Despite individual events, swimming is a team sport. The Great Bend Lady Panthers proved that Monday in their own Invite, winning only three of the 11 races, but winning the overall battle with 509 points. Late-entry Hutchinson grabbed second with 443 points, and a tired Dodge City team finished third with 413 points. Liberal and Thomas-More Prep also swam, finishing with 306 and 143 points, respectively.
“That’s exactly what I told them on Friday,” said Great Bend coach Stephanie Maier. “We’re not going to be first every time, but second, third, and fourth places, and adding up those points is going to be extremely important for us this year. We just don’t have those top sprinters. No matter which heat you’re in, you’ve got to compete.”
Hutchinson’s Kathleen Fee had the biggest day individually with two gold medals. She won the 200 IM by seven seconds in 2:27.96. She also dominated in the 100 Breastroke, dominating that shorter race by seven seconds in 1:12.55.
Great Bend’s Hannah Hildebrand won the 100 Backstroke by a second in 1:10.52. She also finished second as a fill-in in the 200 IM.
“I always try to mix them around a little bit and see where our team fits in best, and who is going to race against who best,” Maier said. “We lost Jessica Kuhlman from last year, who was great in the 200 IM, so I’m kind of putting some new girls in there to see maybe who can take her place.”
Dodge City, competing in its third meet in just five days after opening the season last Thursday, won three of the first four races and swept the relay events despite missing a swimmer.
“My girls are running on empty a little bit,” Dodge City coach Deena Hamilton said. “They performed really well considering that. We didn’t really drop a lot of time, maybe added a second here or there, but overall they performed better than I expected them too after the week we’ve had.”
The relay teams had already pulled down state consideration times last week in Wichita, but were unable to take the next step on Monday.
“They may not have gotten that consideration time, but they still pulled through for me,” Hamilton said. “They got us the points we needed for third place. I couldn’t be disappointed with that showing today.”
Top five finishers in each event:
200 Medley Relay
1. Dodge City, 2:08.26; 2. Great Bend, 2:14.32; 3. Hutchinson, 2:14.44; 4. Liberal, 2:23.55; 5. TMP, 2:32.14.
1. Kari Keahey, DC, 2:24.35; 2. Brenna Haines, GB, 2:27.47; 3. Alyssa Danler, HHS, 2:34.02; 4. Paige Young, LHS, 2:40.41; 5. Madeline Vesta, GB, 2:44.20.
1. Jenny Delzeit, DC, 28.29; 2. Jamie Allen, LHS, 28.81; 3. Beth Channell, TMP, 29.32; 4. Talia Falcon, DC, 29.37, 5. Michaela Cape, GB, 29.72.
1. Madeline Vesta, GB, 1:17.17; 2. Claire Stockton, HHS, 1:25.41; 3. Hollie Herbel, TMP, 1:25.81; 4. Katlin Fuel, GB, 1:26.20; 5. Taylor Apsley, LHS, 1:27.68.
1. Zhu Zhu Lundin Daniels, DC, 58.66; 2. Grace Royle, DC, 59.01; 3. Kari Keahey, DC, 1:05.40; 4. Beth Channell, TMP, 1:05.90, Ashton Fee, HHS, 1:08.27.