Marlins shine at home meet

By Brady Bauman

Manhattan Marlins head coach Rob Putnam wanted his swim team to show off on its home turf Saturday afternoon during the Little Apple Invitational at the City Park pool.

The Marlins didn’t disappoint.

Teams from across the region — including clubs from Emporia, Hutchinson, Salina, Andover, Wamego and Kansas City — took part in the meet as the Marlins captured wins in 29 events throughout all four age groups.

“From my perspective, we only host two meets here — one in the winter and one in the summer — and it’s really great for us to be here in town to show off what we’ve been working on,” Putnam said. “I wanted them to enjoy this opportunity, and the second thing, I asked for them was their best effort. I feel like they did both those things.

“They had a lot of fun racing.”

Pilar Dritz, who didn’t swim with Manhattan High this past spring, dominated the 13-and-over division for the Marlins. Dritz, 17, competed in the 200-meter freestyle, 200-meter backstroke and the 50-meter backstroke — winning all three. In the 50-meter backstroke, she defeated the field by nearly 5 seconds.

On the boys’ side, Cameron Beauregard, who is also 17, won four events and finished second in another.

“Pilar and Cameron swam really well and had some nice races,” Putnam said. “But our team is just in a place right now where this kind of meet sets us up for success later in the summer and I think kids will get some confidence from (this weekend’s) races.”

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