Sugar Beet staff reporter
The horn has sounded and swim season is well underway for the Buffs men’s swim team. Last school year was the first time Garden City has had a men’s swim team since the early 1990s, and finishing in a respectable third place in the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) championship meet to conclude their first season was a great building block for the future swimmers.
“Overall we are more focused than we were last year, our workouts are better tailored to what events we swim and our coach has a better idea of where we are and what we need to improve on,” Nathaniel Hubbard, senior swimmer said. Hubbard is a second-year competitive swimmer for the Buffs.
The practices are no cake walk for the swimmers, the boys swim on average about 4,000 yards every practice.
“Swimming in my opinion is the hardest sport at the high school, physical wise, although I was mentally prepared before we started because I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Jack Koeperich, first- time freshman swimmer, said.
The men’s swim team has had five meets already and still has five to go, six to include the state championship. The first team goal being to win the WAC championship.
“Our biggest rival would definitely be Great Bend, they have a lot of strong swimmers and they won WAC last year,” Hubbard said.
A new addition to the swim team is sophomore transfer Connor Cupp from Scott City. Cupp has been swimming competitively since the age of 4. He has qualified many times in district championships and won many events, and also competed in division I championships in club swimming.
“I would love the opportunity to swim in college. My college of choice would be the university of Wyoming. If a division I school is not possible I would be open to smaller schools as well, but for my short term, goal this year is to qualify in both the butterfly and backstroke for State,” Cupp said.
Throughout the season the coaches try to mix up the events for several swimmers to see what their strengths are. Usually everyone does at least one or more relays per meet. Once the races become more individualized for everyone, they continue to try and improve in the race and cut time. The end goal is to qualify and compete at the state championship.
The last home meet for the Buffs will be Jan. 31, at the the Garden City Family YMCA. It will begin at 4 p.m and will include a senior night celebration.
You may contact Julie Calzonettis at firstname.lastname@example.org.