Boys swim team places first despite missing team members

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Boys swim team places first despite missing team members

Anika Nyp, Staff Writer

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Results at the end of the 11th meet of the season, the Manhattan High swim team didn’t expect much.

But when it came down to first and second place, the team members were ready to erupt into applause as soon as they heard that Olathe South had come in second, leaving MHS in first.

“We came into the meet knowing that Olathe South would be very hard to beat after they destroyed us earlier in the season,” sophomore Sean Anderson said. “Everybody was super excited. We heard the scores, then went wild.”

Not only was the team working on making up for the people who were gone but they had really tough competition.

“Normally with such a large team with so many good swimmers I would have great confidence in our team, but we had many swimmers sick,” sophomore Dominic Palmieri said.

The team prevailed despite the absences of their best swimmers.

“There was some doubt, on paper we were not favored, but I thought we had a good effort and were competitive with the other swimmers,” head coach Alex Brown said. “This led to us getting a win, swimming above where we are seeded,” head coach Alex Brown said.

Not only was the team missing some of their best, one their teammates was leaving for good. Martin Gonzalez, a junior American Field Service student, swam in his last meet before returning to his home country, Chile.

“It was very nice, I never thought swimming was a team sport, but I really enjoyed the spirit of the teammates and how they push you through difficult times,” Gonzalez said. “It also gave me some friends, so I’m thankful for that.”

The team said goodbye to Gonzalez one last time before he left the natatorium after his last meet in America.  

“There are some things that I won’t forget, like the intention of people for helping you without wanting anything back, or the team spirit, where everyone is as important as the rest, no matter if one is better than the other,” Gonzalez said.

Even though the team lost a great teammate they were excited to place first.

“I think everyone is sad to see him go,” Anderson said. “He was a big part of the team and helped get us the win on Wednesday.”

The boy will compete again on Wednesday at home.  

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