Counter up: Two state medals for Seacat
     2012-03-01      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen
Seacat Triniti Counter breaks the the school record for the girls 50 yard freestyle with a record 25.14, qualifying her for state at the Twin City Invitional on Jan. 21. Counter performed well at the state level, breaking yet another school record in the 100 yard freestyle during preliminaries with a 53.87 time.
 
LINCOLN — Triniti Counter may not have won gold in either of her events at the NSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships last weekend but she came away with a double-medal performance and a school record to lead a proud Scottsbluff/Gering Seacats program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bob Devaney Sports Center’s aquatic arena.

Counter set a program record in the preliminaries of the 100-yard freestyle with her time of 53.87 seconds, a mark that shattered Nicole DeBrie’s 2007 record by more than one second.

Counter had to settle for fourth in the 100 freestyle final, in 54.13 seconds. But she was third in the 200 freestyle in 1:56.65.
Older sister Taylor Counter won the 100-yard breaststroke last year and is making a splash at Western Kentucky University this season.
Seacats coach Mike Hayhurst said Triniti still has plenty of which to be proud after a strong career and a stellar senior season.

“She performed really well at state and it will only help her because her times dropped in both events, and that will really help her,” Hayhurst said of the younger Counter, who is also looking to swim at an NCAA Division I program like her sister.

“They swam for me through our club team, they work hard and our leaders by what they say and what they do,” Hayhurst said of the Counter sisters. “They never complained about the hours or yardage they they had to put in, and they talked it up with their teammates that ‘you need to do this or that to be better.’”

Seacat junior Jon Wiebe was the team’s only other scorer in the state meet, placing 10th overall in the 50 freestyle after he swam a time of 22.51 seconds in the event’s consolation final.

The Seacats were represented in 13 events by 15 swimmers, and Hayhurst relishes the experience many of his younger competitors earned last weekend in the state event.

“For most of the kids, they scored their best times, just not enough to get into the finals,” Hayhurst said. “We picked up a lot of experience with 15 kids going to state, and 10 will be back next year, and half of the team was freshmen or sophomores.

“So they picked up a lot of state experience and that is invaluable. There is so much more intensity at state than at any other meet because they are so many good swimmers.”

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