By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Panthers' Stein, Carper key WAC swimming title
gb swim2
The Great Bend Panthers are the 2022 Western Athletic Conference swimming champions.


HAYS – Great Bend’s Brody Feist earned WAC Swimmer of the Year and Panther coach Kari Carper captured Coach of the Year honors as the Panthers captured the 2022 Western Athletic Conference swimming title.

The Panthers (438) edged Dodge City (421) and Garden City (413.5) for first place.

Feist broke the 50-yard freestyle WAC meet record (22.72) and shared first place with Garden City’s Radek Ruzicka (22.72). Feist swept first places in the 200 freestyle (2:00.27) and 500 freestyle (5:29.93) with season-best times.

The Panthers broke WAC relay records in the 200-yard medley relay (1:41.51) with Tyler Stein, Ellis Long, Kasey Kennedy and Feist and the 200 freestyle relay (1:34.16) with Stein, Kennedy, Long and Feist.

Stein captured the 100 backstroke (58.76) and Long won the 100 freestyle (52.62), both with season-best times.

Carper said the Panthers maximized their ability to capture the WAC championship. The Panthers improved times in 96% of their events Thursday.

"To say I am proud of these guys is a huge understatement,” Carper said. “Our seniors were amazing leaders and played a huge role in getting the team ready for battle. In the end, these guys came to win and that’s exactly what they did."

Carper asked everyone to compete in specialized events to maximize point totals.

“It took every single guy having the swims of their lives to pull it off,” she said. “We had major time cuts by every one of them. Going in, they knew it was going to be a dogfight. The guys that typically carry the team weren’t going to be enough this time.”

Carper said the swimmers overcame their reluctance by competing their best.

“ Guys were swimming events they told me at the beginning of the week they weren’t good at,” she said. “There were lots of questioning coaches, themselves, and teammates.”


TEAM SCORES--1—Great Bend 438.5; 2—Dodge City 421; 3—Garden City 413.5; 4—Hays High 398; 5—Liberal 314

GREAT BEND RESULTS (*season best)

200 freestyle relay—1—Great Bend, *1:34.16 (WAC record) (Tyler Stein, Kasey Kennedy, Ellis Long, Brody Feist); 6—Great Bend B, *2:07.08 (Joshua Sharpe, Trinten Medlock, A.J. Thurman, Cole Sanders)

200 medley relay—1—Great Bend, *1:41.51 (WAC record) (Stein, Long,  Kennedy, Feist); 6—Great Bend B, 2:16.13 (Ty Boone,  Thurman, Beau Burkhart, Colton Cross)

400 freestyle relay—1—Dodge City, 3:54.94; 4—Great Bend, *4:31.31 (Boone, Cross, Sanders, Burkhart)

50 freestyle—1—Stein, GB, *22.72 (WAC record); 1—Radek Ruzicka, GC, 22.72 (WAC record); 8—Sanders, *28.85; 10—Medlock, *32.56

100 backstroke—1—Stein, GB, *58.76; 4—Boone, *1:14.92; 10—Sharpe, *1:26.28

100 breaststroke—1—Ruzicka, GC, 1:00.79 (WAC record); 2—Long, *1:01.29; 10—Sanders, *1:30.69; 14—Thurman, *1:36.4

100 butterfly—1—Erskin, GC, 57.26; 2—Kennedy, *58.62; 9—Cross, *1:33.46

100 freestyle—1—Long, *52.62; 4—Burkhart, *58.86; 12—Medlock, *1:16.26

200 freestyle—1—Feist, GB, *2:00.27; 5--Sharpe, 2:43.37; 9—Boone, 2:46.58

200 IM—1—Erskin, GC, 2:11.18; 2—Kennedy, *2:17.22; 4—Burkhart, *2:46.81

500 freestyle—1—Feist, *5:29.93; 11—Cross, *7:53.26; 12—Thurman, 8;11.03