LEAGUE CHAMPS! MHS boys swimming team wins title

By Steve Sell
February 12, 2017
Jim VanGoethem

WICHITA — Ten years.

That’s how long it’s been between league championships for the McPherson High boys swimming team.

The Bullpups won the title on Saturday in the AVCTL Division II-III-IV Championships.

“What a season for these men,” MHS coach Matt Morrow said. “Our goal to start the season was to win a league title and with a lot of hard work we got there. I've said all season that our success starts with our top swimmers, but guys like Abe Walker, Zach LeBlanc and Gage Stafford stepped up time and again to fill in spots and score points. In order for a swimmer to letter, they have to score 100 points during the season and out of 14 swimmers, we had 11 score 100 or more, that speaks a lot to their success this season. Eight state qualifiers, a league title, two invitational wins and three new school records is a great season.”

The day started right with the 200 medley relay team of Will Powers, Eric Gaeddert, Carson Stone and Dawson VanGoethem winning the event and breaking the school record in the process.

Other highlights, according to Morrow:

“Simon Steinert had an unbelievable swim in the 200 free, knocking an incredible 11 seconds off his previous time and moving up from a 12th place seed to seventh,” Morrow said. “Will Powers continued his fantastic freshman season by grabbing the silver and setting a new school record in the 200 IM. Silas Steinert secured a spot at next week’s State Championships with a personal best in the 200 IM. Eric Gaeddert took the top spot in the 50 free and Dawson pulled in a nice fourth-place finish in the same event. Carson Stone got his state qualifying time in the 100 fly with a fifth-place finish.

“Eric and Dawson went second and fourth in the 100 free. Rece Reiman swam to a sixth-place finish in the 500 free with Simon Steinert continuing his fantastic meet knocking 10 seconds off his previous time. Our 200 free relay of Jori VanGoethem, Silas Steinert, Gavin Soukup and Carson Stone placed a timely fifth. Our second individual league champ was Will Powers, dominating the 100 back with Rece and Silas going third and fourth. Jori finished strong in the 100 breast in 2nd. The 400 free relay of Will, Dawson, Gavin and Eric sealed up our first league championship in 10 years with a fantastic 2nd place finish just off the gold by .39 seconds.”

The Bullpups could make quite a splash at state next week. Gaeddert made the finals in two events last year and figures to score big points, but he’ll have a lot of his teammates there as well as it should be a busy time for the Bullpups.

• 200 medley relay — 1. MHS (Powers, Gaeddert, Stone and D. VanGoethem), 1:44.37. 

• 200 freestyle — 6. Soukup, 2:01.03. 6. Simon Steinert, 2:06.48. 14. Walker, 2:13.79. 19. LeBlanc, 2:19.08.

• 200 individual medley — 2. Powers, 2:05.19. 7. Silas Steinert, 2:16.61. 18. Shelton, 3:06.34.

• 50 freestyle — 1. Gaeddert, 23.0. 4. D. VanGoethem, 23.71. 9. Stone, 25.05.

• 100 butterfly — 5. Stone, 1:00.58. 9. Soukup, 1:03.21. 11. LeBlanc, 1:08.53. 15. Stafford, 1:15.79.

• 100 freestyle — 2. Gaeddert, 51.88. 5. D. VanGoethem, 53.02. 8. J. VanGoethem, 55.70.

• 500 freestyle — 6. Reiman, 5:38.39. 7. Simon Steinert, 5:46.57. 10. Stafford, 6:13.80.

• 200 freestyle relay — 5. MHS (J. VanGoethem, Soukup, Silas Steinert and Stone), 1:39.9.

• 100 backstroke — 1. Powers, 56.8. 3. Reiman, 1:02.04. 4. Silas Steinert, 1:02.09. 

• 100 breaststroke — 2. J. VanGoethem, 1:01.13. 15. Walker, 1:20.45. 21. Shelton, 1:29.39.

• 400 freestyle relay — 2. MHS (Powers, Soukup, D. VanGoethem and Gaeddert), 3:26.81.


1. McPherson, 378

2. Andover Central, 358

3. Maize South, 304

4. Winfield, 269 1/2

5. Wichita Collegiate, 192

6. El Dorado, 191

7. Andover, 156

8. Rose Hill, 152 1/2