CHEYENNE – Ellie Brewer has gotten to the point in her swimming career that she is no longer satisfied just to win or place highly in races.
Make no mistake, she enjoys winning; but she is more focused on time at the moment. The Cheyenne South junior is trying to take the times she posts during practice into competition. It’s something she is getting closer to doing, but it’s also something that remains elusive.
“I’ve been hitting times in practice that have my teammates asking when I’m going to swim that time during a meet,” Brewer said. “I really think it’s more of a mental barrier and less of a physical barrier.
“I know I can hit those times, but the more I focus on what I have to do to hit that time, the more my stroke falls apart and the worse I swim. In practice, I’m only worried about racing the person next to me.”
Brewer is doing plenty of winning as she tries to take her practice swims into competition.
She won the 200- and 500-freestyles during the Lady Bison’s dual win over visiting Thunder Basin on Friday. She followed that with wins in the 50 free and 100 butterfly during a triangular with Cheyenne East and Sheridan.
Those efforts earned Brewer Prep Athlete of the Week honors from WyoSports’ Cheyenne staff.
Brewer’s practice times aren’t far from her competition times, which she finds encouraging. South coach Jason Garman said Brewer has improved every week this season. He is confident Brewer’s best swims of the season are ahead of her when the Bison start scaling back on their yardage as the Class 4A state meet nears.
“All of our girls are broken down and tired,” Garman said. “Once (Brewer) gets that rest, she is going to be fine, and she is going to do awesome.”
Brewer admits to struggling with the practice workload each season she has been a high school swimmer. Unlike the past two seasons, though, Brewer is certain she’ll survive the year and be swimming her best come the state meet.
“Getting into the water is the hardest part this time of the season,” Brewer said with a laugh. “Once you’re there, it’s easy to get the workout done. I know it’s going to hurt, but it’s what I have to do to get better.
“Having great friends on the team really helps.”
The Bison have always been good about supporting each other, but that support is more palpable this fall, Brewer said.
“I can really tell that my team is behind me,” she said. “We’re trying to crush it every day.”
Brewer placed sixth in the 500 freestyle and eighth in the 200 at last fall’s Class 4A state meet. Garman isn’t sure what events she’ll swim at this year’s state meet.
“There is a variety of events she could do, but it’s on us to figure out where we think she’ll be the most successful,” he said. “Last year, we didn’t figure out her events until later in the season.
“Whatever we put her in right now, she is doing a good job with it.”
Others recognized for their efforts include:
-- Trey Bower, Graedyn Buell and Gavin Goff, football, Cheyenne East: Bower recorded 14 tackles (four solo) during the No. 1-ranked Thunderbirds’ 34-9 victory over Kelly Walsh.
Buell completed 20 of 29 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Goff caught seven passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
-- Sydney Morrell, girls cross-country, Cheyenne Central: The sophomore won the individual title at the Class 4A East Conference meet with a time of 20 minutes, 3.46 seconds.
-- Allie Robért, girls swimming, South: The junior won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 freestyle against Thunder Basin. She backed that with a win in the 100 breaststroke and a third-place effort in the 200 free against Cheyenne East and Sheridan.