Boys swim and dive close season at State


Avery Inman

Junior Mitchell Burger swims for Manhattan High during the boys State tournament on Feb. 19 in Topeka.

Avery Inman, Staff Writer

Closing out the 2021-2022 Varsity Boys swim and dive season, seven members of the MHS team competed at State in Topeka Feb. 17-19. The team took 13th place overall. 

For senior Zeke Kohl this was his last time competing for dive. Kohl competed on Thursday night and placed well enough to compete on Friday, where he placed 18th overall. 

On Friday, Feb.18, the swim team competed in the preliminary portion of the State meet. The team swam well with many of them qualifying for finals the next day.

“We got faster in almost everything, and if we didn’t we were close to where we were before,” head coach Alex Brown said. “We placed really well and were the highest placing in the Centennial League, and we scored more points and placed higher than last year.” 

For the four freshmen competing, this was a first time experience that many of them have been looking forward to for a while. 

“This season was amazing, I can’t describe it,” freshman Ethan Balman said. “[State] was better than I was expecting. I have been waiting to swim at State for about 10 years.”

Balman competed in three relays and the 100 butterfly, which he placed 16th in with a time of 56.46. The 200 medley relay, consisting of four freshmen, placed 11th with a time of 1:43.06. Placing 13th with a time of 1:34.09 was the 200 free relay. Closing out the meet the team’s 400 relay took 13th going a 3:27.54. 

Junior Mitchell Bunger took sixth place overall in his 500 free going a time of 4:54.14. Bunger also competed in the 200 free, taking 10th with 1:49.66. 

“[The meet] felt pretty good, it was a good way to end the season,” Bunger said. “[I swam] my second fastest time, and I’m pretty happy with it. I’m motivated to come back stronger and faster next season.” 

Freshman Will Graves also competed in the 500 free as well as the 100 breast. He placed 11th and 15th respectively. He swam times of 5:02.50 and 1:05.28. 

“I dropped time, it was really fun,” Graves said. “I’m so glad I got to be a part of the team this year. I’m so excited for next year.”

This season, the team consisted of several freshmen, which came with challenges due to the lack of upperclassmen. Nonetheless the team was able to push through and have a great season. 

“We were a very young team overall with only two seniors, so we’ll have a lot of people back,” Brown said. “We were placing in the top three at pretty much every meet and it’s hard to ask for more than that.”