Seacats get off to strong start at Hastings meet
     2013-12-12      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - The Scottsbluff/Gering Seacats 
HASTINGS — A freshman made a big splash in his first meet in competing for the Scottsbluff/Gering Seacats swimming and diving team Saturday.

Ian Galindo posted four secondary state-qualifying times in the Hastings Invitational, and the Seacats scored nine secondary times overall.

The Seacat boys finished in third place among seven teams with 220 points, just 8.5 points behind second-place Columbus. Norfolk was the boys’ team champion with 375.5 points.

The Scottsbluff/Gering girls finished in fourth with 194 points. Norfolk won the girls’ team title as well, posting 315 points, with Columbus and Kearney tying for second with 233 points apiece.

“We swam pretty well,” said Seacats Coach Mike Hayhurst, who is beginning his 14th season at the program’s helm. The kids performed up to expectations.

“We had seven kids missing because of other activities, so that left us a little short. We had to shuffle some relays a little bit, but we still ended up in contention. I think we’re in a position down the road, with the kind of improvements we usually have, that by the end of the year we can contend for the conference title.”

Galindo got two of his secondary times in open events and the other two as the lead-off for two relays. In his open events, Galindo took second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:56.98, close to an automatic state-qualifying mark, and third in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.21.

Galindo earned his secondary qualifying marks in the 50 and 100 freestyles as the first leg of the Seacats’ 200 and 400 free relays.

“What I really liked about Ian was the way he competed,” Hayhurst said. “He’s a freshman swimming in his first high school meet, and he competed really well in both of his races. He fought all the way through and really came through for us.”

Two other Seacat boys posted secondary qualifying times, both in the 100 breaststroke. John Stark took second in 1:09.58, and Jon Hastings with third at 1:10.42.

In his first six-dive program of the year, senior Noah Miller placed second with 205.70 points.

The Galindo-led 400 free relay finished second in 3:44.36. Zach Puckett, James Maag and Baylen Smith followed Galindo’s lead leg. The 200 free relay of Galindo, Puckett, Tito Garcia and Stark finished in fourth.

In the girls’ competition, Cierra Weatherfield posted two secondary times by finishing third in the 500 freestyle in 6:00.42 and fifth in the 200 individual medley in 2:31.21. Vanessa Woolsey swam a secondary time of 1:08.26 in placing fourth in the 100 backstroke.

Weatherfield, Sarah Cloud, Woolsey and Jessica Sorensen placed second in 2:07.07, while Cloud took third in the breaststroke and Woolsey also took fourth in the 100 butterfly.

The Seacat girls’ 400 free relay also placed fourth, with Weatherfield, Erin Weatherman, Hannah Holloway and Woolsey clocking in at 4:18.37.

“We were missing a good 50-plus points with kids who were at other activities,” Hayhurst said of the girls.

The Seacats look to be at full strength Friday, when they travel to a quadrangular in McCook for action that includes North Platte and Hastings.

“We look forward to improving throughout the year,” Hayhurst said. “Our new kids always do a good job of improving over the course of the season, and a lot of times we do better than the other teams in our conference in that area, where our kids by the end of the year become scorers.”

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