• Cats aim to ditch excuses

  • There’s one thing Blue Springs girls swimming coach Bill Shalley isn’t willing to tolerate. Not now. Not ever.

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  • There’s one thing Blue Springs girls swimming coach Bill Shalley isn’t willing to tolerate. Not now. Not ever.
    Shalley isn’t about to accept any excuses from his squad. He made that much clear after Friday night’s Blue Springs Relays at Centennial Pool-Plex. It doesn’t make much difference to Shalley that his team is only two meets into the season. And it didn’t matter to him that the Wildcats were missing a couple varsity regulars. He still expected production.
    Fortunately, Blue Springs turned in a decent effort that Shalley described as passable, if nothing else. Scores weren’t kept at the meet that featured the Cats, Lee’s Summit West, St. Teresa’s Academy, Notre Dame de Sion, Kearney, Park Hill South, Raymore-Peculiar and Liberty.
    “I thought we had some people do some nice jobs,” Shalley said. “We’ve just got a long way to go and we need to make sure we’re making progress and not excuses.”
    The 300-yard backstroke relay squad of Liz Oles, Angela Anderson and Lyndsy Myers notched the Cats’ lone first-place finish with a time of 3 minutes, 23.60 seconds.
    “Probably our most consistent (event) was the backstroke relay,” Shalley said. “All three contributed something pretty equal. I think that’s why they ended up with the win there.”
    Other notable Blue Springs efforts included a second-place mark in the 200 medley relay (Anderson, Corinne Rinne, Alyssa Aubuchon and Amy Jorgensen), another second-place tally in the 800 freestyle relay (Myers, Oles, Aubuchon and Leigh Ana Dietiker) and a third-place finish in the 300 butterfly relay (Oles, Aubuchon and MacKenzi Wright).
    “It was a good meet for everyone,” Rinne said. “We had a lot of best times from girls that have been dead tired and haven’t been swimming year-round. They’re still already getting their best times, so that’s exciting to look forward to.”
    Shalley would probably be proud of the way his swimmers assessed their performance in the minutes following the meet. Rinne and Oles both acknowledged that it’s early in the season and the group is still very much a work in progress, but they focused more on what they were able to accomplish despite all that.
    “Some of the new girls dropped quite a bit of time,” Oles said. “I think that was important for us as a team to just realize that we actually are swimming fast and what we’re doing is paying off.”
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