For high school girls’ swimming, an entire season of competition comes down to a two-day competition.
The Class 5-1A State Swim Meet starts today at 9 a.m. For those who make it in the top 16 of the preliminary heats, the finals will conclude on Saturday in Topeka.
Great Bend will be represented by 12 swimmers.
“All three of our relays qualified,” GBHS head coach Steve Beaumont said, “and we have five individuals competing.
“Last year we had (Hannah) Hildebrand, (Michaela) Cape and (Brianna) Schartz as individuals, so we have more going this year, which is good.”
Schartz and Cape join Maddie Vesta and Kylee Spray in the 200-meter medley relay.
Kira Cook, Spray, Hildebrand and Spray will compete in the 200 freestyle and Cook, Spray, Hildebrand and Katy Jerke will compete in the 400 freestyle.
“I think all three of our relays have a good chance of making it to the second day of competition,” Beaumont said. “If they swim well, I think they can be in the running.”
Hildebrand also qualified for the 200 individual medley and the 100 freestyle.
Cook is set to compete in the 200 freestyle and the 100 freestyle.
Cape qualified for the 100 backstroke, Vesta will be competing in the 100 butterfly and Spray is set to swim in the 200 individual medley.
Along with the competitors, Great Bend is bringing Brenna Haines, Kalyn Blessing, Hadley Murphy and Sarah Mauler as alternates for the relays.
“Kind of like our relays, all of our individuals have a chance,” Beaumont said. “Hannah is probably our highest seeded swimmer in individual events. Kira is 13th in both events. Maddie is 14 or 15, and Spray and Cape are both toward the bottom of their events.
“But each one of them, if they swim well and shave a second or two off their times, then they can move on.”