Second place was a tough pill to swallow for the Manhattan swim and dive team on Wednesday night.
The Indians led Salina South by two points heading into the final event of the five-team meet, the 400 freestyle relay. But the Manhattan team of Wyatt Baulman, Nate Clark, Egan Dritz and Xander Say finished in third place, almost eight seconds behind the second-place Salina South team. Salina South finished with 525 points, and Manhattan finished with 523, beating out Salina Central (400), Junction City (237) and Hays (200).
“It is very tough because I think I saw a lot of guys that had the, ‘Oh we’re winning, and we can just kind of coast into a victory,’ (mentality),” head swim coach Alex Brown said. “I don’t think they heard the final score of what our points were.”
Brown added that disqualifications by veteran swimmers hurt the team.
“It’s tough because we had some DQs today that we normally don’t have,” Brown said. “We had some guys missing, but no excuses with it, we really should have performed to the level we were seeded at.
“We’ve got to give it 100 percent every race, and then be smart. Because some of our DQs we had were on B relays with veteran guys (who) made little mistakes that we just need to be smarter about. They know what they’re supposed to do, it just wasn’t executed the way we normally do.”
He said about eight swimmers were missing because of illness. That allowed for some younger swimmers to shine.
Zach Payne was one of those swimmers. The sophomore won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:14.22. He also took fifth in the 50 freestyle with a 27.89.
Brown said freshman Egan Dritz, sophomore Parker Holborn and senior Brent Telck also stepped up for the Indians. Dritz took fourth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:09.41 and fifth in the 200 individual medley with a 2:28.75, while Holborn finished fourth in the 500 freestyle with a 6:39.99. Telck took seventh in the 100 and 200 free with times of 1:03.56 and 2:26.45, respectively.
Manhattan was tight through the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay, but fell behind on the butterfly and finished in second to start out the meet.
The relay, comprised of Payne, Baulman, Clark and Cole Dudley recorded a time of 1:58.59. Hayden Telck, Luke Wichmann, Harrison Jones and Blaine Snyder took sixth at 2:19.40.
The Indians also took second in the 200 free relay. Payne, Clark, Say and Ko Saito out-touched Salina Central for the second-place finish at 1:46.84. The team of Wichmann, Kyle Kilner, Brian Dudley and Dirk Andrade took seventh in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:59.29.
Individually, Clark took second in the 100 freestyle with a 58.91. Baulman finished second in both the 100 fly with a time of 1:05.84 and the 500 free with a 6:20.47. Say took fourth in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:22.03, missing out on second place by one hundredth of a second. He finished sixth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:10.85 after a strong start.
Cole Dudley finished with a fourth place in the 100 free with a time of 1:00.61 and seventh in the 100 back with a 1:12.05 mark. Brian Dudley finished fourth in the 100 breast at 1:26.48, Hayden Telck took fourth in the 50 free with a time of 27.61, Kevin Kilner took sixth in the 200 free with a 2:26.31 and Kyle Kramer came in third in the 500 free with a 6:25.45 and seventh place in the 200 IM with a 2:47.98.
On the diving board, sophomore Zane Kohl took first place with a score of 241.70, while Max Landsdowne finished in second place with a 200.65.
“Both Zane and Max, we want to increase the difficulty of their dives,” head diving coach Al Days said. “For Max, so he can qualify for state, and for Zane so he can have harder dives to help compete against the big dogs.”
Brown hopes to use Wednesday’s meet as a motivating tool as Manhattan is off for Christmas break. The Indians return to the pool on Jan. 11 for a home meet against Great Bend, Olathe North, Olathe South and Junction City.