Will Powers and Dawson VanGoethem will once again be on the same swim team.

After the performances of Will Powers and Dawson VanGoethem at the national stage, the future of the McPherson High swim team could be bound for new heights.

Powers will be entering his freshman season, while VanGoethem already has a year under a belt as a sophomore. McPherson Aqua Pups head coach Kyle Banman says he is excited to see his best two swimmers competing as Bullpups.

“With Will and Dawson it’s amazing to think that they are the two fastest swimmers we had on the team — even with the high school boys factored in — and they are just 14.” Banman said. “The only current McPherson swimmer that has a faster 50 time is Eric Gaeddert. They are going to have some fun this year once high school season kicks in as it should make for one extremely fast relay.”

According to Banman, Powers and VanGoethem love to compete amongst one another, and have been neck-and-neck in the past. Recently, Powers has gotten the better of the two, but VanGoethem is not too far behind.

“It’s been fun to see this friendly rivalry they have developed, that really goes back to last winter,” Banman said. “Both Will and Dawson are great kids though, and it’s been fun to see them progress.”

While VanGoethem was racing with the high school his freshman year, and Powers was racing in the short course program designed form middle school and below, neither racer could gain an advantage. And although the two have a fiery, competitive spirit, they work really well together in a relay event.

“That sort of thing has a trickle down effect on the whole team,” Banman said. “Others start pushing it harder, and we keep growing this wonderful thing that is McPherson Swimming.”

Matthew Powers and Rhys Vanderhoof are expected to fill the shoes left behind in the 13-14 age group. Banman also believes the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro may have an impact on number of new swimmers eager to give swimming a chance.

“I’m intrigued to see how much of an influence the Olympics will have on our numbers,” Banman said. “After the London Games four years ago, we had a huge jump, many of which are still swimming today, and I’m kind of anticipating something similar once again. With this potential for new members, it’s shaping up to be another great season of Aqua Pups swimming, and I’m excited to get going.”

The Aqua Pups are enjoying their brief break, as the short course season kicks back up again in early October.

Contact Gallagher Martin by email at gmartin@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel