Seacats’ Miller medals in state diving competition: Woolsey breaks girls’ school record in 100 backstroke among team’s many personal-best times
     2014-03-06      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Gering senior Seacat Noah Miller earned an 8th place medal at the Nebraska State Diving Championships at Lincoln. Miller scored a combined 113.2 points on his final three dives, an average of 37.73 points per attempt.  
Noah Miller capped off his successful diving career for the Scottsbluff/Gering Seacats swimming and diving team by scoring an eighth-place finish Thursday in the State Championships at the Bob Devaney Center in Lincoln.

Miller thus became the Seacats’ first boys’ diver to earn a medal at state and stand on the eight-man podium.

“We knew that his best three dives were his last three,” Scottsbluff/Gering head coach Mike Hayhurst said. “He knew if he could stick those, he had two really high DD (degree of difficulty) dives, and all three of them are dives that he always does really well.”

Miller was in 10th place after the first five dives and the 26-man field was cut to 20. After eight dives, Miller had slipped to 12th, but still he survived the cut of 16 finalists.

Miller then jumped into the eighth position after he scored a combined 113.2 points on his final three dives, an average of 37.73 points per attempt.

“It was a strategy they adopted,” Hayhurst said of Miller and Seacats diving coach Deb Post, “and you always worry about that. It’s a little risky to put your best ones at the end that you might not ever get to do them.

“They were confident going in that he was going to get into the final 16, which would ensure that he got to do those three and the strategy worked out well. He was confident on that and ended up sticking them and ended up getting on the podium and getting the medal.”

The boys’ diving champion was Austin Alexander with a remarkable 541.05 points for a victory margin of 64.4 points over Joey Weber of Ralston/Omaha Gross Catholic. Austin Graves of Millard North finished in third place, 72.25 points behind Weber.

With the 11 points earned by Miller’s eighth-place finish, the Seacat boys finished in 19th place in the team standings.

“Being in the top 20 is always good, and we always put those things up on our wall,” Hayhurst said.

No Seacats swimmer or relay advanced past the preliminary rounds Friday and thus had no qualifiers in Saturday’s swimming finals. However, Hayhurst said the Seacats had plenty to celebrate, led by senior Vanessa Woolsey’s school-record performance in the 100-yard backstroke.

“All of our times were best times except two, so it’s hard to argue with that,” Hayhurst said. “Our girls didn’t score any points but they had all but one best time also.”

Woolsey’s school-record time in the backstroke was 1:03.50, a clocking that bettered her personal-best time by 0.81 second. Woolsey was still two full seconds off qualifying for the top 16 and the consolation finals, placing 25th in the preliminaries, but back home the time will live up on the Seacats’ wall of records.

Woolsey also scored her career-best time in the 100 butterfly, scoring 1:04.01 in finishing 23rd in the preliminary round. Woolsey’s previous best in the 100 fly was 1:04.50.

“She’s been working on trying to get her tempo and her arm speed up, so she had enough speed going out because we know she had the endurance coming back,” Hayhurst said of Woolsey’s backstroke technique.

“It’s just getting out fast enough to give yourself a chance and she did. She got out fast and was able to break the record by a couple of tenths. That’s something she’s been shooting for, for a couple of years now.”

“And you get your name up on the wall (of school records), that’s always nice. And she also had her best time in the 100 fly, and both of her relay swims were her best times as well.”

Woolsey, junior Cierra Weatherfield, senior Jessie Sorensen and freshman Emily Yanke finished a Seacat girls’ high place of 18th with their 3:56.50 time in the 400 freestyle relay.

Woolsey and Weatherfield joined sophomores Sarah Cloud and Hannah Holloway in scoring a 22nd-place time of 2:02.49 the 200 medley relay.

The Seacat girls’ 200 freestyle relay of Holloway, freshman Rebekah Rawlings, Sorensen and sophomore Anna Yanke also took 22nd with a time of 1:48.55.

Cloud placed 29th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:15.28.

The Scottsbluff/Gering boys’ 400 freestyle relay also earned an 18th-best time in the preliminaries. Turning in a time of 3:31.91 were freshman Ian Galindo, seniors Baylen Smith and Zach Puckett and junior James Maag.

The Seacats’ 200 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay both finished in 23rd in the prelims. Freshman Tito Garcia, sophomore Jon Hastings, Galindo and Smith swam the medley relay in 1:49.64, while the quartet of Puckett, Smith, Garcia and freshman John Stark completed the 200 freestyle relay in 1:37.27.

