It was an interesting senior day at the KSU Natatorium on Wednesday.
Scheduled as a tough tune-up for the Centennial League meet next week, the Manhattan High swimming and diving team ended up as the only full-squad team in attendance.
Emporia and Hayden each brought limited squads, and Washburn Rural opted not to come at all. All three opposing teams swam yesterday at a meet in Topeka.
“The good thing about it was it was our last home date, so we got to recognize our seniors, and the kids had fun with that,” Manhattan coach Jerry Carpenter said. “Our divers swam as a relay, just for fun. So we had fun, but from a tune-up standpoint, it’s not really a chance to tune up because there’s no competition.”
Manhattan won the meet with 227 points, with Hayden taking second with 106. Emporia finished third with 63 points.
Without much competition in the lanes, Manhattan won all 12 events on the day, while going 1-2 in eight of 12 events.
Mariah Scipio took first in the 200 free (2:16.11), while Cris Oropesa took first in the 200 individual medley (2:38.06). Hannah Funk won the 50 free (26.61) and the 100 free (59.33), while Alana Bucholtz won the 100 butterfly (1:08.50) and the 100 back (1:06.76). Katarina Zdolsek won the 100 breast (1:20.17), while Marlee Evans won the 500 free (6:46.37). Manhattan swept the diving competition, with Sam Gray winning with a score of 214.30.
The relay team of Bucholtz, Zdolsek, Makayla Walters and Emily Cady won the 200 medley relay (2:10.29), while the team of Zdolsek, Meagan Williams, Scipio and Funk won the 200 free (1:51.37). The team of Funk, Bucholtz, Scipio and Walters won the 400 free relay (4:02.27).
In what felt more like an intrasquad meet, Manhattan was especially dominant. The Indians had eight of the top nine times in the 50 free, three of the top six times in the 100 free, five of the top six times in the 100 breast and competed unopposed in the 100 fly and one-meter diving events.
“We had some bright moments, but it’s hard,” Carpenter said. “This time of year, we’re starting to rest them a little bit and they’re wanting to go fast, and when there’s nobody there to push you, sometimes it’s hard to throw the pedal down in open water.”
Carpenter said racing each other is not what he wants to be doing three weeks before state.
“It’s not real conducive to great competition for us,” Carpenter said. “The girls are just racing each other, there’s a little bit of racing that goes on that way, but especially for the top girls, it’s hard to throw the hammer down when you’re on your own.
“I was hoping we could have some more racing opportunities, but I knew when I saw the entries come in that would not be the case.”
Carpenter said he will be looking into ways to avoid this type of meet in the future.
“I think (the other teams) look at it as a chance for some of their second-line girls to swim, and that’s OK,” he said. “But maybe the trick is next year we try and swim at the meet on Tuesday instead of having this meet.”
Moving forward, Manhattan will compete in the Centennial League meet next weekend before swimming at state the following weekend.