Devin Chappel and Kobe Otero captured the titles in two individual events each Tuesday to help lead Garden City High School’s boys swimming team title at the Hays High School boys swimming Invitational.
The Buffaloes won nine events on the day for 569 points, distancing themselves from second-place team finisher Junction City with 387.
Chappel swam a time of 2:00.45 to win the 200-yard freestyle event. He then repeated the first-place performance in the distance race, the 500-yard freestyle, with a time of 5:32.48. Chappel’s posted times in both events that were fast enough to be 6A state consideration times.
Otero flew past the competition in the 200-yard IM, winning the event with a time of 2:19.12. In the 100-yard backstroke, Otero won the event with a time of 59.50, which proved to be a 6A state automatic qualifying time.
“The boys had a good day in Hays, winning eight of the 11 events,” GCHS coach Brian Watkins said. “We have been working on those two events pretty hard in practice and it felt good to reach them (state times) with a few meets left to focus on other areas.”
Other individual first-place finishes for the Buffaloes include:
• Conner Cupp racing to a 6A state qualifying time in the 100-yard butterfly at 57.52.
• Jeremiah Bunce capturing the title in the 100-yard freestyle with a 6A state consideration time of 53:44.
Garden City also was victorious in a pair of relay races.
The Buffaloes' 200-yard medley relay team of Otero, Bunce, Cupp and Nate Morrren swam a 1:52.68 for the title. Their time is also a 6A state consideration time.
The 200-yard freestyle GCHS relay team of Bunce, Cupp, Joel Contrararez and N. Morren claimed first place with a 1:40.64 swim. it is also a 6A state consideration time.
“We started out really slow in this meet and some of the swimmers were feeling down going into the break, after not winning the 50 free,” Watkins said. “They just rallied together and decided they were not going to lose another event.”
Other top 10 finishes for the Buffaloes in the meet include:
• 200-yard freestyle: Contrarez swam a 2:08.11 for third place; Brody Hoff clocked a 2:17.37 for fourth.
• 200-yard IM: Alec Erskin finished in third place at 2:44.18.
• 50-yard freestyle: Bunce finished in third at 24.37, a 6A state consideration time; Esai Morales came in fourth at 25.03; and N. Morren finished ninth at 26.71.
• 100-yard butterfly: Contrarez finished in fourth at 1:09.74; Erskin swam a 1:22.44 for ninth place.
• 100-yard freestyle: N. Morren finished in fourth with a time of 58.99.
• 500-yard freestyle: Hoff swam a 6:21.57 for third place; Austin Morren finished in eighth place with a 7:09.88.
• 100-yard breaststroke: Cupp finished in second with a 1:10.21; Lane Durst swam a 1:16.63 for third place; Rory James placed in fifth with a 1:21.43 time.
• 200-yard medley relay: Team of Morales, Durst, Peter Hall and Emilio Arteaga swam a 2:00.45 for third place.
• 200-yard freestyle relay: Team of Alex DePaz, Arteaga, Hoff and Chappel finished in fifth place at 1:51.86.
• 400-yard freestyle relay: Team of Hoff, Hall, DePaz and R. James finished in fourth place with a time of 4:22.23.
“Some of these races have kids we will see again at WC, so I was glad that it gave our boys something to really work for in the next couple weeks, other than state times,” Watkins said. “They don’t want to loose those swims in the league meet and I think they’ll put the work in to put together the best swims possible.”
Garden City will be back in the competition pool on Saturday when it travels to Wichita Heights for a meet.