EL DORADO — A split second here or a split second there. A place here or a place there.
It made all the difference.
McPherson High’s boys swimming team came up one point short on Saturday in the AVCTL Division III-IV Championships.
MHS scored a whopping 365 points, but it was one shy of the 366 by Maize South. The Bullpups led by three points going into the final event of the day, but Maize South took third in the 400 freestyle relay and MHS was fifth, with the difference being four points.
Winfield (337) and El Dorado (325) kept things interesting. Rose Hill (283) and Wichita Collegiate (171) were the other finishers.
“After dealing with the disappointment of being so close, we realized that where we have come from to where we are today is quite an accomplishment,” MHS coach Matt Morrow said. “We had talked all week about racing not just swimming, leaving it all in the pool, chasing down that guy who's one place ahead of you because all the points matter. Boy did it.”
Morrow said his team couldn’t have done much more though.
“Our boys swam fantastic,” he said. “You take a look at the results sheet and you will see almost every time was a best time. I can't remember too many times where across the board everyone had a good meet. The amazing thing is we did not win one event, but yet we were just one point from being our league champions. That speaks a lot to our quality of depth. Our boys have worked hard every day to get better, concentrate on doing the little things right and believing in themselves as a team. It is a great thing for a coach to see.”
Eric Gaeddert was the Bullpups’ top scorer with 34 points including a pair of second-place finishes in the two short freestyles. Spencer Steinert had a huge day with 30 points with a third in the 500 free and fifth in the 100 back.
Gavin Soukup was just a point behind Steinert, with a fourth in the 500 free and fifth in the 200 free.
Also consistent were Carson Stone (25 points), Dawson VanGoethem (24), Silas Steinert (24) and Jori VanGoethem (20).
Fifteen of the 16 Bullpups who competed scored.
MHS should find out soon how many swimmers will be competing at state as there are many consideration times to be sorted through. Those who have qualified individually are Gaeddert, Soukup, Dawson VanGoethem and Spencer Steinert. Jori VanGoethem, Stone, Isaac Duran, Rece Reiman, Silas Steinert and Price Kramer will be the rest of the state team.
200 medley relay — 3. MHS (Reiman, J. VanGoethem, Stone and Gaeddert), 1:54.42.
200 freestyle — 5. Soukup, 1:57.58. 11. Scott, 2:24.49. 15. Stafford, 2:35.56. 17. Jirgens, 2:37.88.
200 individual medley — 5. Stone, 2:26.08. 8. Silas Steinert, 2:31.4. 10. Kramer, 2:37.81. 11. Simon Steinert, 2:37.72.
50 freestyle — 2. Gaeddert, 22.88. 6. D. VanGoethem, 24.21. 10. Duran, 25.03. 12. J. VanGoethem, 25.78.
100 butterfly — 8. Stone, 1:09.44. 13. LeBlanc, 1:16.09. 14. Simon Steinert, 1:17.5. 17. Stafford, 1:33.18.
100 freestyle — 2. Gaeddert, 49.9. 8. D. VanGoethem, 55.5. 10. Duran, 57.38. 22. Jirgens, 1:7.33.
500 freestyle — 3. Spencer Steinert, 5:22.77. 4. Soukup, 5:37.01. 5. Reiman, 5:57.65. 13. Walker, 6:47.69.
200 freestyle relay — 3. MHS (D. VanGoethem, Stone, Duran and Gaeddert), 1:37.12.
100 backstroke — 5. Spencer Steinert, 1:03.35. 6. Silas Steinert, 1:06.39. 7. Reiman, 1:06.75. 11. Kramer, 1:11.49.
100 breaststroke — 4. J. VanGoethem, 1:13.47. 12. Scott, 1:19.5. 14. Walker, 1:21.41. 16. LeBlanc, 1:23.17.
400 freestyle relay — 5. MHS (Soukup, Duran, Spencer Steinert and D. VanGoethem), 3:44.69.