McPherson High’s girls swimming team will be under the direction of Abby Bradstreet for the first time on Friday when it opens the season at Manhattan.
The opposition in the 4 p.m. meet will primarily be Class 6A and 5A schools. Other teams attending include Topeka West, Shawnee Heights, Washburn Rural, Newton, Topeka High, Junction City and Topeka Hayden.
Bradstreet has a team more of quality than quantity.
“Ellen Yowell, Shea Cook, Katie Wurm and Megan Cutting already have state-qualifying times,” Bradstreet said. “All they have to do is swim those times in a meet so they can officially be qualified for the state meet. I am looking forward to seeing if they can accomplish this at the meet in Manhattan.”
Yowell is the team's lone senior, while Cook and Wurm are juniors. Much is expected from Cutting, who is making her varsity debut, but the freshman has been outstanding on the summer circuit.
Junior Olivia Hansen and sophomores Kellsie Corrigan and Amanda Starkel are other returning state qualifiers.
Bradstreet also is looking forward to seeing what some of her other swimmers can do as she hopes most of her small (16-member) squad can make state in her first year replacing longtime coach Bonnie Sue Fisher.
“We also have several other girls who have state consideration times,” Bradstreet said. “We have set some high goals for ourselves and look forward to having a chance to accomplish them.”