Seacat boys log Wyoming wins; prep for Twin City Invitational
     2015-01-22      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo - Sophomore Ian Galindo. 
With the Scottsbluff/Gering Seacats’ annual Twin City Invitational diving and swim meet on the horizon Friday and Saturday, Coach Mike Hayhurst said he wanted to get the Seacat boys focused on sprint times when they participated in the Cheyenne Invitational last Saturday at Cheyenne South High School.

The Seacats’ sixth-place finish, with 107 points, was highlighted with strong individual and relay performances that Hayhurst said they needed to set themselves up for earning state-qualifying times – perhaps as soon as this weekend at Splash Arena.

“We really didn’t swim for the score,” Hayhurst said. “We put kids in shorter events and tried to spread them around a little bit to get some good times. We really tried to go for some relay times down and not worry about team scores.”

The Seacats’ 200-yard freestyle relay lowered its provisional qualifying time that Hayhurst said should be well enough at this point to make state in late February.
Scottsbluff/Gering’s 200 freestyle team of sophomore Ian Galindo, senior Tito Garcia, sophomore John Stark and freshman McKay Lake posted a time of one minute, 37.81 seconds that earned them fourth place in the meet.

In the 400 relay, the Seacats’ quartet of Galindo, Lake, senior James Maag and Stark also scored a fourth-place and season’s-best time of 3:37.53.
“We got some more times that should put us in the state meet, even though they’re not automatics,” Hayhurst said. “On the guys’ side on the relays, if you have a secondary you’re probably in the meet.”

Individually, Galindo had another strong outing, taking fourth place in the 100 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle. His 200 time (1:55.35) was a personal best by about a second, and his 100 time (51.47) was a season’s-best time.
Scottsbluff/Gering’s highest placer was junior Jon Hastings, who took third place in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:07.09. Lake added a fourth-place finish in the 50 freestyle in 23.60.

“The new kids all swam really well,” Hayhurst said. “This is the time of year that they really start to understand how to swim fast in the meets and aren’t as nervous anymore. They understand how to get to the blocks on time and where they need to go, and they’re not nervous about those kind of things.”
Casper Kelly Walsh dominated the team standings with 268 points, and Cheyenne East was second with 189.5. Gillette-Campbell County took third place with 165.5 points, followed by Rock Springs with 161 and Laramie with 142.

“I told the kids that this meet is a perfect meet for us because the competition is really, really good,” Hayhurst said. “The length of the meet, about 3-1/2 hours, is perfect because you’re not there all day long and the kids aren’t losing focus. But it’s long enough that you’re getting plenty of rest between events.”
Hayhurst said the Twin City Invitational, which will give the Seacat girls their first action in two weeks, offers the Scottsbluff/Gering team multiple advantages.

“It’s a good time of year, and they’re getting used to switching over to sprinting, which for the first few weeks is really difficult because they get sore,” he said.
“By the time the Twin City meet comes around, they’re starting to feel better again and they don’t have that heavy feeling from switching the training around.
“And we’re not on the bus, we’re not in hotels, we’re at home. It’s a perfect length of meet, right around three hours, and we take two breaks so the kids can swim off their last swim, and the competition is good.”

Diving will take place on Friday beginning at 4 p.m. The swimming events Saturday start at 11 a.m. Teams scheduled to compete against the Seacats are Kelly Walsh, Laramie, McCook, Natrona County, North Platte and Omaha Westside.
“We really need to get some automatic times to get them out of the way,” Hayhurst said of goals for this weekend.

“We don’t want to rest kids for conference. Even if we don’t get automatics but get really close to automatics to feel confident that those are for sure into the meet and not have to take any chances, that would be a good goal.”

Cheyenne Invitational Seacat Boys Results

200 medley relay–13. Scottsbluff/Gering, 1:59.68 (Tito Garcia, Jon Hastings, James Maag, Chase Wells).
200 freestyle–5. Ian Galindo, 1:55.35; 7. John Stark, 1:59.94; 12, James Maag, 2:03.27.
50 freestyle – 4. McKay Lake, 23.60.
100 freestyle–4. Ian Galindo, 51.47; 10. McKay Lake, 54.15; 14. James Maag, 54.83.
200 freestyle relay–4. Scottsbluff/Gering, 1:37.81 (Ian Galindo, Tito Garcia, John Stark, McKay Lake).

100 breaststroke–3. Jon Hastings, 1:07.09.
400 freestyle relay–4. Scottsbluff/Gering, 3:37.53 (Ian Galindo, McKay Lake, James Maag, John Stark).

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