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MHS swimming takes 21st at state

By Joel Jellison

With 10 points on the weekend, the Manhattan High boys’ swimming team finished 21st at the Class 6A state meet, which concluded on Saturday at Hummer Sports Park’s Capital Federal Natatorium.

Shawnee Mission East won its sixth title in the last eight years, while Blue Valley North was second and Wichita East was third.

Washburn Rural was the top Centennial League squad in 10th place, while Topeka High finished 12th.

The top finisher of the weekend for the Indians was one-meter diver Ryan Cady, who finished 11th to conclude his career, one season after finishing eighth at the meet as a junior.

Cady scored 341.10 in the finals to post six points for the Indians, while sophomore diver Evan Olson missed the finals with a finish of 20th in Thursday’s semifinals. Olathe Northwest’s Clark Thomas, one of the top divers in the nation, won the event with a score of 545.45, more than 80 points from the next closest competitor.

Manhattan’s remaining points came from Jordan DeLoach in the 500-yard free race. DeLoach qualified 13th in the preliminary race on Friday with a time of 5:05.04.

In Saturday’s finals, he again finished 13th, this time with a time of 5:06.06.

DeLoach joined three teammates in Levi Jones, Brett Bandy and Cameron Beauregard for the 200-medley relay prelims on Friday, finishing with the 20th best time at 1:52.86, and failing to advance to the finals on Saturday.

The same four competed in the 400-free relay on Friday, and finished with a 19th best time at 3:37.21, also missing the chance to race again on Saturday. The four did swim faster than their seeded times in the relay races to set season bests.

MHS coach Jerry Carpenter said it was nice weekend for the six that participated in the meet.

“We had best times, everybody was best times, it was a fantastic weekend for the guys and we swam very well,” he said. “Jordan dropping 6 seconds in his 500 and making it in the top 16 was good, it was a great two days for us.”

Of the six that participated on the weekend for Manhattan, only Cady was a senior, meaning the others will have a future shot at returning.

Carpenter said he spoke with the team about that.

“They said it themselves, they said they were close in the 400 free, but then they said we are all coming back, and they were right,” he said. “They rose to the occasion, and I’ve seen teams go there and flop. We had our best times at the state meet, so they were getting after it.”

Looking back at the season, Carpenter was most impressed by the strides the team made as the year progressed, and is already excited about the future.

“It’s been a really good year, and we knew going in that we were young and just had a lot of learning to do and a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “These guys, from top to bottom, we got better and better as the year went on. Jordan made so many strides and to end up where he did at state, that’s pretty darn good.”

Manhattan had just two seniors on its team this season, meaning most of the team could likely return for the 2012-13 school year.

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