Manhattan sending seven to Topeka
In addition to Cameron Beauregard, Manhattan’s Matt Bandy (500 free) and Evan Olson (diving) will also be competing as individuals at the state meet. The Indians also qualified each of its three relays, meaning Tyler Belin, Derrek Williams, Casey Hoffman and Xavier Hayden will make the trip.
For Olson, who returns to state after an 11th-place finish a year ago, nerves should be less of a factor.
“The first time they go in, they’re always kind of a deer in the headlights, and you see all of the big-dogs diving, and you get a little nervous,” Carpenter said. “He’s kind of been in the position where he’s been one of the top divers at a lot of meets this year. I think he can go in with an attitude — not cocky, but confident. He’s been there.”
Olson was another athlete who got started in swimming in high school, but has thrived.
“Evan’s another one who’s pretty raw, but an athletic kid who came out in high school for the first time, and it’s crazy how fast he’s learned things,” Carpenter said. “He’s not afraid to get on the board and work, too.”
For everyone on the relay teams except Beauregard, state will be a new experience. Carpenter said they’ll be ready to go on Friday.
“With the relays at state, you have to play the game in prelims,” he said. “You have to go faster — considerably faster than your seed. The guys know they’re going to have to have swims faster than they have all year.
“But it’s one of those deals where if you can’t get excited and pumped up at the state meet, I don’t know what it would take. That’s a pretty electric atmosphere.”
In years past, diving prelims typically take place on Thursday, with swimming events and diving finals on Friday and swimming finals on Saturday.
This year, prelims for both swimming (1:30 p.m.) and diving (6 p.m.) will be on Friday, with diving semifinals also on Friday evening. Saturday’s finals for Class 6A are set to begin at 3:30 p.m.
— Grant Guggisberg