McPherson High coach Abby Bradstreet admits the Kansas State High School Girls Swimming and Diving Championships in Topeka this weekend causes her mixed emotions.
While she will be taking a solid MHS contingent, the Smoky Valley girls who competed on the team this year will swim under the Viking banner. Instead of being teammates, they’ll be opposing competitors.
The Top 8 finishers from the Friday prelims advance to Saturday’s finals, while the next eight compete in the consolation round. The meet actually gets under way today with the diving portion of the meet, of which MHS is not involved.
Bradstreet’s team had an incredible regular season. The Bullpups competed in nine meets, winning five and taking second in four. Without the Viking swimmers (and a Moundridge swimmer), the Bullpups were third at the league meet, but Bradstreet said it would have been a Bullpup victory with all hands on deck.
The Bullpups will have entries in eight state events, while Smoky Valley will be in two. Bradstreet believes the Bullpups and Vikings can make the finals in five events, four of them under the MHS designation. She believes MHS can make the consolation round in two events and the Vikings in one.
“First of all, I am so incredibly proud of all of these girls,” Bradstreet said. “The amount of heart, dedication and work they have shown this season blew my mind and I could not have asked for a better group of girls. We are all so excited for the state meet and to just go out and have fun. This is the meet we have been working towards all season and now that it's here we want to have fun and swim our hearts out. I am very confident that the girls will be extremely successful this weekend. The main thing that will hurt us is not being able to swim together as one team. Instead we are swimming as MHS and SVHS. It's very bittersweet as we get to allow more relays and girls to compete, but our points will be separate.”
Here are the entries:
• MHS 200 Medley Relay — (Maggie Leaf, Megan Cutting, Hailey Cutting, Cassie Cooks)
• MHS 200 Freestyle Relay — (Hailey Cutting, Cassie Cooks, Megan Cutting, Maggie Leaf)
• MHS 400 Freestyle Relay — (Hailey Cutting, Cassie Cooks, Jensen Mierkiewicz/Hope Williams, Maggie Leaf)
• SVHS 200 Medley Relay —(Karik Elliott, Kaylie Ryan, Macie Carlson, Ellie Brumbaugh)
• SVHS 400 Medley Relay — (Macie Carlson, Helayna Mader, Ellie Brumbaugh, Karik Elliott)
• 200 Individual Medley — (Hailey Cutting)
• 100 Butterfly — (Megan Cutting)
• 100 Breaststroke — (Megan Cutting)
• 100 Backstroke — (Maggie Leaf)
• 50 Freestyle — (Cassie Cooks)