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Two Manhattan swimmers sign

By Grant Guggisberg

Two of Manhattan High’s top girls’ swimmers made their college decisions official at signing ceremonies in the last week.

Alana Bucholtz chose to swim at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, while Amanda Buckwalter signed her letter of intent to swim at Oklahoma Baptist University.

For Bucholtz, the three-time All-Centennial League first team selection took one visit and made her decision, choosing Kearney because of its campus size and the swim program.

“It’s a small town, kind of like Manhattan,” Bucholtz said. “It’s only like 30,000, and the school is small, with maybe 7,000. So I liked that. And the team, everyone is really nice. The coach is nice, too. I like how it’s kind of a smaller campus.”

Bucholtz said she was unsure where she wanted to go early in the process, but one visit was all it took to be certain of her choice.

“I started out at the beginning of the year, not knowing where I wanted to go,” she said. “Then I wanted to go all the way to the coast. But my mom actually found Kearney and then said ‘let’s take a visit,’ and I actually ended up loving it there. I took one visit and really liked it.”

In the case of Buckwalter, who transferred to Manhattan High at the beginning of the school year from Texas, finding a school that she liked that also fielded a swim team made the process tough.

“When my older brother decided to go to college, he decided to go to Dallas Baptist University,” Buckwalter said. “I went on a visit there, and saw how the school was laid out, and I knew this was what I wanted in a school, except they didn’t have a swim team. So I had to go look at other schools.

“I got it down to Oklahoma Baptist and Ouachita Baptist, and it took a lot of time to think about which would be better for me. I went on two visits, and recently decided to go to Oklahoma Baptist.”

Buckwalter said the adjustment to life in Kansas has been smooth, though the high school swimming season is much different.

“It’s actually a much shorter season than I’m used to in Texas,” she said. “There, you start in September and run through February, so to have a lot of meets jam packed into every week is a little stressful, but I think it’s fun to get out and compete. It’s really worth it.”

The senior said club swimming this summer helped her meet new friends.

“Because I started swimming, I got to meet people and start interacting before school started, so I didn’t feel completely alone on the first day,” she said. “It was nice to know people I could turn to and talk to.”

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