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Good competition at HHS Invitational

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Good competition at HHS Invitational

Published on -4/24/2012, 10:11 AM

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David and Jocelyn Adams are husband and wife, but they also are rival coaches.

David is the second-year head coach of the Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' swim team, while Jocelyn is the assistant swimming coach for Hays High.

While the rivalry was more fun earlier in the year, David admitted Monday at the Hays High Invitational it's lost some of its fire since the two teams see each other at nearly every meet.

David said it's turned into more of a friendly rivalry, with each team motivating and supporting the other, but that doesn't mean he can't have fun with his wife, whom he married in January.

"At night, I like to kid her about how my 400 free relay did better than yours," David said, "but she'll come back and say 'Oh yeah, my team had this, this and this.' "

On Monday at the Center for Health Improvement, both husband and wife earned some bragging points, as Hays High and TMP had 13 combined top-three finishes.

Hays High finished second out of six teams with 268.5 points, while TMP placed sixth with 153. Dodge City won the meet with 304.

However, TMP's lack of team depth was the distinguishing factor. The Monarchs had five top-three finishes to Hays High's eight.

"When a 3A school like TMP goes against a 6A school like Garden City or Dodge City, it is tough to get points, but at the same time, you still manage to get them," David said.

Hays High junior Courtney Hess had the one first-place finish for either team, winning the 500-yard freestyle in 6 minutes and 34 seconds.

She improved her time by nearly two seconds.

"I was pretty happy with it, because I took off time," Hess said. "I want to get it down even further."

Underclassmen also had big days for Hays High.

Freshman Shelbie Berens was second in the 200-yard IM in 2:55.36 and finished third in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:19.54.

Freshman Becky Meagher placed third in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:26.63, and sophomore Taylor Hodny got third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:25.74.

Berens, Hodny, Meagher and Hess also were members of the second-place 200-yard medley relay team.

The 200-yard freestyle relay, composed of Hodny, Berens, sophomore Alexa Steinkuhler and junior Arin Straub, and 400-yard freestyle relay, composed of Steinkuhler, Hess, junior Courtney Kaba and sophomore Mackenzie Lewis, each finished third.

"It's a big team, but half of them have never swam before," said Hays High head coach Ann Adams. "The team's really young. We've had some really interesting surprises with some girls picking it up really fast."

TMP was led by senior Hollie Herbel. She finished second in the 100 butterfly in 1:22.90 and third in the 200 IM in 2:57.75.

Monarch Senior Beth Channell, who irritated a 2011 injury in her knee running earlier this year, placed third in the 100 freestyle in 1:05.15.

Channell, who qualified for state last year in the 50-yard freestyle, said the injury doesn't bother her so much in the water as it bothers her conditioning between meets.

"It doesn't hurt so much when I'm racing, but I feel it after," she said. "And I feel it on the flip turns, but that's it."

TMP's 200 and 400 freestyle relays, composed of Beth Channell, sophomore Becca Channell, junior Jenna Shuckman and sophomore Maria Marcotte, each finished second.

"This far into the season, everyone should be either beating or meeting their personal records," David Adams said, "and from what I had seen today, they have done a phenomenal job with that."

Neither teams have qualified anyone for state yet, but both coaches said they hope to take advantage of their last few remaining meets to get swimmers there.

"We've got four more opportunities, and we'll keep working at it," Ann Adams said.

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