Buffs continue to show strength in the pool
For the first time in the first month of competition in 2021, the Garden City Buffaloes boys swimming team had its full complement of 22 competitors in the pool on Thursday in a dual with Hays High at the Garden City Family YMCA Pool.
That full lineup allowed Coach Brian Watkins to juggle his lineup in various events to get a birds-eye view of how he might prepare for the upcoming Western Athletic Conference championship in two weeks.
That flexibility on Thursday allowed the Buffs to dominate the Indians, winning 9 of 12 events en route to a dominant 100-55 dual match triumph.
“We ended up having some really good swims at this meet,” Watkins said afterward. “We stacked the 100 fly and 100 back to give our kids an opportunity to have a fast race in these two events.”
That strategy paid off as senior Connor Cupp posted his best time of the season in the 100-yard butterfly (56.09) and his best time ever in the 100-yard backstroke (57.61), both of which were state qualifying times. Sophomore Kobe Otero was not far behind in those events, clocking 57.46 in the butterfly and 58.04 in the backstroke, with his time in the butterfly just missing the state qualifying standard.
“We also used this meet like we will use the next home meet as opportunities for our underclassmen to step up to the plate and claim spots in events for the league meet on the (Feb.) 11th,” Watkins said. “We have some holes to fill in the league roster, and we haven’t quite figured out who to plug into those events.”
Other winners for the Buffs were Alan Erskin in the 200-yard individual medley, Kaleb Reagle in the 200-yard freestyle, Jeremiah Bunce in the 500-yard freestyle, Brody Hoff in the 100-yard breaststroke, and all three relays (medley, 200- and 400-yard freestyle).
“We were able to get a true view of what our team had to offer for the first time,” Watkins said. “It was fun to finally see all the boys compete at once. This is something we’ve been waiting for all season. I hope we can see them all compete against next week (Thursday, Feb. 4, vs. Great Bend at home).”
The Buffs were originally scheduled to compete Saturday in a big meet in Wichita at the Wichita Swim Club, but the facility was unable to accommodate the field size and an alternate site could not be secured in time.
Garden City 100, Hays 55
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021
At Garden City Family YMCA Pool
200y medley relay—1. Morales, Kobe Otero, Cupp, Bunce, 1:45.08; 2. Erskin, Hoff, Kaleb Otero, Gurrola, 2:06.54.
200y freestyle—1. Reagle, 2:19.40; 2. A. James, 2:23.17; 3. R. James, 2:23.77.
200y individual medley—1. Erskin, 2:29.22.
100y butterfly—1. Cupp, 56.09; 2. Kobe Otero, 57.46; 3. Chappel, 58.82.
500y freestyle—1. Bunce, 6:06.54.
200y freestyle relay—1. Morales, Chappel, R. James, Bunce, 1:42.22; 3. Gurrola, Hoff, Arteaga, C. Bors, 1:56.01.
100y backstroke—1. Cupp, 57.61; 2. Kobe Otero, 58.04; 3. Morales, 1:09.13.
100y breaststroke—1. Hoff, 1:19.18; 2. R. James, 1:19.72.
400y freestyle relay—1. Chappel, Bunce, Cupp, Kobe Otero, 3:42.15; 2. Ortiz, Snyder, A. James, Hoff, 4:20.05; 3. R. James, Randall, Reagle, Brewer, 4:52.37.