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Panther swim team tops competition in opener
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SALINA- Great Bend High’s women’s swim team took the crown in their season-opening meet last Thursday in Salina.

The Panthers registered a first place finish out of six teams with a team score of 474. Salina South placed second with a score of 297 while Salina Central took third at 265. Hutchinson, Hays and Junction City rounded out the bottom three finishers with scores of 263, 187 and 182 respectively.

All three “A” relay teams competed well with first place finishes and state-qualifying times.  Michaela Cape, Kalyn Blessing, Madeline Vesta and Kira Cook placed first in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:07.64. In the 200 free relay, Camryn Dunekack, Katy Jerke, Vesta and Cook finished with a time of 1:54.18. Hadley Murphy, Jerke, Cape finished the day with a time of 4:25.72 in the 400 relay.

In the “B” team relays, Emma Williams, Taylor Huslig, Calista Long and Murphy placed second in the 200 medley with a time of 2:17.95. Carly Boyd, Long, Rachel Bussen and Blessing finished fifth with a time of 2:02.82 in the 200 free relay while Sarah Mauler, Boyd, Bussen and Williams took second in the 400 relay with a time of 4:40.56.

In indivual performances, Dunekack, a freshman, posted state-qualifying times of 1:09 and 27.56 in the 100 fly and the 50 free style. Cook also scored a first place finish with a time of 1:02.35 in the 100 free style and second in the 200 IM at 2:36.75.

Other top finishers:  Katy Jerke (3rd) 200 free, Kalyn BLessing (2nd) 200 IM, Michaela Cape (3rd) 50 free, Hadley Murphy (1st)  500 free, Michaela Cape -(2nd) 100 back, Emma Williams,(3rd) 100 back.

“This is a great start to the season for us,” said coach Steve Beaumont. “We still have some work to do, though, in terms of conditioning.”

The next competition for Great Bend will be this Thursday at 4 pm at the Barton County College Natatorium.