After just one meet in the books, several members of the Manhattan High girls’ swimming and diving team can already plan their trip to Topeka for the Class 6A state swim meet in May.
The Indians qualified in five individual events and each of the three relays in Thursday’s season-opening meet at Emporia, while finishing third in the team standings with 370 points, behind first-place Lawrence Free State (561) and second-place Emporia (392).
“It was a good start to the season,” Manhattan head coach Jerry Carpenter said. “There was great competition. We were not at full strength today, but still picked up multiple state qualify times.
Leading the way for the Indians individually were Kelly Wichmann, Amanda Buckwalter and Alana Bucholtz.
Wichmann had the only first place for the Indians on the day, winning the 100 breast (1:13.69), while also taking third in the 200 free (2:05.75). Both times qualified for state.
Buckwalter qualified for state in both of the individual events she swam in, taking third in both the 50 free (26.33) and the 500 free (5:32.03).
Bucholtz qualified for state in the 100 fly, taking second place (1:05.68), while also taking fourth in the 200 free (2:09.54).
In diving on Wednesday, Tara Schroller took second with a score of 167.45. Schroller is the only returning diver who qualified for state a year ago.
Other top-10 finishes in swim events included Emily Cady in the 50 free (8th, 28.13) and the 100 free (7th, 1:02.06), Emma Bartlett in the 50 free (10th, 28.44), Katie Bussman in the 100 fly (10th, 1:17.90), Lauren Casper in the 100 free (10th, 1:04.63), Madison Monaco in the 100 back (9th, 1:17.10) and Marlee Evans in the 100 breast (10th, 1:25.42).
In the relays, the team of Bucholtz, Cady, Wichmann and Buckwalter took second in the 400 free (3:54.90), while the team of Cady, Justice Bishop, Leilani Kreck and Buckwalter took third in the 200 free (1:50.72). The medley relay team of Bucholtz, Wichmann, Casper and Bishop took third (2:02.84).
“It is always good to get the first meet out of the way,” Carpenter said, “and it certainly shows us that we need much more conditioning and need to improve on technique as well.”