A new era of Laramie High School Swimming and Diving starts this weekend with the first meet under new head coach Tamara Bretting.

Laramie begins the 2022 season at the Gillette Relays and Gillette Pentathlon on Friday and Saturday.

Bretting admitted on Wednesday that practice is definitely weird.

“Not having Tom (Hudson) here after 14 years of working with him, it’s just strange. All those questions where I just used to say that’s a Tom question, go ask him, are now my responsibility, so that’s strange, but it’s going really well. We have a small but mighty group, and yeah, we’re excited.”

There are 38 swimmers and divers on the team this fall. That includes 11 seniors. Bretting sees the hard work they are putting in at practice. Those are going well and are not 100 percent the same as before.

“I’m trying to offer a little bit of variety, in letting them pick their challenge level, as far as, different interval sets and things like that. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from that, but I’m also doing a lot of drills, so I’m giving them a little bit of a break, here and there, and that’s a little bit different from what they’re used to, but I think they’re really liking it.”

KOWB spoke to seniors Maya Peterson and Ashlyn Mathes regarding the new season. They spoke about how different it is, some adjustments Coach Bretting has made, dealing with the streak, trying to enjoy the season and still come out on top, and more.

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LHS has won five consecutive Class 4A girls’ swimming & diving state championships. They return 15 state qualifiers and two all-state swimmers to the 2022 squad. The two all-state performers are Mathes and Peterson. Mathes is the two-time defending state champion in the 500-freestyle race. Laramie has also won the last five 400-freestyle relay titles.

With all that experience returning, can you say favorite, again?

Bretting knows they are the in the favorite role but says it’s just one day at a time. “We just know our training regimen has worked, and I’m not straying far enough to make it any different.”

She doesn’t think the team is feeling the pressure of a target on their back yet, saying that will come closer to the state championships, which Laramie will host in November.

LHS has six home dates on its schedule over the next two months. Their first home meet will be a double-dual versus the two Gillette schools. Laramie will host a big state preview meet on Oct. 15. The conference championships are in Casper at Kelly Walsh on Oct. 21 and 22. The state championships are on Nov. 4 and 5 at home.

There might be a change in the head coach, but the goal remains the same. LHS wants to be at the top of the podium on Nov. 5, 2022.

In case you missed it, here's an introductory interview from last month with new Laramie head coach Tamara Bretting.

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