In a move that may have even surprised the coach, the McPherson High School girls swim team scored a meet victory by taking first at Topeka on Thursday.

“To say I am proud is 100 percent an understatement,” noted Lady Bullpup head coach Abby Bradstreet. “I knew our girls have been working hard in practices, but to see them go out and win their first meet, especially the Topeka meet, could definitely be the highlight of the season, definitely a pleasant surprise for us.”

As a team, McPherson put 385 points on the scoresheet, 29 better than second-place Olathe South who finished with 356. Washburn Rural (321), Emporia (250) and Topeka Seaman (244) rounded out the top five of the twelve team field.

While the Lady Pups won the meet, they had no first-place finishes and just two second-place finishers with sophomore Macie Carlson in the 200 butterfly and the 200 freestyle relay quartet of freshmen Karik Elliot and Ellis Brumbaugh, plus sophomores Helayna Mader and Katie Stucky. The team did pile up points with two third-place finishes, four fourth-place landings, and three fifth-place endings.

“Even with an unfortunate disqualification in one of our relay events, our girls still stayed positive and determined to go out there and swim their best,” Bradstreet said. “We had so many personal best swims that I cannot even count them. Both our medley relays qualified for the state meet, with one being of McPherson girls and the other Smoky Valley swimmers, as did our 400-freestyle relay team.”

Also gaining qualifying times for the state meet was senior Megan Cutting in both the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. McPherson also had four girls earn five state consideration times.

“It is only our first meet of the season and we have already qualified one-third of our team for state, that is truly exciting,” Bradstreet said. “It was fun to see the smiles all around today on the team. From new to old swimmers, the girls were excited about their performances today. I am so impressed with every single one of these girls and cannot wait to see how they perform throughout the rest of the season.”

Next up for the Lady Bullpup swimmers will be on April 3 when they swim at a ten-team meet in Winfield.


200 Medley Relay – 3. 2:08.26 (Karik Elliott, Kaylie Ryan, Macie Carlson, Ellie Brumbaugh); 4. 2:08.43 (Maggie Leaf, Hailey Cutting, Megan Cutting, Cassie Cooks).

200 Freestyle – 5. 2:27.98 Macie Carlson; 9. 2:34.46 Jensen Mierkiewicz; 10. 2:35.62 Helayna Mader.

200 Individual Medley – 4. 2:29.27 Megan Cutting; 10. 2:43.89 Ellie Brumbaugh; 14. 2:56.01 Macy Hubbard.

50 Freestyle – 7. 28.22 Maggie Leaf; 10. 28.36 Karik Elliott; 13. 29.14 Cassie Cooks.

50 Freestyle Exhibition Swimmers – Hope Williams 29.97, Kaylie Ryan 29.98, Ashley Achilles 31.16, Ashley Moore 32.81, Zoe Vontz 33.38, Ally Soukup 34.26, Riya Shah 34.80, Katie Martin 35.09, Kaylea Herrman 39.62, Daniell Emerson 40.14.

100 Butterfly – 2. 1:09.52 Macie Carlson; 6. Ellie Brumbaugh 1:13.95; 9. 1:20.85 Katie Stucky.

100 Freestyle – 4. 1:02.57 Hailey Cutting; 10. 1:07.90 Cassie Cooks; 11. 1:08.41 Helayna Mader.

500 Freestyle – 5. 6:22.19 Hailey Cutting; 10. 6:55.73 Jensen Mierkiewicz; 11. 6:56.25 Katie Stucky.

200 Freestyle Relay – 2. 1:55.20 (Karik Elliott, Helayna Mader, Ellie Brumbaugh, Katie Stucky).

100 Backstroke – 5. 1:11.40 Maggie Leaf; 7. 1:13.50 Karik Elliott; 9. 1:17.11 Macy Hubbard.

100 Breaststroke – 4. 1:17.55 Megan Cutting; 8. 1:24.09 Kaylie Ryan; 24. 1:35.76 Zoe Vontz.

400 Freestyle Relay – 3. 4:15.89 (Hailey Cutting, Maggie Leaf, Cassie Cooks, Megan Cutting); 7. 4:28.24 (Macie Carlson, Hope Williams, Helayna Mader, Katie Stucky).


1. McPherson High School, 385 points

2. Olathe South High School, 356 points

3. Washburn Rural High School, 321 points

4. Emporia High School, 250 points

5. Seaman High School, 244 points

6. Topeka High School, 193 points

7. Topeka West High School, 136 points

8. Salina South High School, 122 points

9. Shawnee Heights High School, 112 points

10. Independence High School, 80 points

11. Salina Central High School, 79 points

12. Bonner Springs High School, 47 points