BY JIM MISUNAS
Great Bend’s swimmers failed to win an event, but the Panthers’ depth proved critical at the final home meet for eight seniors.
The Panthers earned quality points in every event (431) to edge McPherson (394), Manhattan (389.5) and Newton (373) in a four-way race.
A friendly home crowd at the Barton Cougar pool Friday roared its approval whenever the Panthers earned points. The Panthers have won 15 consecutive Western Athletic Conference swimming titles.
“It was a great atmosphere, and our kids were excited to compete in front of the home crowd,” said Great Bend coach Steve Beaumont. “To win on senior recognition night was even more special. Our seniors will have some great memories of their last home meet. We knew this was going to be a close meet between four teams.”
Seniors Sheridan Beaumont, Camryn Dunekack, Calista Long, Madison Jones, Piper Libeer, Alyssia Strickland, Gentry Schneider and Hunter Ruppe excelled in their final home meet.
“This group has been a key part of our success over the last four years,” Beaumont said. “They are all quality young ladies and outstanding students in the classroom. Several of these young ladies came to us as freshman with absolutely NO experience in competitive swimming. Yet, they have had great success in our program.”
The Panthers’ relays came through with a runner-up 200 free relay (1:50.77) with Aubrey Snapp, Zoe Jerke, Delaney Buehler, Camryn Dunekack; a third-place 200 medley relay (2:07.62) with Calista Long, Olivia Mull, Delaney Buehler, Zoe Jerke); and a third-place 400 free relay (4:05.27) featuring Camryn Dunekack, Calista Long, Katherine Snapp, Aubrey Snapp).
Olivia Mull placed runner-up in the 100 breaststroke (1:19.79); and third-place finishers were Camryn Dunekack, 100 butterfly (1:06.65); Aubrey Snapp, 200 free (2:15.38); and Katherine Snapp, 500 free (6:32.19).
“This team really knows how to compete,” Beaumont said. “The bigger the meet, the better they perform. We are swimming well at the right time. The key to our success continues to be our ability to place swimmers in the top 10. Also, our 'B' relays (A team) were incredible all night long and scored some key points.”
Beaumont liked how every swimmer competed and improved their times.
“I’m proud of our "B" team – finishing eighth,” he said. “Our young swimmers really continue to improve every time out. They are swimming with a lot more confidence and are contributing in so many ways. They have come a long way since the first week of the season.”
Great Bend competes at Newton May 3 and May 10 at Garden City for the WAC meet.
GREAT BEND INVITATIONAL
TEAM SCORES—1—Great Bend 431; 2—McPherson 394; 3—Manhattan 389.5; 4—Newton 373; 5—Dodge City 136.5; 6—Salina South 134; 7—Salina Central 94; 8—Great Bend B 84; 9—Hays High 63; 10—Holcomb 51; 11—Salina Sacred Heart 14
50 freestyle—1—Cassou, Man, 26.69; 1—Weckerle, DC, 26.69; 5—Dunekack, 27.16; 8—Jerke, 27.92; 14—Schneider, 30.08; 25—Millard, 32.84; 30—Olivas, 36.81; 33—Brook Jones, 42.06
100 freestyle—1—Cassou, Man, 57.9; 4—A. Snapp, 2:15.38; 9—Libeer, 1:06.5; 12—Buehler, 1:08.17; 16—Ibarra, 1;14.0; 21—Hallmark, 1:17.7; 28—Madison Jones, 1:33.06
100 backstroke—1—Randall, Man, 1:06.02; 4—Long, 1:13.41; 7—Jerke, 1:15.39; 8—Beaumont, 1:16.78; 13—Linenberger, 1:25.1; 15—Willow Jones, 1:26.28; 17—Moyers, 1:31.6
100 breaststroke—1—Cardellini, SS, 1:15.05; 2—Mull, 1:19.79; 7—Gerdes, 1:27.71; 10—Ibarra, 1:31.52; 11—Strickland, 1:31.88; 13—Elliott, 1:34.92; 16—Brack, 1:39.75
100 butterfly—1—Garner, Man, 1:01.13; 3—Dunekack, 1:06.65; 4—Williams, 1:11.44; 14—Linenberger, 1:27.86
200 IM—1—Francois, Man, 2:28.7; 7—Mull, 2:40.87; 9—Gerdes, 2:49.86; 10—Williams, 2:51.06; 12—Cape, 2:54.19; 15—Huslig, 2:59.71
200 freestyle—1—Garner, Man, 1:59.59; 3—A. Snapp, 2:15.38; 7—K. Snapp, 2:23.81; 9—Panzer, 2:29.92; 14—Barton, 2:48.85; 17—Willow Jones, 3:03.96
500 freestyle—1—Schroeder, New, 5:49.53; 3—K. Snapp, 6:32.19; 7—Cape, 7:00.14; 8—Mayhill, 7:03.65; 12—Huslig, 7;24.4; 13—Soupiset, 7:27.11; 16—Barton, 7:37.09
200 free relay—1—Manhattan, 1:48.08; 2—GB, 1:50.77 (A. Snapp, Jerke, Buehler, Dunekack); 7—GB, 1:57.67 (Mull, Schneider, Gerdes, Libeer); 11—GB, 2:05.63 (Lang, Ruppe, Strickland, Mayhill); 15—GB, 2:14.9 (W. Jones, Elliott, hallmark, Huslig); 18—GB, 2:23.6 (Vasquez, Barton, Brack, Phillips); 19—GB, 2:25.09 (Schridde, Popp, Mason, Olivas)
200 medley relay—1—Newton, 2:04.13; 3—GB, 2:07.62 (Long, Mull, Buehler, Jerke); 5—GB, 2:12.55 (Panzer, Beaumont, Williams, Schneider); 11—GB, 2:28.9 (Soupiset, Strickland, Lang, Ruppe); 16—GB, 2:37.45 (Pedigo, Ibarra, Linenberger, Millard); GB, 2:55.56 (Schridde, Phillips, B. Jones, Mason)
400 free relay—1—Manhattan, 3:56.43; 3—GB, 4:05.27 (Dunekack, Long, K. Snapp, A. Snapp); 7—GB, 4:32.01 (Beaumont, Williams, Lang, Libeer); 10—GB, 4:50.85 (Mayhill, Ruppe, Soupiset, gerdes); 14—GB, 5:27.48 (Millard Vasquez, Mason, W. Jones)