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Panthers beat Hays in home swim invitational
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Great Bend senior Kyle Bussen leaps from the starting block during the 100-yard freestyle. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

Great Bend High School swimmer Kade Cook continued his strong season with a pair of first-place finishes at the Great Bend Invitational swim meet on Tuesday night.
The Panthers finished in first place at the six-team meet with a score of 340. They beat Hays, which took second place with 312 points.
Cook, a senior at Hoisington, travels to Great Bend so that he can compete on a high school swim team.
“I’ve been swimming since I was little, so coming into high school and having Great Bend giving me the opportunity to swim with them,” Kade Cook said. “It’s kind of nice. If the opportunity’s there, I’m going to do it.”
Cook, who took first place in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of five minutes, 56.37 seconds and as part of the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.04. Ky Heeke, Michael Haines and Justin Kuhlman joined him on the relay team.
“I think the 200 medley got a state-qualifying time,” GBHS head coach Steve Beaumont said. “I think the time has to be below 1:54.30 or something like that, so that was one team that did qualify, and that was a good relay for us.”
Cook, who also took second place in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:20.81, has had four state-qualifying times so far this season, including the 100 fly, which he placed eighth in at the Class 5A state meet.
“It feels good because I’m already starting out where I was at the end of last year,”  Cook said of his personal-best times. “There’s obviously a lot of room for improvement and to reach the goals that I set.”
So what does he use as motivation?
“Mainly, to beat my brothers’ times in the past, from whenever they were in high school,” Kade Cook said of his goals. “One’s our coach, Kody (Cook). Another one is Hays’ coach, Kyle  (Cook). It’s always been a competition. They’re always telling me that ‘Come on, I swam better than this in high school,’ so I’m here to basically prove them wrong.”
Kade said that another brother, Kolten Cook, has the time in the 100 fly that he has his eye on.
“He’s like No. 3 on the top 20 list for the school,” Kade said.
The Panthers were behind McPherson going into the second half of the meet, but they were able to jump ahead in the later events.
“I was trying to figure out how we caught up with McPherson,” Beaumont said. “I don’t think they had anyone in the backstroke. They only have about 12 swimmers. They’re very good swimmers, but its a depth thing.
“Hays really helped us at the end by disqualifying their 200 relay. We have been very close in points with Hays so far this season.”
Heeke finished in second place in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.76. He also finished with a time of 1:07.46 in the 100 backstroke to take third place.
Haines finished in third place in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.96 to help the Panthers come back to win the meet in the final events.
Cory Merten and Kuhlman entered the season with nagging shoulder injuries.
Merten swam in the 500 and 200 freestyle races. Kuhlman still has a little ways to go before he’s completely back, according to Beaumont.
“Merten looked good today,” Beaumont said. “He swam some longer races. He swam the 500 well for us and the 200 I.M. went well.
“Justin, he felt his shoulder pop on his 200 freestyle, so he kind of pulled up there. We’re just going to have to wait and see what happens.”


At Barton Community College
Kirkman Activity Center


Team Standings

1. Great Bend, 340; 2. Hays, 312; 3. McPherson, 296; 4. Hutchinson, 262; 5. Wichita-Independent, 224; 6. Wichita Collegiate, 214.

Great Bend results
200 medley relay

1. GBHS “A” relay (Ky Heeke, Michael Haines, Kade Cook, Justin Kuhlman), 1:53.04; 7. GBHS “B” relay (Nick Moyers, Nick Elliott, Jake Kohman, Jeremy McFann), 2:11.67.
200 freestyle
7. Justin Kuhlman, 2:19.95; 9. Kyle Bussen 2:25.24.
200 individual medley
2. Kade Cook, 2:20.81; 9. Nick Moyers, 2:41.19; 10. Cory Merten, 2:56.42.
50 Freestyle
2. Ky Heeke, 24.76; 5. Dylan Dreiling, 25.51; 12. Nick Elliott, 28.15; Jeremy McFann, 28.82; Austin Levingston, 29.86; Nick Porter, 34.20; David Webster, 35.47; Edgar Mata, 36.00; Alex Bratic, 37.07; Alex Freund, 42.57; Chris Falck, 47.51; JB Slater, 49.80.
100 butterfly
6. Michael Haines, 1:09.15; 13. Nathan Brungardt, 1:27.59; 14. Jake Kohman, 1:27.71.
100 freestyle
6. Dylan Dreiling, 57.50; 9. Kyle Bussen, 1:02.50; 14. Tristan Yount, 1:04.36; 18. Jeremy McFann, 1:12.43; 20. Nick Porter, 1:19.97; 21. Alex Freund, 1:40.75.
500 freestyle
1. Kade Cook, 5:56.37; 10. Cory Merten, 7:06.29.
200 freestyle relay
3. GBHS “A” relay (Ky Heeke, Michael Haines, Kyle Bussen, Dylan Dreiling), 1:44.51; 6. GBHS “B” relay (Nick Elliott, Cory Merten, Jeremy McFann, Tristan Yount), 1:54.94; 12. GBHS “C” relay (Alex Freund, Edgar Mata, JB Slater, Alex Bratic), 2:45.34.
100 backstroke
3. Ky Heeke, 1:07.46; 6. Nick Moyers, 1:11.19; 9. Nathan Brungardt, 1:18.18.
100 breaststroke
3. Michael Haines, 1:11.96; 7. Nick Elliott, 1:23.30.
400 freestyle relay
4. GBHS “A” relay (Dylan Dreiling, Kyle Bussen, Nick Moyers, Kade Cook), 3:54.07; 8. GBHS “B” relay (Cory Merten, Tristan Yount, Nathan Brungardt, Jake Kohman), 4:40.71.