MHS swimmers 2nd in home opener

By Grant Guggisberg

Manhattan High swimming coach Jerry Carpenter knows the first meet after spring break is always a tough one.

Much of the team is out of town for the week, meaning most of the conditioning done in the season’s first couple of weeks is potentially lost to a week of inactivity.

“You’re just starting to get into shape, and then you’re gone for a week,” Carpenter said. “It’s almost like you’re starting over a little bit, conditioning-wise. So this meet is always kind of a hard one for the girls. They’re racing, but they’re tired because the conditioning isn’t there yet.”

In its first home meet of the season, Manhattan took second place behind Lawrence Free State on Wednesday at the KSU Natatorium.

Free State finished the day with 511 points, with Manhattan taking second with 400. Third-place Junction City finished the meet with 175 points, while Maize South and Maize rounded out the scoring with 104 and 65 team points, respectively.

Carpenter said that for much of the team, Wednesday’s meet was their first real action of the year.

“We had a lot of girls, for whatever reason couldn’t go to Emporia,” he said. “So for some of them, this is their first meet, and at Emporia, they had exhibition 50 free, so a lot of girls swam that and maybe one relay. And some only swam the 50 free. So today we had some girls trying things that were brand new for them. It was fun.”

Individually, the Indians had a swimmer in the top five of every event on Wednesday.

Alana Bucholtz (2:14.56) and Hannah Funk (2:14.76) took fourth and fifth in the 200 freestyle, while Funk (27.38), Mariah Scipio (27.40) and Makayla Walters (28.50) took third, fourth and fifth in the 50 free.

Sam Gray (170.55) and Tara Schroller (141.60) took fourth and fifth in diving, while Cris Oropesa (1:12.12) and Julie Golden (1:21.16) took fourth and fifth in the 100 butterfly.

In the 100 free, Kaci Cink (1:09.31) took fifth place, while Oropesa (6:17.76) and Marlee Evans (6:49.69) took fourth and fifth in the 500 free. Madison Monaco (1:18.29) took second in the 100 back, while Katarina Zdolsek (1:19.23) and Emma Bartlett (1:23.92) took third and fifth in the 100 breast.

For the relays, the team of Bucholtz, Katie Bussman, Walters and Scipio took second in the 200 medley relay in a time of 2:06.91. In the 200 free relay, the team of Bucholtz, Funk, Zdolsek and Emily Cady took second in 1:51.27, with the team of Meagan Williams, Hanna Hayden, Stafanie Wimmer and Kayla Dieker taking fifth in a time of 2:07.45.

In the 400 free relay, the team of Funk, Oropesa, Walters and Bucholtz took second in a time of 4:11.25. Also in the top five were the teams of Zdolsek, Evans, Bartlett and Bussman (4th, 4:35.78), as well as the team of Justice Bishop, Mariana Torres, Williams and Golden (5th, 4:47.13).

“A lot of our new girls were faster than their time trial times, so that was good,” Carpenter said. “But we’ve got a lot of work to do and the girls know it. Now it’s time to get back to practice and get back after it. Next week we’ve got a couple meets - we go to Salina and Olathe, so that’s a challenging week. In Olathe, we’ll see some of the best teams in the state. And as far as that goes, Free State is a very good team. They’re certainly one of the top five teams in the state.”

The diving team travels to Emporia on Tuesday, while the swimming team travels to Salina South on Thursday afternoon.

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