Two first-place finishes in one week landed the McPherson High School boys swimming team the Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week award, presented by the McPherson Sentinel. The McPherson swimmers are the first team to win the Team of the Week award this winter season.

The Bullpups earned the award by winning the Newton Invitational on Thursday, followed by a dominating performance at the Maize Invitation on Saturday.

The Bullpups, who finished 10th at state in Class 5-1A last season, will be getting every team’s best shot throughout the season.

“I told the guys after the first meet that we aren’t flying under the radar anymore,” head coach Matt Morrow said. “Teams will be gunning for us so we have to stay focused and really keep working in practice.”

Saturday in Wichita, the Bullpups blasted the competition, scoring 401 points compared to 282 from second-place finisher Maize South. The high-powered 200 medley relay team of Will Powers, Jori VanGoethem, Justus Hampton, and Dawson VanGoethem took first place and knocked seconds off their state qualifying time.

Hampton also finished first in the 200 freestyle by .08 seconds, while Gavin Soukup finished fourth in the event. Powers followed Hampton’s performance by breaking his own school record in the 200 individual medley and taking first in the event.

Along with other top-three finishes, the Bullpups had a strong, second-place showing from the 400 free relay team of Hampton, Soukup, Dawson VanGoethem, and Powers. The Bullpups were missing regular contributor Matt Powers, making the team victory even more impressive.

“Our extra depth helped even through we were short Matt Powers,” Morrow said. “Our top swimmers really had a good meet and held up their spots from the first meet.”

Morrow said he’s excited to see how the Bullpups stack up on Tuesday when they travel to the Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium to take place in an stacked invitational. Many big-name Kansas City and Wichita schools will be in attendance.

Contact Gallagher Martin by email at and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel