Seacats sweep team titles, girls’ races in McCook Quad
     2012-12-13      By Terry Gaston   
While winning events at a swim meet is a great reward for the competitors, the ultimate goal is to have performances that ultimately qualify the participants for the state championships.

Nevertheless, the Scottsbluff/Gering Seacats came away from the McCook Quadrangular on Friday with team victories in both divisions, maintaining an unbeaten streak for the Seacats in the meet against host McCook, Hastings and North Platte under ninth-year coach Mike Hayhurst.

Led by the Gering trio of McKayla Stark, Cierra Weatherfield and Vanessa Woolsey, the Scottsbluff/Gering girls won all 10 swimming events in scoring 124 points to North Platte’s second-place 69 points.

In the boys’ competition, Gering sophomore Noah Miller had a second-place finish in diving and Scottsbluff senior Jon Wiebe earned his third automatic state-qualifying time by winning the 200-yard freestyle, leading the Seacats to an 86-70 win over runner-up North Platte.

Individually for the Seacat girls, Woolsey won the 200 freestyle in a secondary state-qualifying time of 2:13.89 and the 100 backstroke in 1:06.69.

Weatherfield reached secondary state-qualifying status with her winning time in the 200 individual medley of 2:31.77, a race in which teammate Sarah Cloud was second. Weatherfield also completed the 500 freestyle in a winning time of 5:52.39.

Woolsey and Weatherfield also teamed with Emily Yanke and Erin Weatherford for a win in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:15.82.

Stark won the 100 freestyle in 1:02.33, leading one of the Seacat girls’ three 1-2 finishes in which Yanke was second. Stark also won the 50 free in 28.42 seconds.

Weatherfield and Stark teamed with Sarah Cloud and Hanna Holloway in winning the 200 medley relay in 2:11.11.

Cloud, Anna Yanke and Claire Hughs were the top-three finishers in the 100 breaststroke, led by Cloud’s winning time of 1:18.41. Weatherman won the 100 butterfly in 1:12.45.

“Eighty percent of the kids had their best times, and the kids who didn’t have their best times were all faster than last year at McCook,” Hayhurst said. “The kids were high-spirited and were cheering well for each other.

“For a couple kids, it was their first meet of the year and they swam well, so we were pleased with what they did.”

In the boys’ division, Wiebe demonstrated his overall strength in winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:51.25.

“That’s his third-best event, but you can only swim in two events at state,” Hayhurst said of Wiebe, who had earned automatic state-quaifying marks in the season-opening Hastings meet in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

“He’s a good all-around swimmer who is really working hard in practice and is targeted for state, and he is on track.”

Wiebe also won the 100 free in 50.28 seconds, scoring two of the Seacat boys’ six victories on the day.

He also teamed with Nick Childs, spencer Lake and Daniel Schaub in winning the 200 medley relay in 1:50.20 and with Lake, Schaub and James Maag in earning a secondary qualifying time in the 200 free relay by winning in 1:39.41.

Miller scored 182.3 points in earning his second-place diving finish, an improvement on points from his 162-point winning effort at Hastings.

The quartet of Childs, Baylen Smith, Christian Eubanks and Maag won the 400 free relay in 3:59.77, and Childs won the 100 backstroke in 1:02.81.

“I had looked at the seeded times, and if everything had scored out exactly, it would have been a tie,” Hayhurst said of the team battle. “For us to score and win by 16 points, I was really pleased.”

The Seacats will compete at North Platte on Friday in a double-dual scored meet that includes McCook. The Scottsbluff/Gering boys will then compete at Newcastle, Wyo., on Saturday in a meet that Hayhurst said is always a good challenge yet fun for his male competitors.

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