GERAT BEND — Claire Denk’s third-place finish in the 50 freestyle Friday was McPherson High’s top performance in the Great Bend Invitational Swimming Meet and part of her two-medal day.
Denk was making her return to the pool after missing three weeks with an injury.
“In order to give Claire a non-stressful race, she swam the 100 breaststroke,” MHS coach Bonnie Sue Fisher said. “But being the constant competitor that she is, she ended up with the fastest team time and won a sixth-place medal and is 2 seconds away from the state time. I doubt that it is a race that Claire will take to state, but it was nice to see her compete so well in a race and stroke that are generally considered her weakest. Claire also received the only other medal for the team by placing third in the 50 free, though she was pretty far off of her best time. Coming back after her injury at Newton has really put a strain on her mentally and physically.”
This was more of an evaluation meet for the Bullpups.
“We are getting to the time of the season where the girls start their taper towards AVCTL and state,” Fisher said. “There are a lot of nerves buzzing around the bus and the locker room, which tell me that they are ready to taper and hit the times that they are capable of.”
There were some bright spots.
“Katie Wurm is now 2 seconds closer to the state qualifying time in her 200 individual medley,” Fisher said. “It is a really tough race, but Katie has taken it head on and is well below the consideration time so if she chooses to pursue it as one of her two individual swims at state I am sure that she will make the top 24. Amanda Starkel and Sarah Houston pushed each other to best times for both girls in the 500 freestyle, which made for an exciting race.”
Fisher was excited about her medley relay team.
“The medley relay with Katie Wurm, Amanda Starkel, Kellsie Corrigan and Ellen Yowell is now only 5 seconds from qualifying for state in that race,” she said. “We changed the order this time and so different girls swam each stroke and they ended up cutting 4 seconds off their best, which was really exciting.”
200 freestyle — 11. Yowell 2:24.49. 25. Kunde, 3:16.56.
200 individual medley — 10. Wurm, 2:43.43. 17. Corrigan, 2:58.
50 freestyle — 3. Denk, 27.04. 9. Cook, 28.77. 22. Moore, 31.21.
100 butterfly — 20. Herman, 1:37.08.
100 freestyle — 12. Corrigan, 1:05.67. 28. Kunde, 1:23.82. 29. Tolbert, 1:30.48.
500 freestyle — 20. Starkel, 7:38.57. 21. Houston, 7:43.53.
100 backstroke — 7. Wurm, 1:12.87. 15. Cook, 1:17.2. 26. Stambaugh, 1:38.1.
100 breaststroke — 6. Denk, 1:22.02. 12. Starkel, 1:25.3. 13. Yowell, 1:26.18