Laramie boys swimming dynasty continues with sixth straight 4A title

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 12:02 AM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - They say the more things change the more they stay the same, and that could not apply any better to the Plainsmen boys swim team.

Legendary coach Tom Hudson retired from coaching last year after three decades of guiding Laramie, but his replacement was a familiar face. Tamara Bretting was an assistant under Hudson for the last 14 years-- including the streak of five straight 4A championships entering this season.

What certainly did not change was Laramie’s dominance, as they made it six in a row over the weekend. Bretting acknowledged that although she had big shoes to fill, the team couldn’t have responded any better to the new leadership.

“The pressure to win wasn’t really there. Our boys team was so weighted compared to the rest of the 4A class that we didn’t really have to worry too much about that. But there’s still a lot of pressure as far as having a new person step in is always going to be a transitional phase. I was really grateful to the team because they trusted me, and went with what I told them to do, and listened, and it turned out great,” Bretting said.

The championship was a runaway victory for Laramie; they had a 94 point margin of victory over second place Central thanks to winning five out of the 12 events in the meet.

Senior Garrett Rees was a huge part of that success, as he took first place in the 50 free, helped win the 200 and 400 free relays, and also placed second in the 100 free to make him the Plainsmen’s leading scorer.

Now that his career at Laramie officially came to a close, he was very proud of his growth and ability to achieve his goals.

“I mean this year was definitely my best because this is the first time I ever got a state champion title in an individual event. That’s been something I’ve been chasing ever since my freshman year. It was really great to see. Especially going up against guys like [Rock Springs’] John Spicer who’s been beating me for the past two years or so, and finally getting one over on him. It was a really great moment,” Rees said.

His confidence was palpable; when asked about the moment he knew the team was going to win, he replied with a smile, “when I was on the bus heading up there.”

How could it not be? He and the rest of this Plainsmen team have never known anything but winning championships.