The McPherson Aqua Pups spent part of their weekend swimming at the Wichita Swim Club while participating in the Presidential Invitational.
With the meet being the final meet of the team’s regular season, many swimmers were looking to gain district and championship qualifying times.
According to Aqua Pup Head Coach Kyle Banman, “We had 10 swimmers attend the Presidential Invitational over the weekend as it was the final meet of our regular season. This meet can be tough if just looking at it from a final times and placing perspective because it is the last meet before the qualifiers for all the clubs in our area, so there were a lot of kids trying to make that final push for Districts and Championship times – so the competition was high. Combine that with this not being an A, B, C meet, only the top eight finishers earn awards, so it can be hard to see the forest through the trees. I really thought this was a good one to see overall progress that the swimmers have made this season.”
Here are a few highlights from the meet:
Nethmi Hewawitharan earned a first ever District time with a 55.16 in the 50 breaststroke.
Gracy Hubbard eared a first ever District time with a 2:00.56 in the 100 breaststroke, while also cutting 9.01 off a best time in the 50 freestyle with a 39.60.
Gracy Bohnenblust cut time on all three of her swims, while being the top finisher at seventh in the 8-under, 50 backstroke.
Sam Madden and Riley Gard both competed in just their second-ever swim meet.
Jensen Mierkiewicz was the Aqua Pups lone 13-under swimmer and maintained her district level time in the 100 freestyle with a 1:09.89.
Olivia Smolik had a pair of solid time drops with a 5.07 improvement in the 50 breaststroke and gaining a 7.08 improvement in the 50 backstroke.
Jordan Vanderhoof capped off her season with a personal best in the 100 freestyle, cutting 3.04 seconds off her best time with a 1:34.07.
Adyson Wiens put up a great 40.55 on her split in the 200 Freestyle Relay, while also having a nice 1.74 drop in the 50 Backstroke.
Hazel Wuertz tuned up for Districts nicely with her 100 Freestyle, where she made an .84 improvement with a time of 1:32.61.
The 10-under, girls 200 medley relay quartet of Gracy Bohnenblust, Nethmi Hewawitharana, Hazel Wuertz and Adyson Wiens took seventh with a time of 3:36.13.
The 10-under, girls 200 freestyle relay team of Gracy Hubbard, Riley Gard, Olivia Smolik and Adyson Wiens took fifth with a time of 3:13.59.
Hailey and Megan Cutting of McPherson were also recognized by Banman as they swim for the Wichita Aqua Shocks, with whom Hailey gained a pair of seventh-place finishes in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, while Megan swam for sixth in the 200 breaststroke, seventh in the 100 butterfly and eighth in the 100 breaststroke.
Next up for the Aqua Pups will be districts on Feb. 17 and 18, at the Wichita Swim Club.