The winter sports post-season opened last weekend with the Laramie Plainsmen swimming and diving, who finished in second place at the conference championships.

The 4A East Conference Swimming and Diving championships were last Friday and Saturday in Gillette.

Laramie compiled 261 points and came in behind the host Camels, who scored 346 points and captured 11 of the 12 events.

Head coach Tom Hudson said he was only concerned about effort at conference, which he said was good.

“We placed a lot of guys in the meet that normally I didn’t think would place. We swam really tough on Friday in the prelims. Then, we were really tired on Saturday, so that performance wasn’t quite as good; but the effort was there, and now it’s time to taper and get ready for the meet that matters.”

Hudson’s referring to the State Championships February 26 and 27.

The Plainsmen didn’t win an event. They came in second place four times. LHS was runner-up in all three relays, and freshman Noah Richardson added a second in the 100 backstroke.

Laramie added four new state qualifiers, which met their goal of 16. Seniors Travis Hamel and Sam Herndon made the mark in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, respectively; junior Alex Buckman qualified in the 100 butterfly; and freshman Connor Fontana got two marks in the 200 and 500 freestyle.

The Plainsmen head to a last chance meet in Cheyenne at South High School Friday at 4 p.m.

Nordic Skiing

The Laramie Plainsmen dominated their home Laramie Invite at the Happy Jack Ski Area east of town.

In the 5K Freestyle race last Friday, Colin Rucinski led the way individually, as he placed second by one-tenth of a second. Teammates Albert Steiner and Liam McInroy were third and fourth.

McInroy led a 1-2-3 sweep of Saturday’s 10K Classic race. He won by 12 seconds over Steiner, with Lucas Thorsness in third.

Hailey Schmidt was sixth in the freestyle race and 11th in the classic race. Both results led the Lady Plainsmen.

No team scores were kept.

Laramie now prepares for the State Nordic Ski Meet February 26 and 27 in Casper.

Wrestling

In their final dual at the LHS gym, the Plainsmen took care of business with a 43-28 dual victory over South last Thursday.

Laramie benefitted with a pair of wins by fall from Idris Elias at 126 pounds and Arsenio Lemus at 132. Kaden Schriner, at 152, and Carless Looney, at 170 pounds, both won by technical fall. Senior Will Kozlowski on senior night won a dramatic 3-1 sudden victory. The Plainsmen also earned three wins via forfeit.

They head to Gillette this Friday and Saturday for the 4A East Regional Wrestling Championships.

Indoor Track & Field

The Plainsmen tied for first with Cheyenne Central, while the Lady Plainsmen came in second, as Laramie hosted the Shine Indoor Invite last Friday at War Memorial Fieldhouse.

Laramie came in first place in seven events and scored 145 points. They won all three relays, the 4X200, 4X400 and 4X800. Zach Ziegler captured the 55 hurdles. McCade Johnson won the 400. Chris Henry took first in the 1600 and Nate Albers tied for the top spot in the pole vault.

The Lady Plainsmen scored 106 points and finished behind the Natrona Fillies, who scored 140.5 points.

The Laramie girls won the 4X400 and 4X800 relays. They also came in second in the 4X200 relay. Individual results had Caely Pickerd finish in second in the 55 hurdles. Pickerd added a pair of third places in the long jump and triple jump. Katie Reynolds was runner-up in the 200 and fifth in the 55. Amanda Cattles added a third in the high jump.

Select members of the squads head to the Simplot Games in Pocatello, ID Thursday through Saturday.

Alpine Skiing

Both Laramie High School teams came in fifth place at the Cody Invitational in Red Lodge, MT.

The Plainsmen scored 19 points and were paced by Garrett Webb’s seventh place finish Friday.

The Lady Plainsmen scored 15 points and were led by Ali Stark’s tenth place showing Saturday.

Jackson won both team titles.

Laramie heads back to Casper for the next competition this weekend.