A new season of high school boys’ swimming and diving begins at home this weekend with the Laramie Plainsmen looking to stay on top of Class 4A.

Laramie has a nice little streak of three straight championships going between girls (2017), boys (’18), and girls (’18). Can they keep it going?

Head coach Tom Hudson believes there will be several teams contending for the top spot in 2019.

“It’s gonna be a really close one, again. There’s four quality teams, in my opinion, that are in the run. Same teams as last year, Laramie, Thunder Basin, Green River, and Kelly Walsh. I also think (Cheyenne) Central’s made some strides in getting better, but those first four are the ones I think are gonna be the contenders, and right now, I look at it as a wide-open deal.”

Last season’s boy’s state championship came down to the last race, and LHS beat out Thunder Basin by two points, 226-to-224.

Hudson does like that their numbers are up a little bit this year. The roster stands around 30 now, and that’s aided by 10 new freshmen. Hudson feels they’ll have a good balance of power and depth.

The defending champion Plainsmen return two-event state champion Max DeYoung, a junior, who won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke races last February. He is one of four returning All-State swimmers or divers on the roster. There’s a total of seven state qualifiers back for LHS going into the 2018-19 season.

Hudson said of DeYoung, “He was the state Swimmer of the Meet last year. He’s only a junior this year. We’re going to miss him the first two meets because he’s at nationals. He made nationals over the summer in the 100 backstroke, so he’s there this weekend, and that just shows how good he is. We can put Max anywhere, and he’s going to give us a great effort, and have a shot at winning a title.”

He also pointed to senior Christopher Bury in diving and swimming, plus seniors Noah Richardson and Connor Fontana that will lead the squad.

Bury joined KOWB’s David Settle for a sit down about this new season. He talked about going for another title, his push to excel on the board and in the pool, the team, some fun items, and more.

Hudson admitted, “We’re not going to have a hugely deep team, like the girls’ team (that just won state in November) with 26 state qualifiers, or anything like that, but in boy’s swimming here in the state of Wyoming, you don’t really need that. If we can get 12-to-15 kids qualified, then we’ll be in the running.”

He feels anywhere that DeYoung swims, they will be good, plus he like their strength on the diving board, and in the distance freestyle events. Hudson admits they are weak in the breaststroke, both for the medley relay and the event.

Much like the Lady Plainsmen in the fall, the Laramie Plainsmen are going west for their conference championship. They actually lost out on hosting the conference meet in the switch, and instead must travel to Evanston in February. Hudson says their schedule has them more on the road than at home, but they do have three of their first four competitions in Laramie.

That starts this weekend with the Laramie Relays Friday and the Laramie Pentathlon on Saturday at LHS.

The Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships will be February 14 and 15 at the Campbell County Aquatics Center in Gillette.

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