McPherson High boys swimming coach Matt Morrow knows he has a lot of talented performers.
But the Bullpups have exceeded even his highest expectations so far, with second-place finishes in each of the first two meets.
“This is a great first two meets (hosted by Newton and Maize) for us and hopefully a sign of good things for the rest of the season,” said Morrow, in his third year as head coach. “I told them that McPherson is now on the radar of some of the bigger squads we swim against, so our challenge will be to continue to work hard to stay ahead of them.”
The Bullpups head to Great Bend on Tuesday.
“The Panthers have been a strong team to contend with in the last few years, so I'm excited to see how we stack up against them,” Morrow said. “This will be a smaller meet than the first two with only six teams, so we are looking to go in and swim fast and see if we can't get our first win of the season.”
Morrow was excited with the second-place performance on Saturday in the Maize Invitational as only the host school finished ahead of the Bullpups, who themselves finished ahead the other AVCTL teams that took part.
“I think the boys did a great job Saturday,” Morrow said. “We entered this meet swimming some events that they hadn't swam before, so I wasn't real sure how we would stack up against the rest of the field.”
The MHS relay teams continue to rank among the best in the state.
“Our 200 medley relay team of Will Powers, Eric Gaeddert, Carson Stone and Dawson VanGoethem started the meet off well taking second behind Maize,” Morrow said. “They took off some more time on their state-qualifying time and are almost 8 seconds better than the qualification standard. Our second 200 medley relay team of Rece Reiman, Jori VanGoethem, Silas Steinert and Gavin Soukup had a great race as well placing 9th, ahead of all other teams’ second relays. They are only 1.1 seconds off a state qualifying time.”
The Bullpups are getting points from everyone and did again on Saturday.
“Eric, Gavin (Soukup) and Simon Steinert all scored points in the 200 free with a 2nd-, 7th- and 14th-place finishes,” Morrow said. “Eric, Will and Dawson also pulled in a lot of points in the 50 free going 3, 4 and 5. Eric and Will both got state qualification times in the 50. In the 100 fly, Will, Silas and Carson (Stone) all scored and Will got his fourth state-qualifying event. Jori VanGoethem scored for us in the 100 free and Rece and Silas both picked up some points in the 500 free. The swim of the day for us was the 200 free relay. Will, Carson, Dawson and Eric had a fantastic race winning with a PR of 1:34.91, shaving off almost 2 seconds from Tuesday’s time. They should be in a great position by the state meet to get to the podium as there time right now would have placed them in the top 10 in last years state meet.”
“In the 100 back, Rece and Silas went 5 and 6. Dawson VanGoethem picked up his first individual state qualification in the 100 breaststroke placing 6th with a 1:10.3 and Jori and Gavin scored for us going 9, 10. In a nice bonus swim for the team, we called on Simon, Gage Stafford, Abe Walker and Zach LeBlanc to swim the 400 free relay. They placed 10th in that event, which helped us hold off Andover Central for 2nd place.”