Maize South blew away their competition to win the AVCTL Division II-IV league meet. They finished with 454 points. Rose Hill came in second with 311 and El Dorado was in third with 297. This is the third straight year the Mavericks have won league. They were able to repeat, despite losing a number of their top swimmers.
“We lost, I think, eight lettermen off of the squad we had last year,” assistant coach Tedd Gibson said. “To come and do it with the guys we did it with and have these young guys step up, I think we swam five, six freshman today. It’s unbelievable.”
It was a record breaking night for Maize South. John Lavalle set two league records himself.
“It’s really awesome because I really want to end my senior year, league-wise, on a high note,” Lavalle said.
The first was in the boys 200IM. He finished with a 2:04.13. Wichita Collegiate’s Trent Pirner took second with a time of 2:11.72 and Winfield’s Jesse Hollingsworth finished third with a time of 2:14.43.
The second came later in the 100-yard backstroke. Lavalle finished the race at 52.03. The next swimmer, Collegiate’s Jake Barrett came in at 58.47 and Hollingsworth, again, finished in third at 59.72. In both races, Lavalle had a good lead over his competitors for most of the race, but he didn’t let up.
“Just keeping that goal time in the back of my head to push myself,” Lavalle said.
Jake Evraets also broke a league record in the 200-yard freestyle. He finished the race in 1:54.40 seconds. Jay Buffum of Winfield finished second at 2:00.28 and El Dorado’s Breck Towner rounded out the top three, finishing in 2:01.40. It’s the second league record that Evraets has won.
“It’s pretty great,” Evraets said. “I never expected myself to get this far.”
Maize South continued to rack up its season wins in relay competitions. They opened the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. Lavelle, Jon Cole, Evraets and William King swam a 1:44.44. They beat out Rose High’s Brandy Mounts, Austin Furber, Gavin Smith and Matt Baden who swam a 1:48.12 and McPherson’s Zane Richter, Eric Gaeddert, Kyler Jost and Ryen Trost, who finished in 1:48.53.
Maize South’s 400-freestyle relay also took first. King, Cole, Evraets and Lavelle swam a 3:31.22. El Dorado’s Ridge Towner, Keagan Wilson, Tanner Clites and Breck Towner finished ten seconds later at 3:41.22. Wichita Collegiate’s John Powell, Mac Foley, Pirner and Barrett got third at 3:42.81.
William King also took first place for Maverick’s. He got the top spot in the 100-yard free style with a time of 52.75. McPherson’s Gaeddert took second with a time of 53.65 and Breck Towner of El Dorado was right behind him at 53.68.
This is just Rose Hill’s third year having an organized swimming team and they have already made strides. Swimmer Gavin Smith says coach Jack Gaskill is a force behind their quick success.
“He’s very good with technique,” Smith said. “Being able to break down all the strokes and teach you.”
They were led by sophomore Gavin Smith who racked up back-to-back first place finishes. First, in the 50-yard freestyle finishing at 22.28. He beat Collegiate’s Barrett who finished 22.85 and El Dorado’s Wilson who clocked in at 23.40.
He followed that up with a first place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.13. He beat Maize South’s Evraets, who was three second behind him at 57.13 and McPherson’s Jost who had a 57.88.
Winfield’s Jay Buffum pulled off a win in the last fifty yards of the 500. He finished in 5:27.38. He edged out Maize South’s Jon Cole who lead for most of the race and finished in 5:29.19. Rose Hill’s Austin Farber took third with a time of 5:43.10.
McPherson’s relay team took first in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Gaeddert, Trost, Jost and Richter swam a 1:34.78. El Dorado’s Breck and Ridge Towner, Clites and Wilson finished third at1:37.44 and Rose Hill’s Baden, Rodman, Steinhilpert and Smith took third at 1:39.87.
Wichita Collegiate’s Trent Pirner took first in the 100-yard breast stroke. He swam a 1:05.88, ahead of the pack. Cole finished in 1:11.65 for second and Gaeddert was third at 1:12.03.
El Dorado also got some points from Chris Rauth, who finished first in the diving competition.