TOPEKA – Looking different and younger after losing six swimmers from their 2018 team, the McPherson High girls swim team still managed to go out a dominate in their 2019 season opener on Thursday at Topeka.

The Lady Pups easily outdistanced the field of ten teams by rolling up 471 points to win the meet, while Trinity Academy came in second with just 306 points. Topeka West (294), Lansing (247) and Independent School (246) rounded out the top five.

Included among the six who are no longer on the team due to graduation, moves or other sports were three state qualifiers in Megan Cutting, Hailey Cutting and Cassie Cooks.

But the returnees still provided solid talent to build on, including five state qualifiers from Smoky Valley and one from Moundridge as the Lady Bullpups have a consolidated team during the regular season.

“Our team looks very different this year,” McPherson Head Coach Abby Bradstreet noted. “We are much smaller and much younger but still came home with a first-place team finish. It’s always exiting to get the first meet underway because now we know what we truly look like during competition and what things we need to focus on changing.”

Kierstan Trost began her Lady Bullpup career the right way by winning the 100 Freestyle, the lone first place finish for McPherson on the day. Trost’s time was also a state qualifying time as was her fourth-place finish in the 100 Backstroke.

Both the relay teams in the 200 Medley (Karik Elliott, Kaylie Ryan, Macie Carlson and Helayna Mader) and 200 Freestyle (Ellie Brumbaugh, Avery Van Der Wege, Elliot and Carlson) placed second. Both relay teams made state qualifying times and will represent Smoky Valley at the State meet.

Carlson also earned a third-place finish in the 100 Butterfly, while freshman Marissa Pearcy took third in the 200 Freestyle.

Several individual swimmers also earned state consideration times as did both the 200 and 400 Freestyle relay teams made up of McPherson swimmers.

“A few girls did not swim their best times, but overall we had several time cuts, state qualifications and consideration swims which I couldn’t be happier about,” added Coach Bradstreet while concluding her post-meet reflections. “One of the highlights came in the 100 Breaststroke when Kaylie Ryan broke her Smoky Valley school record. We definitely have some work to do, but it was a fun meet and I’m so proud of how hard the girls have been working.”

Next up for the Lady Bullpup swimmers will be on Tuesday, Apr. 26 when they swim at El Dorado.

Lady Bullpup Individual Results at Topeka:

200 Medley Relay: 2. Lady Bullpups A (Elliott, Ryan, Carlson, Mader) 2:05.14; 8. Lady Bullpups B (Williams, Mierkiewicz, Achilles, Stucky) 2:15.44.

200 Freestyle: 3. Pearcy 2:21.64; 6. Vanderwege 2:32.69; 7. Mader 2:35.52.

200 Individual Medley: 4. Brumbaugh 2:43.75; 5. Stucky 2:43.96; 11. Vontz 3:03.42.

50 Freestyle: 4. Carlson 27.52; 8. Vanderwege 29.00; 10. Whorton 29.29; 29.

100 Butterfly: 3. Carlson 1:09.19; 8. Moore 1:23.67; 11. Achilles 1:27.59.

100 Freestyle: 1. Trost 59.38; 4. Elliott 1:01.70; 9. Mader 1:07.08.

500 Freestyle: 4. Stucky 6:30.47; 6. Elliott 6:41.38; 9. Mierkiewicz 7:08.80.

200 Freestyle Relay: 2. Lady Bullpup A (Brumbaugh, Vanderwege, Elliott, Carlson) 1:52.60; 3. Lady Bullpup B (Pearcy, Williams, Whorton, Trost) 1:55.51.

100 Backstroke: 4. Trost 1:07.28; 7. Pearcy 1:11.19; 12. Williams 1:18.46.

100 Breaststroke: 5. Ryan 1:20.82; 6. Brumbaugh 1:22.31; 9. Whorton 1:27.41.

400 Freestyle Relay: 4. Lady Bullpups A (Whorton, Mierkiewicz, Pearcy, Trost) 4:20.21; 5. Lady Bullpups B (Vanderwege, Mader, Brumbaugh, Stucky) 4:20.77.

Team Scoring at Topeka: 1. Lady Bullpups 471, 2. Trinity Academy 306, 3. Topeka West 294, 4. Lansing 247, 5. The Independent School 246, 6. Kansas City Piper 215, 7. Shawnee Heights 169, 8. Topeka Hayden 122, 9. Bonner Springs 79, 10. Wichita Collegiate 18.

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