SALINA— The stakes were raised for Great Bend swimmers at Friday’s Salina Invitational. Following a victorious quadrangular in Garden City earlier in the week, the Panther girls threw the momentum into high gear and recorded yet another first place finish at the 12-team Salina Invitational Friday.
Great Bend beat out 11 other hopefuls with 393 team point outpacing second place finisher Garden City by a 35-point spread. Hutchinson and Haysville Campus rounded out the top four finishers with 311 and 242 points respectively. Salina South, Dodge City, Salina Central, Junction City, Hays, Liberal, Central Christian (Hutchinson), and Haysville Campus-White were the other finishers in order.
Camryn Dunekack brought home two individual gold medals and helped lead the 400 meter relay to a top finish.
In individual competition, Dunekack was the top swimmer in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle with times of 26.60 and 59.99. Her finish in the 50 freestyle was the fourth fastest performance in GBHS history for a freshman.
Michaela Cape was runner up in the 100 meter backstroke timing in at 1:11.44. Kalyn Blessing was third in the 200 meter individual medley at 2:46.31.
Cook qualified for state in the 200 freestyle (fifth place at 2:14.67). Her lead off time in the 200 (27.34) and 400 (1.00.44) free relays were also state qualifying times.
Dunekack joined teammates Kira Cook, Katy Jerke and Madeline Vesta to win the 400 meter free relay timing in at 4:10.53.
In other relay events, the Panthers collected silver in the 200 meter freestyle as Cook, Cape, Jerke and Dunekack finished with a time of 1:51.12. Cape, Vesta, Blessing and Carly Boyd placed third in the 200 medley relay clocking in at 2:11.70.
“I was really pleased with how our relays performed today, especially the 200 and 400 freestyle relays,” said Panther coach Steve Beaumont. “From top to bottom those were easily our best performances in those two events.”
“Our distance freestyle events were really solid for us today,” he continued. “Katy, Sarah [Mauler], and Anna [Frizell] really had some nice swims for us.”
“Kalyn had her best meet of the season so far,” said Beaumont. “She had time improvements in both her individual events and also swam a personal best time on her relay leg of the 400 free relay.”
Great Bend will have back-to-back meets at Hutchinson April 23 and 28.