His team has only competed twice, but Manhattan High swimming and diving coach Jerry Carpenter knows his team has potential.
Competing for the second time in as many days at their inaugural Manhattan Invitational, the Indians took second place as a team, finishing behind Washburn Rural but staying close all evening at the KSU Natatorium.
Rural won the meet with 515 team points, with Manhattan scoring 473 and Garden City in third with 400.
Carpenter said he was pleased with the performance of his team, but would like to see more of the girls try new events and create even more depth to challenge the area’s top teams.
“It’s becoming obvious that we have some talent this year, but in order to become a stronger team, we are going to need some girls to step out of their comfort zones and enter in to some of the more challenging events,” Carpenter said. “We had only one diver competing, only two in the 200 free, one in the 200 IM and no one in the 100 fly.
“To be so close to Washburn Rural, which had three girls in every event, is a testament to our potential. We have a lot of work to do, but I am very optimistic about our chances.”
The Indians won 6 of 12 events Friday evening in the seven-team invitational, including all three relays, while once again being led by its top swimmers individually.
Amanda Buckwalter took first in each event she swam in Friday, anchoring the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay, while also winning the 200 free (2:04.35) and the 500 free (5:30.37).
Diver Tara Schroller was the other first-place finisher as an individual, winning the diving competition with a score of 307.90.
Kelly Wichmann finished second in the 100 free (57.37) and fourth in the 100 back (1:08.50). Alana Bucholtz third in both the 50 free (26.51) and the 100 back (1:04.92). Mariah Scipio took fourth in the 50 free (26.62) and fourth in the 500 free (6:23.22). In the 100 free, Emily Cady (4th, 1:01.55) and Lauren Casper (5th, 1:03.06) also got top-five finishes.
Other top-10 finishes included Marlee Evans in the 200 free (7th, 2:30.26) and the 100 breast (6th, 1:24.71), Katie Bussmann in the 200 IM (6th, 2:44.26) and the 100 breast (8th, 1:25.37), Cady in the 50 free (7th, 28:13), Madison Monaco in the 100 back (8th, 1:18.78) and Emma Bartlett in the 100 breast (7th, 1:25.01).
The Indians swept each relay, with the medley relay team (Bucholtz, Wichmann, Scipio, Buckwalter) winning with a time of 1:58.19, while the 200 free relay team (Bartlett, Monaco, Casper, Cady) won with a time of 1:53.71. The 400 free relay team (Wichmann, Scipio, Bucholtz, Buckwalter) finished off the meet with a win in 3:55.78.
“Overall we had a good day,” Carpenter said. “We were able to get the majority of our new swimmers a chance to compete, and we saw lots of time improvements from our early season time trials and several of the girls who swam last night dropped time as well.”
After competing on back-to-back days, Manhattan gets back after it on Wednesday, hosting a quadrangular with Junction City, Lawrence Free State and Maize at 3:30 at the KSU Natatorium.