BUFFS ROUNDUP: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019
Make it 2-for-2 at the early outset of the 2019-20 swimming season for the Garden City High School Buffaloes boys team.
The Buffs made it two straight team titles with a resounding 84-point triumph over host Great Bend (386-302) to capture the Panther Invitational on Tuesday. With all five Western Athletic Conference schools competing, the Buffs gave an early snapshot of what may occur later in the season when they defend their 2019 league title. Dodge City, Hays and Liberal were a distant third, fourth and fifth among the six-team field.
“We had a great showing,” said GCHS head coach Brian Watkins. “The boys won five events and swam in a lot of different events this week just to get a different look and see how they would react to swimming something they don’t practice as much.”
It seemed to pay off in big dividends as the 200-yard medley relay team, with newcomer Esai Morales anchoring, won the event with a state consideration time of 1:50.92.
Connor Cupp won the 100-yard butterfly with a state qualifying time of 56.82, a mark about half a second faster than he swam at state a year ago. He also brought home a gold medal in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.9, a state consideration mark.
Jeremiah Bunce improved his time in the 100-yard freestyle (52,85) to win the event, but came up short of the state qualifying time, yet is a state consideration time. The 200-yard freestyle relay team, comprised of Kobe Otero, Devin Chappel, Cupp and Bunce, clocked a state consideration time of 1:37.12 to win the event. Otero also had a state consideration time of 1:01.45 to take second in the 100-yard backstroke.
“Our depth shined through today to take home the meet, and with all five WAC schools there, the boys feel good about where we stand in the conference,” Watkins said. “We’re still focused on state cuts, and although they are happy with some event wins, the goal is to hit those state cuts as a team to get as many to Topeka as possible.”
Team Scores: 1. Garden City, 386; 2. Great Bend, 302; 3. Dodge City, 254; 4. Hays High, 190; 5. Liberal, 82; 6. Hutchinson, 21.
Individual Results: 200y medley relay: 1. (Otero, Bunce, Cupp, Morales), 1:50.92; 200y freestyle: 2. Chappel, 2:01.09; 200y IM: 3. Hoff, 2:42.69; 100y butterfly: 1. Cupp, 56.82; 3. Otero, 1:01.73; 100y freestyle: 1. Bunce, 52.85; 2. Chappel, 53.82; 200y freestyle relay: 1. (Otero, Chappel, Cupp, Bunce), 1:37.12; 100y backstroke: 2. Otero, 1:01.45; 3. Morales, 1:06.19; 100y breaststroke: 1. Cupp, 1:06.99; 400y freestyle relay: 2. Hoff, Morren, Contreraz, Chappel), 3:57.98.