Seaman swimmers outlast MHS in classic finish

By Steve Sell
February 04, 2018
Lori VanGoethem

MANHATTAN — There were 16 swimming teams in the field for Saturday’s Manhattan Invitational, but for most of the day it seemed like there were only two.

McPherson High and Topeka Seaman seemingly were dominating every event and all the rest of the teams could do was watch and see how it played out.

What an epic it was. It came down to the final event, with Seaman winning first for a 497-491 victory, with the rest of the teams in the 16-school field well back.

“I​ think we started off somewhat intimidated, probably my fault for talking up Topeka Seaman,” MHS coach Matt Morrow said. “I thought we had a good chance at them, but once we started racing we started to believe that. Seaman really matched our depth, which has been a strength for us all year. I think the biggest difference was their (No.) 2 guy was just ahead of our 2 guy. They announced team scores after the 500 free and we were leading by 6 points and that is when we really got going.”

The Bullpups placed second in eight of the events, many times finishing behind Seaman. Dawson VanGoethem and Will Powers had a first for the Bullpups.

 “It's a testament to where we have come as a program, as Seaman knew we were there and seem pretty excited to get the win,” Morrow said. “I even had a parent from another team come up and ask us if we just started swimming because she had never heard of us before.  Overall, it was really good to get a chance to see where we stack up with some of the top teams in the state and get some confidence as we prepare for our league championship on Saturday, then the State Championships on February 16th and 17th.”

The Bullpups are so close to something special.

“Well, if you would have told me 4 years ago that we would have a season where we won 8 meets and finished second in two, I would have thanked you for your optimism, but that is how we finished our regular season,” Morrow said.

MHS’ 4 x 400 relay broke the school record in the final race. The team turned in a 3:22 and included Dawson VanGoethem, Gavin Soukup, Justus Hampton and Will Powers. Powers and Zeke Metz of Seaman waged a battle on the final leg, with Metz just .27 seconds ahead at the touch.

Another plus for Seaman was that it scored 16 points in the diving event and MHS doesn’t have any entrants in that category because it has no place for practice it.


1. Topeka Seaman, 497

2. McPherson, 491

3. Manhattan, 300 1/2

4. Salina South, 280 1/2

5. Salina Central, 164

6. Great Bend, 144

7. Newton, 129

8. Topeka High, 95

9. Hays, 57

10. Garden City, 52

11. Derby, 35

12. Emporia, 29

13. Junction City, 23

14. DeSoto, 17

15. Washburn Rural, 6

16. Manhattan B, 2

200 medley relay — 2. MHS (W. Powers, J. VanGoethem, Hampton and D. VanGoethem), 1:43.66. 5. MHS (R. Reiman, M. Powers, Stone and Silas Steinert), 1:51.85.

200 freestyle — 2. Soukup, 1:59.53. 3. M. Powers, 2:01.15. 7. Walker, 2:06.33.

200 individual medley — 1. W. Powers, 2:12.04. 9. Vanderhoof, 2:22.42. 11. Silas Steinert, 2:24.88.

50 freestyle — 2. D. VanGoethem, 23.07. 5. J. VanGoethem, 24.25. 8. Stone, 24.39. 

100 butterfly — 2. Hampton, 55.86. 7. LeBlanc, 1:00.10. 8. Soukup, 1:00.24.

500 freestyle — 2. Hampton, 5:10.03. 6. R. Reiman, 5:29.31. 11. Achilles, 6:12.46. 

100 freesyle — 1. D. VanGoethem, 51.12. 3. Stone, 53.28.  14. Vanderhoof, 56.36.

200 freestyle relay — 3. MHS (J. VanGoethem, Silas Steinert, Soukup and Stone), 1:36.98. 5. MHs (Walker, Vanderhoof, LeBlanc and M. Powers), 1:40.41.

100 backstroke — 2. W. Powers, 54.18. 4. R. Reiman, 1:00.01. 8. Silas Steinert, 1:03.06.

100 breaststroke — 2. J. VanGoethem, 1:07.25. 8. M. Powers, 1:11.41. 11. Walker, 1:14.12.

400 freestyle relay — 2. MHS (D. VanGoethem, Soukup, Hampton and W. Powers), 3:22. 8. MHS (R. Reiman, LeBlanc, Vanderhoof and Walker), 3:44.73.