Long week, trip supersede Seacat girls’ tough competition in Colorado
     2015-01-08      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo -Scottsbluff/Gering Seacats sophomore Anna Yanke competes in the 100-yard freestyle during the Seacats’ double-dual victories Dec. 19 over McCook and North Platte at Splash Arena in Scottsbluff. 
More than likely, the Scottsbluff/Gering girls’ swimming and diving team will remember an adventure-filled week of preparation and unplanned overnight trip home after their results at the Greeley West Invitational in Colorado on Saturday are long forgotten.

For the record, the Seacats finished in ninth place in the all-girls’ meet with 93 points, well off the Colorado-based pack. Fossil Ridge ran away with the team title with 496 points, with Cherry Creek in second with 320 points and Fort Collins third at 296 points. Sixteen teams scored among 20 participating schools.
Sixteen places were scored, and Scottsbluff/Gering had four top-10 places. Senior Cierra Weatherfield finished fifth in the 500-yard freestyle, a race in which junior Megan Hayhurst placed 10th.

Sophomore Anna Yanke was 10th in the 100 breaststroke, and she anchored the Seacats’ seventh-place 400-yard freestyle relay that included junior Hannah Holloway, Weatherfield and sophomore Hailey Sanderson.

“This is one of our better meets as far as competition goes, probably our third or fourth level,” Seacats coach Mike Hayhurst said. “I thought the kids competed well. It’s just a tough time of year to swim fast. But it was good for us and we need the competition.”

With last week’s winter storms and temperatures, along with New Year’s Eve and Day, the Seacats – who were coming off the Christmas week moratorium – had their preparation challenged as well.
“It’s a tough time of year because you’re coming off your five-day blackout, and then you go into a week where you train really hard, and between the weather and New Year’s and all the other stuff going on, it was a little sporadic that week,” Hayhurst said.

“We had to cancel one practice because it was so cold at 5:15 in the morning, so that was a little goofy. Then because of the calendar, the meet was a week earlier than normal. It’s a relatively close meet for our schedule – if you get home at night.”
Saturday’s high winds along the Front Range forced the closure of the Interstate 80 corridor, so the Seacats spent the night in Cheyenne and returned home safely on Sunday morning.

“I know they started looking out the window and watching the snow coming down, so that might have contributed to the end of the meet and they started getting worried about getting home,” said Hayhurst, adding that an overnight stop in Cheyenne was in the works just in case the roads were closed.

“It really wasn’t the snow as much as the wind that was blowing us,” Hayhurst said. “An hour out of Greeley, it’s not snowing but it’s blowing so hard. You could see blue skies but you can’t see the road. Then they closed the interstate and every way home was closed, so we just spent the night.”

The Seacat boys will see their first action of 2015 today (Thursday) when they compete in a dual at Cheyenne Central. Then the boys and girls will combine for their next action, on Saturday in Kearney.

“We’ve never been to that meet,” Hayhurst said of the Kearney event, which is conducted at the University of Nebraska Kearney until a new public schools facility under construction is completed.

“They’re building a new pool, and so they’re trying to get an invite started,” Hayhurst added. “So we’re going to try that this year. The season after next, it should be open. Once they get their new pool, it will be quite the deal.”

Seacat girls’ results at Greeley West

200 freestyle — 13. Cierra Weatherfield, 2:17.45.
50 freestyle – 16. Hannah Holloway, 28.26.
50 freestyle – 13. Hannah Holloway, 1:11.79.
100 freestyle – 11. Anna Yanke, 1:02.78.
500 freestyle – 5. Cierra Weatherfield, 5:57.64; 10. Megan Hayhurst, 6:24.66.
200 freestyle relay – 11. S/G, 1:57.62 (Anna Yanke, Hannah Holloway, Hailey Sanderson, Cierra Weatherfield).
100 breaststroke – 10. Anna Yanke, 1:19.10.
400 freestyle relay – 7. S/G, 4:18.68 (Hannah Holloway, Cierra Weatherfield, Haily Sanderson, Anna Yanke).

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