Seacat boys swim to fourth at Omaha meet
     2016-02-05      By Staff Report    editor@geringcitizen.com
Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photography Tito Garcia, a member of the 200-meter freestyle relay team, helped the Seacats boys team to a fourth-place at the Omaha Westside Invitational over the weekend. His relay partner McKay Lake won the 100-meter freestyle and took third in the 50-meter freestyle. 
The Scottsbluff/Gering Seacats swimming and diving team was on the road over the weekend at the Omaha Westside Invitational. Overall, the Seacat boys claimed fourth, while the girls finished in 10th place.

The boys’ team collected 281 total points as Omaha Westside swam away with the title, posting 527 points. Elkhorn was the runner-up with 420 and Lincoln Pius X finished third at 334.

For the girls, their 57 points earned them 10th place. Omaha Marian claimed the title with a 460-408 win over Omaha Westside.

“Omaha isn’t a meet where we normally swim well,” said Seacats Coach Mike Hayhurst said. “First there’s an eight-hour bus ride and the pool’s not that overly quick.”

Hayhurst said the team is just starting its “taper phase” of the season when training winds down and swimmers work more in sprints. In the beginning, they might feel a bit sore.

He said it was good meet overall. The girls were only a few points out of finished ninth or eighth. The boys finished better than he anticipated. “The Omaha Westside meet is the toughest competition we’ll face until we get to state,” he said. “All big schools in Omaha and Lincoln take part in that one.”

Among the Seacat top performers for the boys, McKay Lake won the 100-meter freestyle and finished third in the 50-meter freestyle. He was also part of the winning 200-meter freestyle relay team with Ian Galindo, Tito Garcia and John Stark.

Stark also won the 500-meter freestyle event with a 5:05.01 time and added a third place finish of 1:55.29 in the 200-meter freestyle event.

Gering student Jon Hastings posted a second place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke event with 1:03.87
With a 3:29.79 time in the 400-meter freestyle relay, Garcia, Galindo, Lake and Stark took third place.

On the girls’ side, 10th place finishes went to Rosa Garcia in diving and to the 200-meter medley relay team of Kayla DeBlieck, Anna Yanke, Hannah Holloway and Megan Hayhurst. The team also placed 11th in the 400-meter freestyle relay event.

Seacats also posted two new secondary state-qualifying times.
DeBlieck finished at 59.99 in the 100-meter freestyle and Garcia at 2:12.85 in the 200 IM event.Plus, Stark’s time of 5:05.01 in the 500-meter freestyle was just two-tenths of a second over the mark for an automatic state qualifier.

“It was a really good performance by the kids,” Hayhurst said.
“They probably exceeded my expectations a little bit.”

The Seacats will next see action at the GNAC Conference meet in Hastings on Feb. 13. Three swimmers have already qualified for state. The rest will be looking to set individual times to qualify and to get a good team placing.

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