41.33 for the win. The squad from Laramie earned second in 1:42.50, and Central took third in 1:45.30.
Shaya Shaedler, on a record-setting rampage, established her second 4A state record of the weekend on her way to the 100 back title, posting a fantastic time of 55.96. Shaedler has won the event at each of the last three state meets. Not far behind her were Sarah Morgan of Laramie (57.87) and Robyn Meeks of East (59.79).
Ashley Ochsner, not to be outdone by sister Kelsey, was crowned state champion in the 100 breast, stopping the clock in an impressive time of 1:07.62. It was her second state title of the meet, giving both Ochsner sisters two state crowns apiece. Joining her on the podium was Jonna Brown of East in 1:09.42 and Julie Schmitt of Kelly Walsh in 1:11.44.
Campbell County put a final stamp on the meet with a 10 second victory over Laramie in the 400 free relay, crushing the state record in the process. Shaya Shaedler, Kelsey Ochsner, Brooke Lang, and Brenda Bishop clocked a time of 3:34.40 to close out what was a historic meet for the lady Camels. East's relay earned second place honors in 3:44.64, and Central posted a time of 3:48.03 to round out the top three finishers.