Seacats go into season with one of its biggest numbers of swimmers and divers

The Seacats’ Lehla Ehler practices in the YMCA pool.

The Seacats are going into their season with what is likely their biggest group of swimmers and divers they’ve ever assembled.

Returning for the Seacats are seniors and state qualifiers Alanna Becker, Stephanie Woolsey, Samantha Galindo and Kennedy Ronne. Talera Kinsey and Erin Hayhurst were also state qualifiers.

“On the diving side, I have Jared Galindo, who is my son. He’s a freshman this year,” Seacats coach John Galindo said. “I think we have a good chance on the diving side for him to qualify for state.”

Galindo said his previous state qualifers, along with Nikki Woodard and Patricia Woolsey, should all post good enough times to qualify for state.

The Seacats are a at a bit of a disadvantage since the Splash Area closed down, leaving them without a home.

“It’s been challenging, but if it wasn’t for the YMCA we woudln’t be able to do what we’re doing. I have to give my hats off to the YMCA for hosting us and treating us like family. It has made it easy for me because we have a pool to swim in and train,” Galindo said.

Without a home, all of the Seacats meets will be on the road.

“It’s always ncie to have home meets, but we’re used to traveling anyway,” he said. “We usually have one to two home meets anyway. Now we just travel a little bit more. The kids are well adjusted to it. It’s going to be good.”

Practicing diving has been the biggest problem for the Seacats.

“We actually have a good friendship with Cheyenne South,” They’ve been letting us to go down on the weekends and practice one day a week down there. Then we have our divers do some dry land stuff working on approaches. We’re at a disadvantage on the diving, but we’re making it work.”

One area the closure of the Splash didn’t hurt is recruiting.

This is probably our biggest group ever. Coming into this, I didn’t know what was going to happen with us not having the Splash. I have to give credit to the kids, especially our freshman last year. They kept promoting it and had fun with it. We had the biggest numbers ever and we had the most divers ever. We had eight divers. We’re only going to compete one this weekend because he’s been diving. I’m just so happy with the turnout and everybody wanting to swim,” Galindo said.

Jeff Van Patten is the sports editor of the Star-Herald. Jeff can be reached by calling 308-632-9050 or emailing jeff.vanpatten@starherald.com.

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