For the second time this season, it came down to the final event for the Newton High School girls’ swimming team in a home meet.
The Railers finished 1-6 in the 400-yard freestyle relay to move up two spots in the standings and win the Newton Invitational II Thursday at the NHS pool.
Newton scored 300 points, followed by Hutchinson at 287 and Maize South at 284. Great Bend was fourth at 204, followed by Campus at 190 and Maize at 89.
The team of Ashley Salgado, Annika Senn, Jaden Anton and Emily Robinson won in 4:03.77. The B team of Karina Brandt, Abby Hatch, Benedetta Conese and Erica Beebe finished sixth in 4:27.21. Both times were season bests and both teams beat their counterparts from Hutchinson and Maize South. Newton outscored Hutchinson by 26 points in the final event and Maize South by 28 points.
Newton also was aided by a Hutchinson disqualification in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
“It was all up to the girls,” Newton coach Kim Powell said. “The girls wanted this really bad. They talked in practice this week about who was coming to the meet and what we needed to do. We knew we needed to work on our relay starts. They had been a little slow lately. It was something we worked hard on in practice. Other teams were starting to catch up with us.”
Newton opened the day with a 1-2-4 finish in diving, won by Kailey Naysmith in 215.80, followed by Carli McCloud in second at 189.15 and Naomi Kuhn in fourth at 134.85, a season best in a six-dive meet. Both Naysmith and McCloud overcame one low-scoring dive,
“It was a really good meet,” Naysmith said. “I was hoping to score a little higher. I didn’t get the 2 1/2 twist. They said I didn’t come out of my twist and my arms were still up. It was better than a failed dive. Otherwise, it would have been a little bit higher. It’s been pretty steady all year.”
“That helped immensely,” Powell said. “It was fabulous. Those girls did a great job tonight.”
Naysmith took third at state last year in diving. Both Naysmith and McCloud are qualified for this year’s meet.
“We have league and state,” Naysmith said. “I’d like to break the school record again. I’d like to hit my 2 1/2. It’s a lot of little things — tight legs, things like that.”
Anton took second in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:28.17, followed by Beebe in fourth in 2:33.03, a .39-second time cut and .52 seconds off the automatic state qualifying time.
Robinson was third in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:17.99, a .68 second time cut. Robinson finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:17.75.
Senn finished second in the 500-yard freestyle in 6:05.18. Senn finished 1.08 seconds off the state qualifying time. Beebe was fourth in 6:09.96.
Senn finished third in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:12.49, followed by Karina Brandt in fourth in 1:12.65. Brandt posted a new state consideration time.
The team of Kara Peaney, Hatch, Naysmith and Salgado finished third in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:57.42, moving up a place when Hutchinson was disqualified. It was just Naysmith’s second swimming event this year.
Salgado was fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 1:01.29.
Newton will compete May 13 at the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I meet at the Wichita Northwest YMCA. Diving will be May 12 at the El Dorado High School pool.
“Hutchinson had a disqualification,” Powell said. “That’s what can happen in meets. There won’t be any room for mistakes. We’re going to keep doing what we did today. We have a couple of girls close to state times. We’re hoping league is where they get them.”