It wasn’t a win, but the Laramie Plainsmen closed the gap on Gillette and finished runner-up last Friday at the Laramie Holiday Swim Invite.

Laramie High School head coach Tom Hudson said it was a great and gritty performance by the team.

“Generally that meet is a tough meet to get through, because it’s at the end of our (holiday) training camp, and it was. The guys really stepped up and competed hard. There was a great bunch of guys here for competition; 12 teams which was bigger than we’ve had (for our home holiday meet) in a long time.”

Laramie won four events and scored 245.5 points as a team. That put LHS only 15 points behind the Camels, who won the meet with 260.5 team points. Rock Springs, Kelly Walsh and Green River rounded out the top five of the team standings.

The Plainsmen broke through thanks to victories in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. They touched out Gillette by .25 seconds in the medley, while the free relay was even closer. LHS won by .08 seconds.

Hudson pointed to one part of their line-up that’s recently improved.

“Really working for us right now is the combinations that we’re trying on our relays… just playing with different combinations, and it’s given our guys a little bit of confidence to try those different ways… The relays have kind of been the impetus for the team to be spurred on.”

Freshman Max DeYoung won the 100 backstroke by over a second, while sophomore Chris Bury captured diving by just over 12 points.

LHS didn’t get any new state qualifiers in the non-scored pre-invite last Thursday or this meet last Friday. They remain with nine on the season.

Laramie returns to the pool Tuesday with a road double-dual. They face the South Bison and East Thunderbirds at Cheyenne South High School at 4 p.m.