Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
WICHITA—It was the Christmas relay that keeps on giving in Wichita Heights as the McPherson High School boys swim team finished third on Thursday despite missing some of its swimmers.
The Bullpups traveled only nine swimmers during the exhibition event. Justus Hampton was one of the swimmers missing, but after making some adjustments in the lineup, the Bullpups still managed to score a total of 164 points, falling behind Wichita Heights (282) and Bishop Carroll (196).
“We were spread pretty thin with each swimmer only being able to swim four races. We could only field 10 relays in an 11 event meet,” Head Coach Matt Cotton said. “However, it gave a lot of the guys who maybe wouldn’t normally swim together on a relay a chance to race together, and since you’re also never racing alone it really brings the energy up for everybody involved. The guys put up some great swims.”
The Bullpups finished in the top three in eight of the nine events. Five in which they finished first. Cotton’s highlight of the night was the Ugly Christmas Sweater relay, where 10 swimmers must swim 25 yards while wearing a waterlogged Christmas attire.
“The transition of the sweater from one team to the next turns out to be the key to success, and the Pups took a close second behind the hosts of Heights, with Matt Powers volunteering to serve as both lead-off and anchor since we only had 9,” Cotton said. “He earned the right to keep the sweater.”
In Cotton’s reflection, he mentioned a quote by his top swimmer Will Powers before the meet started.
“Overall, I think this was a great experience for the team,” Cotton said. “We got to race hard and have a lot of fun doing it. I’m continuously impressed with the guys that make up this team. As senior Will Powers put it before the meet, ‘the smaller the team, the tighter the bond.’ I think that bond is going to be the key to our success as we get into the thick of our season once we come back from break. Everyone is willing to put in the work not just for themselves, but for his teammates as well. “
200 freestyle medley relay
7th. MHS (Shelton, Reed, Houston and Ramey), 2:07.91.
300 backstroke relay
1st. MHS (W. Powers, Shelton, Houston), 3:05.56.
150 breaststroke relay
3rd. MHS (Ediger, Ramey, Vanderhoof), 1:50.96.
200 freestyle relay
1st. MHS (Vanderhoof, M. Powers, Achilles and W. Powers), 1:33.67.
500 freestyle relay
3rd MHS (Reed, Achilles, Ediger and Ramey), 5:06.73.
300 medley relay
2nd. MHS A (M. Powers, Shelton, Vanderhoof), 3:13,
3rd. MHS B (Ediger, Houston, Achilles), 3:25.12.
300 butterfly relay
1st. MHS (W. Powers, Reed, M. Powers), 3:12.16.
150 backstroke relay
1st. MHS (Houston, Shelton and Ediger), 1:31.86.
400 freestyle relay
1st. MHS (M. Powers, Vanderhoof, Achilles and W. Powers), 3:27.98.