CHEYENNE – Sally Osterman was excited for her sophomore swimming season.
She had missed out on qualifying for the Class 4A state meet during her freshman campaign at Cheyenne Central, but she had dropped time from several of her strokes and was confident she would swim at state.
But Osterman was plagued by stomach pain and illness that fall. She initially thought it was a common stomach illness, or something she ate disagreeing with her. Osterman tried to tough it out, but had to start seeing doctors to diagnose the chronic problem.
“Whenever I ate, I felt sick,” she said. “I finally had to go to an allergist to see if that’s what it was.”
Following the season, she was diagnosed as being allergic to eggs, dairy, rice and tomatoes. The diagnosis forced Osterman to change her diet.
Her health issues didn’t end there, though.
Osterman often found herself gasping for breath during workouts, and was eventually diagnosed with asthma.
She is thriving now that she has her allergies and asthma under control.
The senior won four events and took second in two more during six duals last week. Those efforts earned Osterman Prep Athlete of the Week honors from WyoSports’ Cheyenne staff.
Osterman qualified for state in the 100-yard butterfly as a sophomore, posting the 21st-fastest time during preliminaries. She reached state again last fall, finishing 13th in the 100 fly prelims and 16th in the 100 breaststroke prelims. Osterman also was part of the Lady Indians’ fifth-place 200 medley relay team.
“She was really struggling to figure out what was going on,” Central coach Mark Miller said. “I think her not qualifying for state her freshman year had a lot to do with inexperience, but I also wonder if some of it was her health issues.
“It seems like she is on the right path now, and she is having a great season.”
Osterman has won 10 races this season, finished as runner-up in five more and has taken third four times. This past weekend, Osterman touched the wall first in the 200 individual medley and 100 fly against Cheyenne South. She was first in the 200 freestyle and 500 free in a quadrangular with Thunder Basin, Sheridan and Casper Natrona County. Osterman finished her week with runner-up finishes in the 100 backstroke and 50 free in a triangular with Cheyenne East and Campbell County.
“I have a lot more endurance, and I’m dropping more time off my swims because my body isn’t wasting all that energy just trying to breathe,” said Osterman, who uses one inhaler four times daily, and another at practice. “There is significant improvement in practice, and I’m recovering a lot faster overall.”
Osterman would like to qualify for the championship finals in the 100 fly during her final state meet. She started this season by matching the time she posted at last year’s state meet. Osterman has consistently posted personal bests in the event throughout this season.
Miller said it’s not unreasonable to think Osterman can make the podium in both the 100 fly and 100 breaststroke.
“That 100 breast has kind of come out of nowhere,” he said. “She swam five seconds faster at the Laramie Pentathlon than she had before. It was an unexpected event, but something seems to have just clicked for her.
“She has held onto that time. So it’s been great to see her find another strong event.”
As much as changing her diet and treating her asthma have helped, Osterman is quick to point out that she fell in love with swimming as a freshman and has dedicated herself to the sport.
“Swimming is a way for me to relieve some of my anger, sadness and frustration,” she said. “It has helped me so much with school and life in general. It’s also something I can do for the rest of my life, and that’s pretty cool.”
Others recognized for their efforts include:
Chance Aumiller and Graedyn Buell, football, Cheyenne East: Aumiller, a senior, caught four passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the Thunderbirds 31-30 loss to Thunder Basin.
Buell, a junior, completed 19 of 30 passes for 286 yards and four touchdowns.
Porscha Cavanaugh and Emma Reed, girls swimming and diving, Central: Cavanaugh, a senior, won four events and placed second in another last week.
Reed, also a senior, won 1-meter diving at all three of the Lady Indians’ meets.
Cheyenne Central tennis: The Lady Indians went 4-0 on the week to improve to 11-0 in duals. Emily Needham (No. 1 singles), Cassadie Anderson and Sarah Foster (No. 1 doubles) and Tenley Keller and Gracie Osterland (No. 3 doubles) all went unbeaten during those duals.
The Central boys also were 4-0, sweeping Torrington, Rawlins and Rock Springs and beating Green River 4-1.
Liberty Edwards, girls swimming, Cheyenne South: The sophomore won four events and was second in another in three meets last week.
Carter Lobatos, football, Central: The junior rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries during the Indians’ 36-29 victory at Rock Springs. He also caught a touchdown pass.
Brendan Lock, boys tennis, Cheyenne South: The senior went 4-0 at No. 1 singles.
Mason Paskett, boys tennis, East: The junior went 4-0 at No. 1 singles.
Piper Perez, girls cross-country, Pine Bluffs-Burns: The senior won the Kimball (Nebraska) Invitational on Friday.
Lexie Woolridge, girls tennis, East: The junior was 4-0 on the week at the Lady T-Birds’ No. 1 singles spot.