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MHS boys swim and dive starts 2017 with a win

By Maria McIlwain

Increased effort for the Manhattan boys swim and dive team paid off on Wednesday.

The Indians came out strong in its first meet of 2017, picking up its first win. The Indians recorded a dominant 422 points. Great Bend came in second with 332, Olathe South recorded 281, Olathe South had 193 and Junction City finished with 93 points.

“(Effort) has been a lot better,” head coach Alex Brown said. “We talked about it a lot in practice, when you represent Manhattan High, when your name is listed under Manhattan High, make sure you’re always giving 100 percent because it’s not just you you’re racing for, you’re racing for your school as well.”

Junior Preston Harrison won two races, the 200 freestyle and the 50 free with times of 1:50.65 and 22.54, respectively. Harrison was dominant in both events, and it was his first time swimming the 50 free this year.

“He just kind of wanted to do it at this meet,” Brown said. “It just shows how strong of a swimmer he is. And he’s got a great work ethic. He’s always, ‘Can we do more? Can we go faster?’”

Trey Hafen 25.26 took third — a season best — just .04 before Suman Wang (25.30), who finished fourth in the 50 free. Hafen was also swimming an off event. Hafen also finished second in the 100 butterfly with a 1:01.16.

Freshman Xander Say took home first place in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:10.74. Zach Payne was right behind him in second place with a personal-best time of 1:13.06. Say also took third in the 100 freestyle with a personal best of 56.24. Cole Dudley also recorded a personal best in his individual event, coming in third in the 100 backstroke with a 1:09.12 and beating his previous time by more than two seconds.

The 200 freestyle relay of Say, Harrison, Nate Clark and Hafen won with a 1:39.39, and the 400 freestyle relay composed of Harrison, Say, Hafen and Wyatt Balman qualified for the state meet with a first-place time of 3:38.85.

On the diving board, sophomore Zane Kohl took first place with a 239.40, while freshman Tysen Plummer finished in second place with a 215.95. The Indians were without their third diver, Max Landsdowne.

“They both had really good meets,” diving coach Al Days said.

He added that they continue to improve but are sometimes inconsistent at practice.

Brown added that several others had strong swims with lots of best times.

The 200 medley relay of Wang, Say, Saito and Dudley took second with a time of 1:56.26, while the relay comprised of Clark, Kevin Kilner, Kyle Kramer and Zach Payne took third with a 2:00.70, dropping nearly six seconds off their seed time.

Balman pulled away to secure second place on the backstroke leg of the 200 individual medley, while Dritz snuck into third place during the breaststroke leg. Balman finished with a 2:28.55, while Dritz recorded a 2:32.68.

“There were many great races and we hope to take the momentum from this meet into our home meet next week,” Brown said.

Manhattan will return to action Jan. 18 at home.

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