AquaBuffs second at Emporia Invite

GCHS Athletics
Garden City High School's Kennedy Johnson makes a stroke while competing in a 200-yard freestyle heat race during a home swim meet earlier this season at the Garden City Family YMCA.

Three first-place finishes, including a state qualifying mark in the 4x100-yard relay, highlighted the Garden City AquaBuffs swim team performance at Thursday’s Emporia Invitational.

Those propelled the Buffs to a second-place team finish with 410 points, not far behind winning McPherson’s 436 points. They easily outdistanced third-place host Emporia’s 258.50 points.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team was comprised of Ashleigh Chappel, Lana Rodriguez, Paige Chappel and Avery Meng and they clocked a time of 4:06.77 while placing second in the event. It takes a time of 4:09.72 or faster to earn an automatic berth into the state meet in mid-May.

“We had several great swims and several not-so-great swims,” said Coach Jennifer Meng. “The highlight was officially qualifying our 4x1 for state. We cut four seconds off our previous best time.”

Another relay team, the 200-yard medley, won its event behind the group of Payton Tull, Meng and the two Chappel sisters. Their winning time was 2:08.19, a state consideration time.

Paige Chappel won the 200-yard freestyle with a mark of 2:16.36 and then earned her second individual gold by claiming the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:09.64.

“Our distance swimmers all cut time and Kennedy Johnson and Joselyn Hoff had big cuts,” Meng said. “Lana Rodriguez cut several seconds in her events as well.”

Meng and Rodriguez placed second and third in the 200-yard individual medley with times of 2:34.88 and 2:36.35. Meng captured a third place in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:18.30.

“We are happy with the results, but hoping for better overall swims next Thursday in Salina,” Meng said.

Team Scores

1. McPherson, 436; 2. Garden City, 410; 3. Emporia, 258.50; 4. Independence, 205; 5. Topeka West, 196; 6. Buhler, 180; 7. Wichita Collegiate, 162; 8. Coffeyville-Field Kinley, 111.50; 9. Topeka Seaman, 110.50; 10. Topeka High, 94.50; 11. Wichita-The Independent, 53.

Garden City Results

200y medley relay—1. Payton Tull, Avery Meng, Paige Chappel, Ashleigh Chappel, 2:08.19 (State Consideration).

200y freestyle—1. Paige Chappel, 2:16.36.

200y individual medley—2. Avery Meng, 2:34.88; 3. Lana Rodriguez, 2:36.35.

100y butterfly—5. Mya Garcia, 1:16.86.

500y freestyle—1. Paige Chappel, 6:09.64.

200y freestyle relay—4. Lexi Arwine, Mya Garcia, Lana Rodriguez, Payton Tull, 1:57.33.

100y backstroke—4. Lana Rodriguez, 1:09.39.

100y breaststroke—3. Avery Meng, 1:18.30.

4x100y freestyle relay—2. Ashleigh Chappel, Lana Rodriguez, Paige Chappel, Avery Meng, 4:06.77 (State Qualifying time under 4:09.72 standard qualifying time).