VALLEY CENTER — The end result was the same, but the margin was decidedly closer.
The McPherson Aqua Pups were on the road Tuesday and were outlasted 379-343 by Valley Center.
“We were able to close the gap on numbers, but still missing relays in a couple of different age groups proved to be the difference,” Aqua Pups coach Kyle Banman said. “Regardless, it was still a really good evening of swimming.”
Three 8-year-olds competed in their first-ever meets — Taylor Hafenstine, Nolan Pearcy and Nathan Wells.
The Aqua Pups are back home on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. dual match with Derby.
Here are the meet highlights, as penned by Banman. He noted Valley Center has a yards pool, not a meter pool:
*Danica Brunk (11) improved her yards District times on 50 free and 50 fly, as well as hitting the mark again on 100 free. She also took first in all three of her events.
*Isaac Duran (17) hit the District mark on 50 free and 100 free.
*Eli Farley (10) added the 100 free to his District collection (in addition to 50 free). He also took 1st on the 50 and 100 free.
*Hayden Farley (11) was in the District zone on 50 free, 50 fly and 50 breast, finishing 1st on the free and breast.
*Justus Hampton (16) got Districts on the 50 free, 100 back and 100 breast, with a pair of 1st places on the back and breast.
*Liberty Hampton (16) got Districts on 50 free and 50 back, finishing 1st on each.
*Marissa Pearcy (13) earned the 50 free District time for the first time in the 13-14 age group. She also took 1st on the 200 free and 100 breast.
*Matthew Powers (14) improved his yards Districts on 50 and 100 free, and the 200 IM. He took 1st on the 50 and the 200 IM as well.
*William Powers (15) went 3-for-3 on 1st-place finishes, as well as District times on 200 free, 100 fly and 100 free.
*Rece Reiman (16) earned the 100 fly District, as well as hitting the mark again on 100 free. He also took 1st on the 500 free.
*Lexi Smith (11) got the 50 yard back District.
*Gage Stafford (16) earned his first-ever District time, getting it on 50 free.
*Silas Steinert (16) got the District time on both 50 free and 100 back. He also took 1st on the 200 IM.
*Katie Stucky (15) earned the 200 free District time. She also took 1st on the 100 free.
*Kierstan Trost (13) earned her first 13-14 District times on 50 and 100 free.
*Rhys Vanderhoof (14) got Districts on 100 fly and 100 breast. He also took 1st on the 200 free and the 100 breast.
*Roary Whorton (11) earned his first 11-12 District time on 50 back.
*Zoey Whorton (13) got district time on 50 free.
• Top finishes and other highlights •
*Audrey Bailey (13) swam the 100 fly for the first time and took 2nd on the event in her age group.
*Matthew Burger (8) took 1st in all three of his events - 50 free, 50 back and 100 free.
*Ethan Burger (13) dropped 8.9 from his short course time on his 100 breast and took 2nd.
*Maya Charlesworth (12) took 1st on the 50 breast.
*Rachel Fischer (8) took 1st in all three of her events - 50 free, back and breast.
*Arriana Gross (12) took 3rd on the 50 free.
*Alyssa Harger (10 now 11) celebrated her birthday with a top finish of 4th on the 50 fly.
*Nethmi Hewawitharana (10) dropped 12.02 from her short course time on 50 breast.
*Gracy Hubbard (10) took 4th on on the 50 breast.
*Myles Hubbard (12) took 3rd on the 50 breast.
*Claire Miller (10) swam her second meet ever, and this was while working on the McPherson Community Theaters summer musical production of "State Fair.”
*McKenna O'Brien (11) took 4th on the 50 fly.
*Connar Olson (13) took 2nd on 50 free and 3rd on 100 back.
*Bree Pickerell (10) finished 2nd on 100 free and 3rd on 50 back.
*Collin Reiman (13) took 2nd on the 100 back and a pair of thirds on the 100 free and 100 breast.
*Cliare Schmidt (9) won the 50 breast, and finished 3rd on both 50 free and 100 free.
*Riley Shelton (15) made his Aqua Pups debut after a solid first season of high school swimming.
*Zoe Vontz (15) had a trio of 3rd-place finishes on 50 free, 100 breast and 200 IM.
*Adyson Wiens (9) went sub-minute on her 50 back for the first time.
*Clarea Williams (9) took 2nd on all three of her races - 50 free, 50 fly and 50 breast.
*Clay Wiilson (9) won the 50 back, took 2nd on 50 fly and 3rd on 50 breast.
*Hazel Wuertz (9) took 3rd on the 50 breast.
• Relay Highlights •
*The 9-10 girls team of Liberty Hampton, Claera Williams, Hazel Wuertz/Bree Pickerell, and Claire Schmidt won both free and medley.
*The 9-10 boys team of Clay Wilson, Alex Brubaker, Eli Farley and Matthew Burger won free and medley.
*The 13-14 boys team of Rhys Vanderhoof, Matthew Powers, Ethan Burger and Collin Reiman won free and medley.
*The 15 and over boys team of William Powers, Silas Steinert, Justus Hampton and Rece Reiman/Isaac Duran won free and medley.