The state swim meet is a lot like track, in that for a majority of the athletes involved, winning the race is near impossible.
For most, the race is against the clock, trying to improve on best times and have your best showing of the season come in your final opportunity.
With five best times in six swimming events, the Manhattan High swim team managed a successful trip to state over the weekend.
Competing against the state’s best, the Indians finished 15th at the Class 6A meet with 25 team points.
“We had seven different events, six of them were swimming,” Manhattan coach Jerry Carpenter said. “To have best times in 5 out of 6, that was really solid. The guys competed really well.”
The Indians improved their finish from last year, qualifying two of three relay teams to swim on Saturday’s finals as well as Jordan DeLoach qualifying in both of his individual events, the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
DeLoach finished in 13th place in the 200 free, with a time of 1:50.22. The senior took 14th in the 500 free with a 5:02.75 to end his Manhattan High swimming career while dropping seven seconds off his season-best time.
“Jordan had time drops in both his events on day one, and was really close to them on day two,” Carpenter said. “It was kind of strange, in the 500, he got a little bit off pace earlier than normal. So we’re trying to get him going, and we’re hoping he’d hold 30.5 splits and he was holding 31s, which wasn’t real bad - he was right there.
“But on his last 50, he went 28 seconds, which is kind of unheard of. He realized he had a little bit left.”
Carpenter said DeLoach was especially motivated in the 500 to beat Maize High’s Kyle Allsion.
“He was just trying to catch this guy next to him,” Carpenter said. “He caught him and out-touched him. He was pretty excited. He told me later, ‘I’ve raced that guy over and over, and he’s always beaten me. I really wanted to get him.’”
In diving, Evan Olson finished 11th with a score of 295.55.
“I think Evan had a good meet,” Carpenter said. “We weren’t able to see the prelims and semis, but we watched him do his final three dives. He’s had a great season.”
In addition to the four events that qualified for Saturday’s finals, the Indians narrowly missed having the medley relay team make it, finishing in 17th place with the top 16 advancing. Brett Bandy did not advance to Saturday’s finals in the 100 fly, finishing 23rd with a time of 59.61.
Manhattan finished 14th in the 200 freestyle relay, with the team of Bandy, David Woods, Cameron Beauregard and DeLoach finishing with a time of 1:35.27. The 400 free relay team of Beauregard, Levi Jones, Bandy and DeLoach, seeded 16th, also took 14th with a time of 3:32.05.
“The 400 free relay in particular, we were coming in 16th and picked off a few teams,” Carpenter said. “(DeLoach) ran Shawnee Mission Northwest down right at the end and ended up beating them by five one-hundreths, which even with 10 yards to go, I didn’t think he was going to catch him and he did.”
Carpenter said he was pleased with DeLoach’s leadership.
“He was getting the rest of the guys all pumped up, and they all went faster on day two,” he said. “That’s just part of being a leader. He was really motivating them and we had some good relays.”