Buffs swimmers qualify seven for state





The Garden City Lady Buffs swimming team may not have done as well as they wished at the WAC meet Thursday, but they did well enough to send seven to state next week.

"We had a pretty good day today," head coach Casey Wise said about his team in a telephone interview. "I was pretty happy with them."

The team finished in second place with 368 team points, while top competitor Great Bend landed in first with 445 points.

"Its just between the two of us in our league," Wise said of Great Bend, which has battled GCHS at seemingly every meet this season.

"We battle them every time we see them, and we've won a number of them. It's a constant battle between them. We have to match that intensity, and the girls matched that today."

In the first event of the meet, the Lady Buffs took first place in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2 minutes, 2.67 seconds. The Lady Buffs swim team did well for the rest of the meet, as well as they had someone place at least fourth in every event of the five-team meet.

Junior swimmer Claire Schmidt stood out, Wise said, as she broke a junior school record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:06.84, a little over 28 seconds faster than her closest competitor.

"She really wanted that for herself," Wise said. "She just said 'I really want to put my name in that spot,' so we were happy for her to pull that out, and she earned it."

Kailee Stucky also performed well for the Lady Buffs — she started off seeded fifth in two of her events, but finished third in each of those events.

"She's really starting to earn her way on our team," Wise said of Stucky's performance. "She really fought hard today, and it's really starting to show. We were pleasantly surprised with her performance today."

The Lady Buffs had three first-place finishes with the aforementioned 200-yard medley relay, and with with Claire Schmidt and Laura Richmeier, both juniors, earning first place in the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, respectively.

The Lady Buffs will now swim at the state meet on May 23-24 in the Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium.

The seven Lady Buffs who will be swimming at state are: Norton, Schmidt, Bradstreet, Longoria, Stucky, Schafer, and Ginest-Dougherty.

All three team relays qualified for state, while Lindsay Bradstreet qualified in the breast stroke, and Samantha Norton qualified in four events. Wise said he has a plan in place to get his team ready for state.

"Just spending a week with a small group putting in the time." Wise said, "Our effort this next week is getting our times down so we can qualify for that second day (of competition)."

Dodge City was third with 175 points, while Hays High was fourth with 156, and Liberal fifth with 140.

Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.

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