Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
One thing about Will Powers and Justus Hampton is all they do is break records for the McPherson High School boys swim team.
The senior duo has set the bar high for the Bullpup swimmers all year, and they have the records to show for it. At the YMCA swimming pool, where the Bullpups practice, Head Coach Matt Cotton leaves a list of McPherson’s school records on the wall as a motivation tool for his swimmers before their next meet.
“I think we have a really good team this year and we’ve seen a lot of good teams this year,” Hampton said. “A lot of them are returners so we know what to expect and how we want to push, and for us to place well at state, place at meets and everything.”
Already record-holders for the past two seasons, both Powers and Hampton are still not satisfied and want to continue to break more of their school records and the state record before they graduate and past it down to their next group for years to come.
“We’ve been training a lot this year and set a goal to break all these records just to finish with a bang,” Powers said. “So we want to break them all this year,” Powers said.
So far this season, McPherson has finished in the top three. Last week the Bullpups had two straight first-place finishes in Hutchinson ad Salina. Hampton has broken three swimming records in last week’s meets. That includes Derick Goodson’s seven-year-old record in the 200 freestyle in 1:45.59. Powers owns the record in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.
The two seniors also carry the records in the relay events. Hampton and Powers are members of the 2018 200 Medley relay team which also included the Van Goethem brothers of Dawson and Jori, 2019 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay team, which also includes Dawson Vangoethem and Silas Steinert.
The 200 relay team brought home a state title for the first time in school history. Powers and Hampton want to break the relay records with their current teammates Rhys Vanderhoof and Matt Powers.
“It’s very motivating for guys to step up to replace the two (swimmers) from last year, like Dawson (Van Goethem) and Silas (Steinert),” Will Powers said. “They want to push for it and get that record too, and possibly take another state record too. ”
The swim team will be back on the road on Saturday to compete in an invitational at Wichita Heights High School. The invitational will begin at 8 a.m.