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Indians fourth in WAC swimming




Let the waiting game begin for the Hays High School girls' swim team.

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Let the waiting game begin for the Hays High School girls' swim team.

The Indians hosted the Western Athletic Conference meet on Thursday at the Center for Health Improvement pool, finishing fourth. Hays High's season could possibly be over as the Indians failed to qualify any relay team or individual for the state meet in Topeka next week.

However, freshman Ana Goodlett is within the state consideration time in the backstroke, as is the Indians' 400-free relay team. The entire state field will be announced early next week, and until then the Hays High swimmers will have to continue on like normal.

"It's close enough. So we will be practicing (Friday) and Monday and Tuesday, unless we get word otherwise," Hays High swim coach Ann Adams said. "And if we get no word, then we have to go back Wednesday, too. It's just kind of a time for the girls to develop nerves of steel and not let it worry them."

The Indians also will try to regroup from a mostly underwhelming day in the pool Thursday. The meet was dominated by Great Bend, which won the WAC title for the 12th straight season. The Panthers took first place in eight of the 11 events and finished with 445 points.

Garden City was second with 368 points, followed by Dodge City (175), Hays High (156) and Liberal (140).

"They have a really strong summer swim program and they keep it going. Those coaches have been there for a long time," Adams said of Great Bend. "Steve Beaumont taught my kids to swim and my kids are all graduated from college now, and one of them still swims. That's just a really strong program and it's always a pleasure to watch what they have."

Goodlett was the top finisher for Hays High, taking third in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1 minute, 14.54 seconds. Junior Alex Winter finished sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke for the Indians with a time of 1:31.22, and senior Mackenzie Lewis sixth in the 100-yard freestyle in 1:07.26.

The 200 free relay team of Goodlett, Lewis, junior Emily McPherson and junior Lexie Schaben took fifth place with a time of 2:02.45. The 200 medley relay team of Goodlett, McPherson, Lewis and junior Ashley Cossaart finished sixth in 2:24.80.

The 400 free relay team of Goodlett, Schaben, Lewis and senior Alexa Steinkuhler was seventh in 4:43.34.

"Fourth place. I was hoping to get third. But that's all right. I think the girls really made a big effort," Adams said. "It's a rough season for a lot of people because there is so much going on at the end of school. Of course, my seven seniors are really stressed right now. But no need for excuses. I think they did swim really, really well. I'm happy with them."