MHS girls swim takes first in Salina

Avery Snider, Staff Writer

The Manhattan High girls swim team came in first by a margin of 123 points at Salina Central High School on Thursday. The team faced steep competition, and won six out of 12 events and scored 517 points. 

“We thought it would be a closer meet with Newton and McPherson, and we ended up winning by over 100 points which was way more than I anticipated,” head coach Alex Brown said. “It’s always a good surprise when you can come to a meet that probably should be closer on paper but you end up getting a big win.”

The 200 yard Medley and in the 200 yard freestyle relays, swam by sophomore Ruth Perez, junior Audrey Conley, junior Sophia Steffensmeier and junior Juliet Balman both placed first, swimming a  2:04.19 and 1:51.67 respectively.

“We placed first in both of our relays which was awesome, I’m really proud of that,” Balman said. “It was fun to compete against swimmers who really challenged yourself.”

MHS had a third and fourth place finish in the 400 yard Freestyle relay. Senior Brooke Newcomer, senior Meredith Graves, freshman Samantha Tarter and junior Avery Inman swam a 4:37.96 while freshman Meagan Hensley, senior Grace Dixon, senior Giselle Patanaittikul and senior Ava Sergi swam a 4:53.00.

“It definitely gives some confidence going into the next meet,” Sergi said, “but I know that it’s not going to happen unless we continue to put in work and do our best no matter what.”

In addition to the relays there were top individual finishers, Steffensmeier finished first in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 2:07.40. Perez finished first in the 200 yard IM and swam a 2:20.82.

In second place, Inman swam a 6.16.73 in the 500 Yard Freestyle.

“I thought we swam pretty consistently,” Brown said, “and with where we’re at in our season right now, that’s all that we ask for.”

For diving, sophomore Breanne Sanneman came in third with a score of 124.40. 

Manhattan will swim at Topeka on Wednesday.

“There’s definitely some tough schools that we faced [at Salina],” Segi said, “but I know going into the Topeka meets the competition will be even more intense, so definitely, it will be important for us to step up and continue to do our best.”

Brown agreed.

“It’ll probably be our highest competition,” Brown said. “Washburn Rural and Topeka Seamen both have very good groups of swimmers on their team, so it’ll be good for us to have to face them because we’re going to see them all at league at the end of the season. And, you know, we’re not going to get better if we just face teams that we’re going to destroy all the time. We have to go against teams that are going to challenge us and force us to have to step up.”