MANHATTAN, Kan. — One of the greatest, if not the greatest, regular seasons in McPherson High School swimming history came to a close Saturday in Manhattan.
While the Bullpups were dramatically edged by Topeka Seaman, 497-491, for first place, McPherson established itself as one of the best teams in the entire state this season.
Out of their 10 invitationals, the Bullpups won eight and finished second in the other two. Saturday at Manhattan, the Bullpups nearly made it nine out of 10, but a very talented Topeka Seaman squad hung on for the win.
“Well, if you would have told me four years ago that we would have a season where we won eight meets and finished second in two, I would have thanked you for your optimism, but that is how we finished our regular season,” head coach Matt Morrow said. “It's a testament to where we have come as a program, as Seaman knew we were there and seemed pretty excited to get the win. Overall, it was really good to get a chance to see where we stacked up with some of the top teams in the state and get some confidence as we prepare for our league championship on Saturday, then the state championships on Feb. 16-17.”
The highlight of the meet for McPherson was the record-breaking performance by the 400 yard relay team of Dawson VanGoethem, Gavin Soukup, Justus Hampton, and Will Powers. While their time of 3:22.00 was good for second place, it broke the McPherson High School record.
Powers had another impressive afternoon, finishing first in the 200 individual medley and second place in the 100 backstroke.
VanGoethem also helped lead the way, finishing first in the 100 freestyle and second in the 50 freestyle.
Hampton also walked away with medals, taking second in both the 100 butterfly and the 500 freestyle.
In total, the Bullpups had 13 top-two finishes for the day.
With the regular season in the rear view mirror, the Bullpups shift their attention to the AVCTL DIII-IV Championships on Saturday in El Dorado.