Galindo had a 22nd-best preliminary time in the 200 individual medley with a finish in 2:07.30, and he was 25th -best in qualifying in the 100 freestyle in 51.43 seconds. Hastings had the 22nd-best time in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.84.

Hayhurst said the Seacats were winners as spectators and away from the pool as well.

In Friday’s preliminaries, Jacob Molacek of Omaha Creighton Prep set a national record in the boys’ 100 breaststroke with his time of 52.92 seconds. Molacek also set a state record in the 200 individual medley in 1:45.50, while freshman Dannie Dilsaver of Lincoln Southwest had a girls’ state record in the 200 IM at 2:01.91.

“Since we had to do everything just to get to state, to go there and still get best times was good,” Hayhurst said. “And it was an exciting meet. The kids got to see a national record broken, and two other state records broken and one of those is almost for sure going to be the fastest time in the country (Molacek’s 200 IM).

“In that sense, it’s good experience. Our team is very young, with half of them freshmen or sophomores. So that gained good experience for them and will help them down the road and when we go back next year.”

Creighton Prep won the boys’ division with 451 points, well ahead of runner-up Lincoln Southwest’s 247. Southwest won the girls’ team title with 330 points, with Omaha Marian second with 232.

“I would have liked to score more points, and I thought we had opportunities,” Hayhurst said. “The meet turned out to be really fast, with a couple of exceptions. So we have to be better prepared. This was a great group of kids to work with.”

Hayhurst said intangible factors, such as discipline and conduct on the road, were noticed by strangers in motels and restaurants.

“We were sitting at breakfast one of the days in the hotel, and there’s an older couple there,” he said. “Our kids come in and eat and go out, and the lady turns to me and says, ‘Those are just the nicest bunch of kids.’ So I told the kids that, and we got two compliments in the hotel. Another couple of ladies were sitting there and commented on how nice and well-behaved they were.

“That’s something that doesn’t end up on a stat sheet, but it’s something we stress as accountability in everything that happens, and this group helped themselves to account on the bus, in the hotels and restaurants. With our situation, that’s what we have to do because we travel all over the place, and they’re in those situations a lot and they handled themselves great.

“And it’s every year. We’ll go to swim meets and parents in the stands will compliment our kids on not only one the way they cheer, but the way they cheer on other teams. At restaurants, hotels and by bus drivers, the kids get compliments, and I don’t think the young people get that enough.”

Hayhurst said the Seacats have plenty of which to be proud for this season.

“They just did everything we asked them to do, and to get second in our conference meet in both the boys and the girls was a good accomplishment that maybe didn’t look possible at the beginning of the year,” he said. “They worked themselves into position to be able to do that.”

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Morning friend!
Recently Read Sports
715Seacats’ Miller medals in state diving competition: Woolsey breaks girls’ school record in 100 backstroke among team’s many personal-best times
851WNCC holds softball clinic
510Warrior Run brings out record numbers
766Former Huskers share football knowledge
1184Well-rounded effort lifts Bulldogs to 27-6 victory
1025Bearcats finish third at state golf: Bayard golfer sinks hole-in-one By Jerry Purvis
954Lady Cougars finish third at nationals
908Bearcat cross country runners sign letters of intent
2255Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
789Cougars volleyball continues to roll
1370WNCC men advanced in Region IX hoops tourney
1274Winchell edged at rodeo finals
1320Blind, mobility impaired head for Deadwood slopes
734Gering football ready to scrimmage
1304Gering girls, Scottsbluff boys, take first at Western Conference
917Mud volleyball a hit in Minatare
978Gering basketball teams suffer mid-season slump
782Gering Senior team falls in last home game
728Upstart Bayard works its way into sub-district final match
863Good Luck at State, Lady Bearcats!
Most Read Sports 2012
4036Mitchell track off to a strong start
3924Morrill baseball back in business
3330Rivals make good friends, better training partners
3290Gering wrestling builds on experience
3184Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
3133Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2939All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2918Gering resident lives his dream
2800All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2763Raising the bar high
2736Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2723Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2723Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2652Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2591Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2586Beam to golf at Midland
2520Doing the heavy lifting
2437Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2255Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
2235Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
Most Read Sports 2011
4036Mitchell track off to a strong start
3924Morrill baseball back in business
3330Rivals make good friends, better training partners
3290Gering wrestling builds on experience
3184Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
3133Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2939All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2918Gering resident lives his dream
2800All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2763Raising the bar high
2736Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2723Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2723Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2652Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2591Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2586Beam to golf at Midland
2520Doing the heavy lifting
2437Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2255Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
2235Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
Hale Multimedia LLC
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on