Aqua Pups solid in Wichita meet

By Steve Sell
February 05, 2018

WICHITA — It was another good weekend for the McPherson Aqua Pups as 10 team members competed in the final regular-season swimming meet of the winter season as districts are Feb. 17-18.

“This one can be tough if just looking at it from a final times and placing perspective,” Aqua Pups coach Kyle Banman said. “It is the last meet before the qualifiers for all of the clubs in our area, so there were a lot of kids trying to make that final push for Districts and Championship, and so the competition was high indeed.  Combine that with this not being an A,B,C meet, and only the Top 8 finishers earning awards, it can be hard to see the forest through the trees, but I really thought this was a good one to see overall progress that the swimmers have made this season.”

Here are the highlights in Banman’s words:

• Congrats to Nethmi Hewawitharana and Gracy Hubbard for earning their first-ever District times - Nethmi on 50 Breast at 55.16 and Gracy on 100 Breast at 2:00.56. Gracy also had a great 50 Free, cutting 9.01 to go sub 40 for the first time at 39.60.

• Gracy Bohnenblust cut time on all 3 of her swims, and was our top finisher at 7th on 50 Back (8 and under).

• Sam Madden and Riley Gard both competed in just their second-ever swim meet.  Showing great strides with the progress they've made over the course of the season.

• Jensen Mierkiewicz was our lone 13-and-over swimmer at the meet - she maintained her District level time on the 100 Free at 1:09.89.

• Olivia Smolik had a pair of solid time drops with a 5.07 improvement on 50 Breast and 7.08 on 50 Back.

• Jordan Vanderhoof capped off her season with a personal best on 100 Free, cutting 3.04 seconds to 1:34.07.  Her freestyle looks almost totally different from where she started the season.  

•Adyson Wiens put up a great 40.55 on her split on the 200 Free relay.  She also had a nice 1.74 drop on 50 Back.

•Hazel Wuertz tuned up for Districts nicely with her 100 Free, where she dropped 0.84 to 1:32.61.

 • Relays •

•10 and under Girls - 200 Medley - Gracy Bohnenblust, Nethmi Hewawitharana, Hazel Wuertz, and Adyson Wiens - Took 7th with a time of 3:36.13.

•10 and under Girls - 200 Free - Gracy Hubbard, Riley Gard, Olivia Smolik, and Adyson Wiens - Took 5th at 3:13.59.

And a special nod to Hailey and Megan Cutting of McPherson, swimming with the Wichita Aqua Shocks. Hailey put up a pair of 7th-place finishes on 100 and 200 Breast.  Megan found the Top 8 on 200 Breast (6th), 100 Fly (7th) and 100 Breast (8th).