Redfield's Replays: June 19
MUSTANG SOPHOMORE SEE SWIMMING AS LIFE
Blue Valley North sophomore Bentley Hulshof has an opinion of swimming and life.
“Swimming prepares you not only for races and meets but for everyday life,” she says. “It teaches you to be responsible and how to deal with pressure on the spot.
“It is also an escape from the rest of the world. Whatever has been bothering you all day, you can put it aside and just focus on yourself, your team and your swimming.”
The distance freestyler finished second in the 200-yard freestyle and 500 freestyle as a freshman.
“I definitely think placing second last year motivated me to work harder this year because nothing is ever a given,” she says. “I am always trying to improve — my times, my rankings and my technique.
“I can’t imagine a time when there won’t be anything left to improve.”
The sophomore easily won both events at this year’s state meet in Topeka. She won the 200 free in 1:51.92 and the 500 in 5:02.12.
Hulshof got an early start in swimming.
“When I was around six or seven, my mom signed me up for the Hallbrook Country Club swim team just so I would learn how to swim.
“At first, I didn’t like it so much; it was cold and I was a typical kid. I then began swimming for my club team (Tsunami Swim Team of Kansas City). As I grew up, I learned to love the sport and competing.”
Her uncle, Tom Kleiboeker, is the head coach of the Tsunami Swim Team.
“I really love swimming any event, sprint or distance,” she says. “I’m naturally a better distance freestyler swimmer, which means I swim the 500 freestyle, 1000 freestyle and 1650 freestyle along with the 400IM (Individual Medley).
“However, I also love to compete in the sprint events like the 200 free.”
Winning two events at the 6A state meet isn't the only highlight of her swimming career.
“In club swimming, I placed third at sectionals last winter (2013) in the 1,500-meter freestyle and made the podium alongside two really amazing swimmers,” she says. “I have had the privilege of getting to compete in the NCSA Junior Nationals now two years in a row in March.
“When I was 13, I was selected for USA Swimming National Zone Select Camp where two kids are selected from each zone to attend. It was amazing to be with so much talent and really helps to put things in perspective completion-wise.”
She isn’t a big swimmer.
“I’m not as big or as strong as a lot of my competitors, so I have to find advantages in other places,” she says. “My work ethic and my ability to push past the pain in practice are two of my biggest strengths.
“I also have a good sense of timing in the water, so I can hold places almost to the tenth of a second in training, which hopefully translates well in my races.”
The sophomore would like swim in college.
“I haven’t decided exactly where I want to go, but generally I know the kind of programs and the type of coach I’m looking for,” she says. “I definitely want to be part of a really strong team where I can contribute and make a difference.”
Hulshof would like to swim in the Olympics Trials for the 2016 Olympics.
TIGERS NEED SOFTBALL COACH
Blue Valley is looking for a head softball coach.
Interested coaches should contact Matt Ortman at the school.
LONG-TIME AQUINAS COACH LILLIS DIES
Long-time Aquinas teacher/coach Tim Lillis died suddenly of a massive heart attack on June 13.
Lillis, 52, started at the school in 1991 and he taught and coached for 23 years.
He was an assistant football coach for the entire 23 years and he was head wrestling coach for four years in the '90s. He was also an assistant coach in tennis.