BREATKTHROUGH! MHS swimmers finally take first

By Steve Sell
January 13, 2017
Jim VanGoethem

SALINA — All McPherson High boys swimming coach Matt Morrow could say was “finally.”

The Bullpups, after nothing but second-place finishes in their five previous meets this season, finally broke through on Thursday by winning a double dual hosted by the Salina schools.

In the Salina Central portion of the meet, MHS had 579 points and Derby was next with 523. Other totals were Andover Central (479), Salina Central (291), Andover (282) and Central Christian (24). 

In the Salina South portion, MHS had 572 points, with Derby at 517. Other totals were Andover Central (477), Salina South (396), Andover (276) and Central Christian (17).

“The meet format was a dual triangle so we actually won two meets in one,” Morrow said.  “I wasn't expecting to see Andover Central this meet, but was really pleased that we put together a great meet and got first in both.”

The Bullpups had some great performances, but unsung ones as well.

“I have to say our top swimmers really stepped up and had a great meet, but the difference today came from our other guys,” Morrow said. “I need to give special mention to Simon Steinert and Abe Walker. Simon, who knocked 8 seconds off his 500 free time, then jumped in the next race for our B 200 Free relay team to help them with an eighth-place finish and 24 points, then swam a third consecutive event in the 100 back placing 11th and finally one event to rest and he was back in the 400 free relay for our second team and help them with another eighth-place finish.

“Abe Walker had a similar stretch, swimming in three of the final four events to help out the team and score points. Other swimmers, Zach LeBlanc and Gage Stafford, both helped out swimming some of the tough events and pulling in points for the team. That is the kind of sacrifice and commitment that makes me proud to coach this team.”

 The 200 medley relay team set the tone by breaking the school record, with the group including Will Powers, Eric Gaeddert, Carson Stone and Dawson VanGoethem. And at the end of the meet, another school record fell in the 400 freestyle relay, with Powers, Gaeddert, Dawson VanGoethem and Gavin Soukup making up the team.

Soukup made state in the 100 butterfly. The Bullpups had several firsts, depending on which meet you look at.

The Bullpups head to Lawrence on Thursday.

Here are the MHS times as the places varied from one meet to the other:

200 medley relay — (Powers, Stone, Gaeddert and D. VanGoethem), 1:58.38. (Reiman, J. VanGoethem, LeBlanc and Silas Steinert), 

200 freestyle — Soukup, 1:58.21, Walker, 2:15.27, Stafford, 2:15.43.

200 individual medley — Powers, 2:09.09, Silas Steinert, 2:22.29, LeBlanc, 2:34.

50 freestyle — Gaeddert, 23.02, D. VanGoethem, 23.54, Stone, 25.23, Rickman, 29.16.

100 butterfly — Soukup, 1:00.22, Stone, 1:09.64, LeBlanc, 1:10.93.

100 freestyle — D. VanGoethem, 52.87, J. VanGoethem, 56.74, Rickman, 1:12.10.

500 — Powers, 5:11.22, Reiman, 5:52.37, Simon Steinert, 6:00.77.

200 freestyle relay — (J. VanGoethem, Silas Steinert, Soukup and Stone), 1:40.59; (Walker, Stafford, Simon Steinert and LeBlanc), 1:50.31.

100 backstroke — Reiman, 1:03.23, Silas Steinert, 1:03.72, Simon Steinert, 1:13.3.

100 breaststroke — Gaeddert, 1:06.21, J. VanGoethem, 1:08.82, Walker, 1:20.86.

400 freestyle relay — (Powers, D. VanGoethem, Soukup and Gaeddert), 3:28.97; (Walker, Stafford, Simon Steinert and Reiman), 4:145.07.