Great Bend High School had seven swimmers qualify for the Class 5-1A state swim meet, which will start on today with the diving competition at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka.
The Lady Panthers will start competing on Friday afternoon at 4. The top 16 in Friday’s preliminaries will compete in the finals on Saturday afternoon, starting at 3.
Allison Damm, Hannah Hildebrand, Michaela Cape, Maddie Vesta and Brianna Schartz all qualified for individual events. Katy Jerke and Kylee Spray will be competing with the others in relay events.
“That’s a very good number (of entries),” GBHS head coach Steve Beaumont said. “That’s probably as many as we’ve had since we’ve gone to the new format with 1-5A separate from 6A.
“We have a lot of girls qualifying in individual events. I think that says a lot about the quality of kids we have.”
Hildebrand will be competing in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 butterfly.
Her seed time for the 50 freestyle is 26.17 seconds, putting her in 10th among qualifiers. She’s eighth in the 100 fly at 1:02.87.
“She had to narrow it down to the two events she felt strongly about,” Beaumont said of Hildebrand, who also reached state-qualifying times in the 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke during the season.
“I just think she likes to swim those events. Last year, she swam the 50 free at state and she liked it.”
Damm will compete in the 200 and 500 freestyle. She is 16th (2:12.86) in the 200 freestyle and 15th (6:00.51) in the 500 freestyle.
Damm was named the Western Athletic Conference Most Outstanding Swimmer this year after winning both the 200 and the 500 freestyles at the conference swim meet, leading the Lady Panthers to their 11th straight WAC title.
Cape sits 17th on the list of qualifiers for the 100 backstroke (1:09.51) and 41st in the 50 freestyle (28.26).
Vesta is seeded 24th in the 100 butterfly (1:09.89).
Schartz is 28th in the 100 breaststroke (1:20.75).
Cape, Schartz, Hildebrand and Spray will combine for the 200 medley relay, Their qualifying time of 2:05.35 has them seeded 12th.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Spray, Vesta, Jerke and Damm have a qualifying time of 1:54.27. They are the 16th seed.
The 400 freestyle relay team of Damm, Spray, Cape and Hildebrand are a 10th seed with a time of 4:08.10.
HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING
Class 5A State Tournament
Hummer Sports Complex
Great Bend qualifiers
200-yard medley relay — GBHS “A” relay (Michaela Cape, Brianna Schartz, Hannah Hildebrand, Kylee Spray)
200 freestyle relay — GBHS “A” relay (Spray, Maddie Vesta, Katy Jerke, Allison Damm)
400 freestyle relay — GBHS “A” relay (Damm, Spray, Cape, Hildebrand)
50 freestyle — Hildebrand, Cape
100 butterfly — Hildebrand, Vesta
100 breaststroke — Schartz
100 backstroke — Cape
200 freestyle — Damm
500 freestyle — Damm