Chasing Great Bend; Buffs swimming second at home

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Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-After Great Bend took a slight lead at the beginning of the of the 200-yard freestyle relay, Lindsay Bradstreet took matters into her own hands. On the final leg, the junior pushed her way past Kira Cook by 12 one hundredths of a second giving the Lady Buffs a dramatic victory. 

“I think I did very well personally,” Bradstreet said. “I feel like we held our heads up high and stuck together as a team, and that’s really all that matters.”

As much momentum as that event created, Garden City still couldn’t overtake Western Athletic Conference power Great Bend-finishing 51 points behind their arch rival in their final home meet of the season. 

“We have to work on our conditioning,” Head Coach Casey Wise. “We’re coming off a pretty quick turnaround, but we have to get better in that department.”

The day started positive enough with Bradstreet, Ashley Longoria, Claire Schmidt and Samantha Norton racing to victory in the 200-yard medley relay. But the Lady Panthers bounced back-spearheaded by Kira Cook’s victory in the 200-yard freestyle and Hannah Hildebrand’s win in the 200-yard individual medley. They also claimed victories in the 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay, 100-yard backstroke and the 400-yard freestyle relay. 

But all was not lost on Tuesday; 12 tenths of a second was all that separated Garden City’s Abigail Ginest-Dougherty and Great Bend’s Michaela Cape in the 50-yard freestyle.

“We need to condition more,” Dougherty said. “We need to not breath so much on each stroke. We need to last longer.”

Norton swam well in the 100-yard freestyle-coming in less than a second behind Great Bend’s Hannah Hildebrand and Kira Cook. But the most impressive performance of the day belonged to Schmidt-who lapped the field in the 500-yard freestyle. The senior outpaced second place Brenna Haines from Great Bend by 20 seconds with a time of 6:21:32. 

As for the team scores-Great Bend first (442), followed by Garden City (391), Dodge City (210) and Liberal (180)

Audio Bytes from Bradstreet and Ginest-Dougherty

Audio Bytes from Head Coach Casey Wise