The Wichita Collegiate boys’ swim team brought the long season to a close with substantial success. Five of the team’s swimmers qualified for the state championships in Topeka the weekend of Feb. 16, and overall, the Spartans took home a fifth-place finish with 156 points.
The team achieved numerous personal bests and new school records. Collegiate won medals in seven of the eight events entered and scored points in all eight of the events.
The 200-yard Medley Relay team of seniors Rhys Powell and Sam Horner with junior Jake Barrett and sophomore Trent Pirner took second place in 1:43.03 and fourth in the 400-yard Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:26.9, breaking the school records in each by more than three seconds.
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The 200-yard Freestyle Relay team of Powell, Horner and Barrett with junior Jack Naron took second place in 1:31.04 and broke the school record in that event by more than three seconds as well.
Individually, Powell took the fifth place medal in the 100-yard Freestyle with a time of 50.01 seconds, breaking his old school record by a little more than a second in the prelims with a 49.70. Horner took 11th in the 200-yard Freestyle in 1:55.09 with a season best time in the preliminaries.
Barrett won his first individual medal in the 100-yard Backstroke in 58.86 seconds, and broke his previous school record by two seconds to take 6th place. Pirner swam his personal best time in the 100-yard Breaststroke by nearly four seconds to take the third place medal with a time of 1:03.9 and also took 12th place in the 200-yard Individual Medley in 2:10.24 and broke his school record by an impressive nine seconds. Rounding out the meet was Naron with a 13th place finish in the 100-yard Breaststroke in 1:08.46. It was his first season of swimming in high school.
The team is very happy with its success at the state meet and the returning members are looking forward to next year with more individual medals to win.
"I'm looking forward to next season because I have one under my belt now,” said Naron. “I might also try diving; that looks cool.”
The end of the season is bittersweet for the seniors who got out of the pool for the last time with such success. The two seniors, Powell and Horner, have swam every year of high school and has been in the pool for four of the five swimming seasons that Collegiate has had a swim team.
"I'm very proud of everyone who swam this year, it was amazing to see everything come together at state and all that work we put in finally paid off,” said Powell. “We smashed all the records that we previously had, so that was cool too. I'm going to miss swimming with such a great school of guys.”
"This meet was a great way to end my high school swimming career,” said Horner. “I couldn't be more proud of the team and it has been an honor swimming with each and every one of them.”
"I couldn't have asked for a better performance from these swimmers,” said head coach Randy McVay. “I am so proud of them and the fact that five swimmers finished fifth in the state meet. It is a testament to their work ethic and drive to succeed.”
McVay is very proud of his team this year and is sad to see his seniors go.
"The greatest thing is that these five swimmers along with (senior) Patrick Maloney, (sophomore) Mikey Hoeckel, (sophomore) Andrew Steele and (freshman) Shea Murphy pushed each other while supporting each other throughout the season. This team is a special group," McVay said.
Returning next year will be Barrett, Naron, Hoeckel, Steele and Murphy. They will be recruiting new classmates and hope a few freshman will also join the team.