Kyle Graham’s unplanned marathon brought out a personal cheering section as the Cody swimmer was thrown into the 500-yard freestyle for the first time.

“It felt kind of long,” said Graham, who did not know coach Jason Koperski was going to enter him in high school swimming’s longest event until the bus ride to Powell on Tuesday afternoon.

In a tri-meet at the Powell Aquatic Center, the Broncs placed third behind Powell, 405 points, and Worland, 319 points, with 215.

Most often, Graham, a freshman, swims the 50, and he had never given the 500 a shot.

It was a little bit of a scary proposition, but employing a steady stroke, Graham finished in 8 minutes, 16.54 seconds, a respectable clocking for a first-timer.

Graham’s teammates clustering together at each end of the pool to scream support each time he completed a lap,

He did falter momentarily halfway through.

“When I got to halfway, I thought, ‘Oh, shoot, I have to do this all over again,’” Graham said.

The Broncs received good swims from several competitors.

Freshman Joseph Killpack, who has already posted state qualifying times in five events, set two personal bests, trimming three seconds in the 200 individual medley in 2:26.59 and four seconds off his backstroke best in 1:04.08.

“I’ll take it. I definitely am stronger,” Killpack said. “I’m focusing on technique.”

Junior Trevor Freyder has been fighting the battle of becoming a butterly swimmer, perhaps the most technical stroke. Three meets in a row he was disqualified before recording a legal time.

“I just felt like I got my technique down,” Freyder.

He is persevering in the event because Koperski thinks he has potential.

Freyder began the season setting a personal best of 27.14 seconds in the 50.

“I thought, ‘All right, I’m starting out the year strong,’” Freyder said.

But then he stalled out and hasn’t broken 27 yet.

“I can’t figure it out,” he said. “I’m hitting my head on the ceiling.”

That has not been true for freshman Joren Vipperman, who has been setting diverse personal records. He is down to 1:01.53 in the 100 freestyle and a 58.50 3A state meet qualifying time beckons.

“He’s nipping at it,” Koperski said.

A qualifying time is far enough out of reach to wonder, but close enough to wish.

“I hope so,” Vipperman said. “It would be nice.”

Graham thinks his background as a cross-country runner gave him the necessary stamina for the 500.

He pondered whether he might yet become a long-distance swimmer, as well as runner.

At the least, Graham was pretty sure the extra yards of racing might allow him to sleep better that night.

“I will,” he said.

Powell Triangular

Teams: Powell 405; Worland 319; Cody 215.

Cody Individuals

200-yard medley relay: 3) Cody (Joseph Killpack, TC Hansen, Bradley Fick, Joren Vipperman), 2 minutes, 1.99 seconds.

200 freestyle: 2) Fick, 2:07.51; 7) Vipperman, 2:24.93.

200 individual medley: 3) Killpack, 2:26.59; 7) Max Peters 3:00.34.

50 freestyle: 6) Freyder, 27.51; 7) Anbo Yao, 27.81; 10) Dillon Romero, 28.59; 11) Peter Kim, 28.95; 14) Andrew Eissinger, 29.22; 15) Ethan Hope, 29.29; 18) Tanner Barton, 30.30; 20) Ian Graham, 32.21; 21) Kyle Graham, 32.46; 22) Andrew Thomas, 35.55; 24) Helaman Hansen, 40.21.

100 butterly: 3) Yao, 1:11.13.

100 freestyle: 7) Vipperman, 1:02.78; 8) Kim, 1:04.63; 11) Romero, 1:05.30; 12) Eissinger, 1:05.39; 13) Barton, 1:09.07; 14) Hope, 1:09.60; 16) Thomas, 1:25.39; 17) H. Hansen, 1:30.94.

500 freestyle: 4) K. Graham, 8:16.54.

200 freestyle relay: 4) Cody (Barton, Eissinger, Hope, Freyder), 1:57.78; 5) Cody (Peters, Kim, Yao, Romero), 1:58.79.

100 backstroke: 2) Killpack, 1:04.08; 6) Peters, 1:20.17; 8) Freyder, 1:28.16; 9) I. Graham, 1:29.58.

100 breaststroke: 5) TC Hansen, 1:20.12; 10 Fick, 1:23.52.

400 freestyle relay: 3) Cody (Romero, Vipperman, Killpack, Fick), 4:11.68.

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