What a deal. Cody swimmer TC Hansen got to feel like a king twice in one week.
After four years of trying, last Tuesday the Bronc senior recorded a state-meet qualifying time in his favorite event, the 100-yard breaststroke.
At the Cody-Worland-Powell Triangular in Worland, Hansen clocked a time of 1:17.89 seconds, slipping under the 3A championship qualifying standard by .11 seconds after coming close almost every week of the season.
When he touched the wall, Hansen glanced up at the scoreboard and thought, “Am I looking at the right person?”
He was. And teammates celebrated for him. Bradley Fick was at the end of the pool and greeted Hansen first.
“It was definitely a bro hug,” Hansen said of the response.
The team scores in the meet were Powell 169, Cody 105; Worland 140, Cody 107.
While Hansen was giddy on the pool deck afterwards, it might have been short of the singing and dancing required of him as King Triton in the CHS musical “The Little Mermaid,” to be performed in late March.
“It was thrilling,” Hansen said of finally breaking the breaststroke barrier. “I’m extremely happy. It’s a relief I don’t have to hit that qualifying.”
Fick won the 100-yard freestyle in 57.27 seconds and Porter Laing won the diving with 171.20 points.
Also in the meet, freshman Joseph Killpack joined Fick, a sophomore, as one of two Cody swimmers to qualify for seven individual events for the state meet in Laramie on Feb. 20-21.
Killpack placed second in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:13.02 and won the 100 bacstroke in 1:03.75.
“That was pretty nice,” Killpack said of qualifying in all individual events besides the 100 breaststroke and diving.
“For a freshman, that’s really doing good, to say the least,” coach Jason Koperski said. “He just goes after stuff.”
Killpack believes he will target the 200 individual medley and the backstroke for state, but is looking forward to the Feb. 7 conference meet at Rawlins too.
“We get to taper for conference,” Killpack said of chances to go even faster after backing off from hard training.
Koperski laughed about Fick and Killpack’s breaststroke omission in qualifying.
“It starts to get a little embarrassing when your coach is a breaststroker,” Koperski said of when he swam for Cody.
Junior Andrew Eissinger has not qualified for state in the 50-yard freestyle, but over the last year he has notched dramatic time improvements.
Not long ago Eissinger was swimming the distance in 31-plus seconds. Then he broke 30. Then he broke 29. Now his personal best is 28.75 seconds.
When he saw that clocking, Eissinger said, “Dang, a new PR. Just hard work. I felt really good. I was working out on my own.”
Next up for Eissinger? Breaking one minute in the 100 freestyle.
Teams: Powell 169, Cody 105; Worland 140, Cody 107. Powell 140, Worland 124.
200-yard medley relay: 3) Cody (Joseph Killpack, TC Hansen, Anbo Yao, Bradley Fick), 2:01.73 seconds.
200 freestyle: 2) Killpack, 2:13.02; 4) Yao, 2:27.42; 5) Peter Kim, 2:34.98; 8) Helaman Hansen, 3:21.49.
200 individual medley: 4) Ian Graham, 3:12.37.
50 freestyle: 6) Fick, 25.66; 9) Joren Vipperman, 26.56; 16) Dillon Romero, 28.82; 18) Andrew Eissinger, 29.60; 20 TC Hansen, 29.84; 22) Kyle Graham, 31.77; 25) Andrew Thomas, 34.21.
1-meter diving: 1) Porter Laing, 171.20 points.
100 butterfly: 3) Yao, 1:11.26; 4) Laing, 1:23.79.
100 freestyle: 1) Fick, 57.27; 5) Vipperman, 1:01.13; 7) Trevor Freyder, 1:05.02; 10) Kim, 1:11.00; 12) K. Graham, 1:13.31; 14) Thomas, 1:28.24.
500 freestyle: 3) Tanner Barton, 7:29.01.
200 freestyle relay: 5) Cody (Freyder, Eissinger, Kim, Max Peters), 2:01.46; 6) Laing, I. Graham, K. Graham, TC Hansen), 2:01.89; 7) Cody (Yao, Thomas, Barton, Romero), 2:06.33.
100 backstroke: 1) Killpack, 1:03.75; 11) Peters, 1:21.95; 15) Eissinger, 1:29.76; 16) H. Hansen, 1:49.52.
100 breaststroke, 5) TC Hansen, 1:17.89.
400 freestyle relay: 3) Cody (Vipperman, Laing, Killpack, Fick), 4:10.28.