The Manhattan High girls’ swimming and diving only won two events at Friday’s Centennial League meet in Topeka at the Capitol Federal Natatorium.
The Indians still won the title, though.
Scoring 417 team points, Manhattan edged Emporia (386) and Washburn Rural (372) to claim the league crown back from Washburn Rural, who won it the past two seasons. The Indians last won in 2011, when this group of seniors were freshmen.
Manhattan head coach Jerry Carpenter said he loves it when his team wins because of depth, which was the case on Friday.
“We only won the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay, but still managed to hold Emporia and Washburn Rural in a very tight team race,” he said. “It is very exciting for me when we win meets with our depth.”
While the Indians got only two wins, they got three second-place finishes and five thirds to help bolster the team score.
Leading the way was Manhattan’s top four swimmers all season, which made up both winning relays while taking the bulk of the team’s top finishes among individual events and earning the team’s only all-league honors.
Alana Bucholtz took second in the 100 back (1:01.21) and third in the 100 fly (1:04.03), while Amanda Buckwalter took second in the 500 free (5:28.72) and third in the 200 free (2:01.41). Kelly Wichmann was second in the 100 breast (1:12.08) and fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:22.42), while Mariah Scipio took third in the 50 free (26.40) and fourth in the 100 free (57.42).
The Indians got a top-three performance in diving from Tara Schroller, who scored 326.80.
Depth was the key for Manhattan, which had three girls scoring points in every individual event.
“We had a great meet,” Carpenter said. “We had best times in 27 of 30 swims and all of our girls in point-scoring events scored.”
Carpenter said Scipio met the state qualifying time in the 100 free, which will only bolster the team’s lineup next week at state, also in Topeka.
Bucholtz, Buckwalter and Wichmann were named to the all-Centennial first team, with Scipio making the second team.