CHEYENNE – Izzy DeLay always excelled at breaststroke while coming up through the youth swimming ranks.
However, the variety of events offered at club meets kept DeLay from devoting much attention to the stroke.
“I did so many events that I was kind of all over the place,” the Cheyenne Central sophomore said. “I was constantly better at one event than another, but breaststroke has always been one of my better events.”
DeLay was able to start devoting more attention to breaststroke last fall and established herself as one of the best in the state at the event. She placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Wyoming Class 4A state meet, finishing less than a half-second behind Campbell County’s Skye Rehard.
This fall, DeLay has the fastest 100 breast time in Class 4A (1 minute, 8.41 seconds). She posted that time at the Central-East duals Sept. 24 in Cheyenne. Rehard also competed at that meet and finished in 1:08.69, which is the second-fastest time in 4A this year.
While DeLay is excelling in the breaststroke, she continues to be one of Wyoming’s strongest all-around swimmers.
Last week, DeLay won the 100 and 200 freestyles in a dual with Cheyenne South. She followed that by winning the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke at the South Quadrangular.
Those efforts earned DeLay Prep Athlete of the Week honors from WyoSports’ Cheyenne staff.
In addition to having the fastest breaststroke time in the state, DeLay has the second-fastest time in the 200 individual medley (2:17.18), third-best 50 free time (24.94 seconds) and fifth-best time in the 100 backstroke (1:04.31). Her 200 IM time of 2.28 seconds was just behind Campbell County senior Berkeley Christensen, who has verbally committed to continue her career at the University of Wyoming.
DeLay is just outside the top 5 in the 100 free (sixth) and is in the top 15 in the 100 butterfly (10th), 200 freestyle (11th) and 500 freestyle (14th). DeLay has beaten the state qualifying standard in all of those events.
“She is good at everything,” second-year Central coach Josh Bott said. “If she really buckled down and got after it like she has in breaststroke, she could be really good at every event.
“Where we put her comes down to how we match up against the other teams. We want her to be our breaststroker and then fill in another event where she can score points. Her times speak for themselves.”
DeLay is confident she can swim even faster at state, since this year’s season-best is less than a second off last year’s. In the meantime, she is working on honing her technique and making sure she is always going forward during the breaststroke.
“You have to make sure you’re set and balanced, otherwise your kick can pull you backward more than it pushes you forward,” she said. “I usually know how I’m going to do in breaststroke as soon as I jump in the pool and start warming up for a meet.
“It’s pretty rare, but there are some days you can tell you just don’t have it because your technique is a little off that day for some reason. I try to work out of it during warm-ups, but that’s not always easy.”
DeLay has been able to avoid several of those off-days because she has a strong feel for the water and is focused on proper technique, Bott said.
“Breaststroke is a tricky event, but she wants to talk after every single race and know what she looked like and what she can improve on,” the coach said. “That’s the only stroke where you’re straight up out of the water at any time. If you’re coming up too high, or your timing is a little bit off, it can stop you in the middle of every stroke.
“She is aware of her body position and keeping her momentum going in the right direction.”
Others recognized for their efforts include:
n Ethan Brinkman, Trevor Eldridge, Drew Jackson and Cade Pugh, football, Cheyenne East: Brinkman, a junior, posted 13 tackles (four solo) during the Thunderbirds’ 33-27 win over Central.
Eldridge, also a junior, had 9.5 tackles (three solo and 1.5 for loss) and an interception in that contest.
Jackson, a sophomore, finished with three catches for 101 yards. He also rushed for nine yards and a touchdown on four carries.
Pugh, a senior, rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. He also had nine tackles (two solo) and a pass breakup.
n Kira Brownell, girls swimming, Central: The senior won the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly against Cheyenne South. She followed that with wins in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the South Quadrangular.
n Eli Castillo, football, Central: The senior linebacker had eight tackles (four solo) and a blocked kick during the Indians’ 33-27 loss at Cheyenne East.
n Alison Crock and Elysiana Fonseca, volleyball, East: Crock, a senior, dished out 25 assists during the Lady Thunderbirds’ sweep of Cheyenne Central.
Fonseca, a junior, had 16 kills in that match.
n Jacob Frentheway, boys cross-country, Central: The senior won the Leroy Sprague Invitational in 16 minutes, 10.18 seconds to help the Indians win the team title.
n Diomena Mercer, Emma Norris and Rylee Jo Ward, volleyball, Burns: Mercer, a senior, averaged 16 digs to help the Lady Broncs go 1-1 last week.
Norris, a junior, had 23 kills and 21 digs in those matches.
Ward, a senior, dished out 55 assists to go with 19 digs.
n Kaya Pillivant, girls cross-country, Central: The senior won the Leroy Sprague Invitational in 18 minutes, 50.62 seconds to help the Lady Indians also claim the team title at the meet.