Viking Senior Claire Denk missed the McPherson High/Smoky Valley High School swim team’s first meet last week.

Viking Senior Claire Denk missed the McPherson High/Smoky Valley High School swim team’s first meet last week.
You couldn’t tell, however, Friday at the Topeka Invitational, as she qualified for state in two different races, taking second place in one and third in the other.
Denk made the state meet in May in the 50-yard freestyle, where she took second with a time of 26.79 seconds, and the 100 free, taking third in 59.04.
Denk wasn’t the only one to make the state cut, as MHS sophomore Katie Wurm qualified for her third state race, this time in the 100 free, coming in just behind Denk at fourth with a time of 59.27.
Wurm also took second in the 200 free with a time of 2:19.51, which was only three seconds off the mark, and was on the third place, state-qualifying 200 freestyle relay with Kellsie Corrigan, Ellen Yowell and Denk.
Overall, McPherson took seventh amongst 13 teams, though it could just as easily have been a fourth place finish.
“The scores were very tight and just two more points would have landed us in fourth place,” MHS coach Bonnie Sue Fisher said. “Which is especially a great result due to the fact that we were one of the smallest teams there.”
Emporia won the meet with 405 total points, followed by Washburn Rural, Salina Central, Coffeyville, Olathe South and Topeka West. Olathe South and Topeka West both finished with 167 points, while MHS had 166.
The Pups don’t have much time to rest, however, as they will be back in competition Tuesday at Winfield.
“We are in the toughest part of our season right now with a lot of meets and not many days in between to continue to get in shape and to also compete at a higg level,” Fisher said. “I have been very impressed with how hard they are working in practice and how well they support each other and are bonding as a team.”

Topeka Invitational
200 medley relay — 9. MHS (Starkel, Yowell, Denk and Cook), 2:13.45. 21; MHS B (Hansen, Herman, Corrigan and Stambaugh), 2:33.68.
200 freestyle — 2. Wurm, 2:19.61; 22. Herman, 2:58.8.
200 individual medley — 14. Starkel, 2:54.44; 26. Tolbert, 3:56.49.
50 freestyle — 2. Denk, 26.79; 13. Cook, 28.78; 17. Corrigan, 29.59.
100 freestyle — 3. Denk, 59.04; 4. Wurm, 59.27; 29. Hansen, 1:17.85.
500 freestyle — 24. Houston, 7:49.13.
200 freestyle relay — 3. MHS A (Wurm, Corrigan, Yowell and Denk), 1:52.32; 14. MHS B (Moore, Stambaugh, Hansen and Cook), 2:06.88.
100 backstroke — 12. Starkel, 1:19.34; 21. Houston, 1:29.7; 28. Kunde, 1:43.65.
100 breaststroke — 9. Yowell, 1:26.87; 15. Corrigan, 1:30.93; 29. Herman, 1:42.62.
400 freestyle relay — 8. MHS A (Cook, Moore, Starkel and Wurm), 4:36.21; 22. MHS B (Houston, Kunde, Stambaugh and Tolbert), 5:40.01.