Seacats prepare for Twin City meet, freshmen score well at Cheyenne
     2014-01-23      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
The Scottsbluff/Gering swimming and diving team will have the first of its two home tournaments this weekend when the Seacats play host to their annual Twin City Invitational at the Splash Arena facility at Scottsbluff High School.

Diving takes place Friday at 4 p.m., with the swimming events starting Saturday at 11 a.m.

“We get to swim in our own pool, they get to sleep in their own beds, and we don’t have to get on a bus and travel for anywhere between two and eight hours,” Seacats coach Mike Hayhurst said of the benefits for the Scottsbluff/Gering team members to compete at home.

“They get to swim in front of all their friends and all their family. They know the pool, they know the facility, and our kids do well year in and year out at our meet, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Visiting teams include Omaha Westside, McCook and North Platte, along with two from Wyoming in Casper Kelly Walsh and Laramie.

The Seacat boys are coming off an eighth-place finish at the Cheyenne Invitational on Saturday, conducted at Cheyenne South High School. Scottsbluff/Gering finished with 72 points. Casper Kelly Walsh won the title with 254 points, and Laramie took the runner-up spot with 197.

“Every major swimming school in Wyoming was at this meet, in a very fast pool,” Hayhurst said. “The competition was very good, which is good for our guys and we swam really well. We got eighth place, which isn’t a great position, but we swam good times and competed very well, which is all you can really look for when going over to a meet like that.”

Freshmen Ian Galindo and John Stark both turned in top-five performances Saturday to lead the Seacat boys’ individual results.

Galindo earned a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 13.54 seconds, and he added a fifth-place finish in the 100 butterfly in 59.41 seconds. Stark scored a fifth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:09.30.

“We had probably 70 to 80 percent of the kids get best times,” Hayhurst said. “This is a meet where your new kids really start to crank it up because now they’re in shape, and their strokes are where we want them to be. That’s what we expected to happen, and hopefully it will carry over into our meet this weekend.”

Scottsbluff/Gering claimed two seventh-place finishes – Noah Miller in diving, and the 200 freestyle relay team of Galindo, Tito Garcia, Baylen Smith and Zach Puckett.

The Seacats will also be the host for the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Championships on Feb. 14 and 15. They will compete at the Omaha Westside Invitational on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

Top 10 Team Scoring

Casper Kelly Walsh 254, Laramie 197, Campbell County 181, Cheyenne Central 159, Cheyenne East 146, Rock Springs 117, Green River 98, Scottsbluff/Gering 72, Cheyenne South 57, Riverton 51.

Seacat Boys’ Results

200 Medley Relay–9. Scottsbluff/Gering (Tito Garcia, John Hastings, Ian Galindo, Zach Puckett), 1:55.07.

200 IM–4. Ian Galindo, 2:13.54.

Diving–7. Noah Miller, 294.65.

100 Butterfly–5. Ian Galindo, 59.41.

200 Freestyle Relay–7. Scottsbluff/Gering (Ian Galindo, Tito Garcia, Baylen Smith, Zach Puckett), 1:40.90.

100 Breaststroke–5. John Stark, 1:09.30. 11. John Hastings, 1:10.34.

400 Freestyle Relay–10. Scottsbluff/Gering (James Maag, Baylen Smith, Colin Maag, John Stark), 3:54.76.

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