Kelly Walsh Win Their First Girls Swimming and Diving State Title

Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 11:43 AM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Last weekend history was made for Kelly Walsh, as they managed to capture their first ever state title for girls swimming and diving. Heading into this season they knew if they wanted to claim first, they’d have to change their approach a bit.

Coach Nick Hopson wanted to work on different situations saying, “I knew the possibility was there, I kind of thought that we had a chance to be in the top 3 last year and we took a different approach as far as our training. We really worked on the mental side as far as training, how to deal with different pressure situations and what not like that.”

The entire season has been a buildup of momentum for them, and they felt by mid-season that the state title was not just a dream.

“We kind of knew we had a shot at it, but it was kind of like an idea we had in our head. We didn’t really think we could do it until about mid-season when everyone was like ‘oh yeah like you know we’re actually competing and winning these other meets,’ " said Chayse Schierkolk.

Sydney Rogers said, “I think that it was our swim meet at East, knowing that like we beat everyone at East because that was like most of the teams at States. So, knowing like that we did that I definitely think that like made it like realize that we actually do have a chance to win State.

With the whole team buying in the season rapidly approached to the state finals, and the Lady Trojans fought on. Chayse Schierkolk took the 50 and 100 free style and the team not only won the 200 free relays but set the new school record for the event.

“I think yeah because I feel like when we won that relay it really brought the momentum up everyone was really hype and really supportive and I think winning that it really brought momentum into the 100 breast 100 back and our final relay of the day,” said Shea Opdhal.

The relay team has been swimming with each other for 3 years now, and through all of the trials they faced they always had each other’s backs.

Chayse said, “We all 4 on that relay hold each other accountable. There’s not 1 meet that we swam at that we were like ‘oh like this person swam bad’ you know like we always uplifted each other and we knew we could do it.”

“I think it was pretty important like those girls definitely made me like... really like a better team mate, a better person like, I’m just glad I’ve gotten to swim with Chayse and Maggie and Shea the past 3 years,” said Sydney.

Shea said, “It meant so much like this team is really, it’s a family for me honestly like I love every single one of these girls they’re all so supportive, and seeing us all grow throughout the entire year it was just so, it was phenomenal honestly.”

Once they found out they won, it was an atmosphere like no other.

With the state title almost in their grasp, Sydney said, “So after my 100 breast I did go over because I like lead the Go-Big-Green for the 4 by 1 and everyone like was looking at me and they go like ‘did we win this?’ and I go like ‘Yes guys, we just won.’ because I just found out we won. And everyone just like started cheering and it was just, it was like really fun I never want that with any other team but this one.”

“We were constantly asking like ‘are we still seeded 1?’ like ‘are we, do we have a shot to win?’ and when we went into State Finals we knew we were going to win that relay and everyone was super hype and so it was just super exciting,” said Chayse.

Shea said the feeling, “It was amazing I... All the girls... Everyone earned it and we all deserved it and it was really, really nice to be around everyone and all of our hard work paid off.”

Congratulations to the Kelly Walsh girls swimming and diving team!