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Avery Inman competes in the 500-yard freestyle in a meet at the Hummer Sports Complex Natatorium in Topeka on March 29. Inman was named second-team All-Centennial League on Thursday.

TOPEKA — After a season full of wins stacked on wins, Manhattan High girls swimming nearly added a Centennial League title on Thursday.

However, the Indians finished as the league’s runner-up, falling a mere 17 points behind champion Washburn Rural.

“Realistically, I thought the 17-point game against Rural should’ve been closer to 80,” said Manhattan head coach Alex Brown. “We swam really well today. We had some kids missing that could’ve made the difference for us today to win the championship. We can’t make excuses. You can’t play with what you can’t control, you just have to go do it.

“Although we didn’t get first place today, it was awesome. We had our best times in almost every single race. They weren’t season-best times, they were career-best times. Today was very emotional for our seniors who raced in their last league meet. I think a lot of them are happy with the way they swam today, as am I.”

The Indians had 17 top-five finishes in various events, including two first-place finishes.

That performance impressed their opponents.

“Manhattan really surprised us today,” said Washburn Rural coach Bob Burdick. “Manhattan was competing side by side with us in almost every event. They had a lot more individual wins than we did. I was surprised that we were able to overcome (Manhattan). That team is a really good one.”

Seven Manhattan swimmers ended up on either first-team all-league or second-team all-league after Thursday’s event.

First teamers Sophia Steffensmeier, Ruth Perez and Audrey Conley had career days, accounting for nearly 25% of the Indians’ total points.

“Everyone on our team came out and swam with passion today,” Steffensmeier said. “I am happy with the way I swam, personally. I’m just glad I get an opportunity to swim at this pool here in Topeka. Every time we get the opportunity to race, it’s a good one.”

Samantha Tarter, Juliet Balman, Avery Inman and Soledad Rodriguez’s efforts were good enough to land them on the second team all-league list.

“We have the opportunity to do something special after today’s meet,” Steffensmeier said. “Our next and last meet is state and I think we are confident that we can beat our times today at state. Why not us?”

The Class 6A and 1-5A state championships will take place at the Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center in Lenexa on May 19-21.

Team scores

1. 1. Washburn Rural, 418, 2. Manhattan, 401, 3. Seaman, 289, 4. Emporia, 283, 5. Junction City, 176, 6. Topeka High, 170, 7. Hayden, 166, 8. Topeka West, 141.

Individual results

1-meter diving – 1. Devlin, Topeka High, 461.95, 2. Vincent, Emporia, 449.55, 3. Stutler, Emporia, 404.30, 4. Sanneman, Manhattan, 370.10, 5. Gardner, Emporia, 355.00.

200 medley relay — 1. Seaman (G. Grace, A. Walz, J. Grace, T. Walz), 1:51.76, 2. Manhattan (Conley, Perez, Steffensmeier, Balman), 1:58.48, 3. Washburn Rural (Bare, Harris, Lemke, Pritchard), 1:58.52, 4. Topeka West (Baxter, Jeffries, Espinosa, Ramierz), 2:16.14, 5. Junction City (Robles, Gomez-Robertson, Schlicht, Barber), 2:19.20.

200 freestyle — 1. Jeffries, Topeka West, 1:54.38, 2. Bare, Washburn Rural, 2:01.22, 3. Espinosa, Topeka West, 2:06.71, 4. Herrera, Hayden, 2:14.46, 5. Tarter, Manhattan, 2:19.10.

200 individual medley – 1. A. Walz, Seaman, 2:09.93, 2. Perez, Manhattan, 2:14.80, 3. J. Grace, Seaman, 2:18.85, 4. Harris, Washburn Rural, 2:28.45, 5. Lemke, Washburn Rural, 2:28.53.

50 freestyle — 1. T. Walz, Seaman, 24.99, 2. Pritchard, Washburn Rural, 25.14, 3. Hines, Junction City, 26.83, 4. Wiltz, Emporia, 27.38, 5. Conley, Manhattan, 27.74.

100 butterfly — 1. Steffensmeier, Manhattan, 59.65, 2. T. Walz, Seaman, 1:00.69, 3. J. Grace, Seaman, 1:04.03, 4. Lemke, Washburn Rural, 1:04.60, 5. Rodriguez, Manhattan, 1:14.25.

100 freestyle — 1. G. Grace, Seaman, 53.97, 2. Pritchard, Washburn Rural, 54.34, 3. Wiltz, Emporia, 1:01.31, 4. Balman, Manhattan, 1:01.89, 5. Peak, Emporia, 1:02.13.

500 freestyle — 1. Jeffries, Topeka West, 5:03.76, 2. Bare, Washburn Rural, 5:16.53, 3. Steffensmeier, Manhattan, 5:36.56, 4. Espinosa, Topeka West, 5:40.63, 5. Inman, Manhattan, 6:05.91.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Manhattan (Balman, Conley, Perez, Steffensmeier), 1:47.14, 2. Washburn Rural (Mackenzie, Didde, O’Brien, Schmutzler), 1:50.33, 3. Junction City (Hines, Seelye, Kramer, Robles), 1:51.74, 4. Emporia (Peak, Wiltz, Brown, Hamilton), 1:52.10, 5. Topeka West (Espinosa, Bigley, Jeffries, Baxter), 1;57.54.

100 backstroke — 1. G. Grace, Seaman, 59.29, 2. Conley, Manhattan, 1:09.69, 3. Tarter, Manhattan, 1:11.79, 4. Toland, Topeka High, 1:12.11, 5. Balman, Manhattan, 1:12.57.

100 breaststroke — 1. A. Walz, Seaman, 1:06.96, 2. Perez, Manhattan, 1:07.97, 3. Harris, Washburn Rural, 1:14.32, 4. Chapman, Emporia, 1:19.09, 5. Inman, Manhattan, 1:19.61.