By William

TOPEKA – The McPherson/Smoky Valley girls swim team began the 2021 season with a big bang as they scored a decisive victory in taking first place in the team standings on Thursday at the Topeka West Invitational.

The Lady Bullpups scored 429 team points to win by a margin of 73.5 points over runner-up Lansing who finished with 355.5. Topeka Hayden, Trinity Academy and Kansas City Piper rounded out the top five of the eight-team field.

McPherson took first in all three of the relays (200 Medley, 200 Freestyle, & 400 Freestyle) while junior Marissa Pearcy led the team individually with three gold medals as she swam the first leg of the 200 Medley Relay, the final leg of the 400 Freestyle Relay and then made a state qualifying time in the 100 Backstroke with another first place finish. Her time in the 100 Backstroke also broke the McPherson High School Record.

Pearcy also made a state qualifying time in the 50 Freestyle though she finished second.

Avery Van Der Wege, one of the Smoky Valley swimmers who co-op with the Lady Bullpups earned state consideration times in both the 50 and 100 Freestyle swims.

“I am truly amazed and so proud of how well every single one of these girls swam today,” noted Head Coach Abby Bradstreet. “It was such a great way to start our season off and a fun and exciting meet from start to finish.”

Team leader Marissa Pearcy also reflected on the meet by saying, “The meet was absolutely amazing. As a team our energy was through the roof and everybody did superb in their events. When breaking the school record, it felt sensational as I had my teammates and coaches right there cheering me on.”

Coach Bradstreet concluded her post-meet reflections by adding, “We had time drops from every single girl who swam today! All of them should be extremely proud of themselves as I know Coach Angie Brunk and I are as well. All their hard work has definitely paid off so far and it is nice to see them be so successful in their first meet of the season. I look forward to seeing what else they will accomplish throughout the remainder of the meets.”

The Lady Bullpup swimmers are now off until Tuesday, April 6 when they travel to the Winfield Invitational for a 10-team battle.


TEAM SCORING: 1. LADY BULLPUPS 429; 2. Lansing 355.5; 3. Topeka Hayden 350.5; 4. Trinity Academy 281; 5. Kansas City Piper 255; 6. Shawnee Heights 216; 7. Topeka West 164; 8. Bonner Springs 46.


200 Medley Relay = 1. Lady Bullpups ‘A’ 2:04.12 (Marissa Pearcy, Zoey Whorton, Kierstan Trost, Karik Elliot); 10. Lady Bullpups ‘B’ 2:54.02 (Andrewson, Nutt, Heskett, McHenry).

200 Freestyle = 4. Kierstan Trost 2:18.76; 9. Olivia Mader 2:43.36; 14. Nutt 3:10.44.

200 Individual Medley = 4. Karik Elliot 2:45.36; 6. Alexis Smith 2:50.73; 12. Mackenzie Heline 3:07.20.

50 Freestyle = 2. Marissa Pearcy 26.06; 5. Avery Van Der Wege 27.53; 9. Adrian Lochard 30.48.

100 Butterfly = 2. Kierstan Trost 1:11.55; 8. Heskett 1:36.55.

100 Freestyle = 5. Avery Van Der Wege 1:01.76; 7. Zoey Whorton 1:03.38; 14. Mackenzie Heline 1:08.83.

500 Freestyle = 10. Karik Elliot 6:52.37; 11. Adrian Lochard 7:19.70.

200 Freestyle Relay = 1. Lady Bullpups ‘A’ 1:57.50 (Zoey Whorton, Mackenzie Heline, Alexis Smith, Avery Van Der Wege); 6. Lady Bullpups ‘B’ 2:07.84 (Heskett, Andrewson, Olivia Mader, Adrian Lochard).

100 Backstroke = 1. Marissa Pearcy 1:02.85; 6. Alexis Smith 1:13.17; 10. Olivia Mader 1:21.68.

100 Breaststroke = 4. Zoey Whorton 1:26.82; 6. Heskett 1:31.24; 14. Nutt 1:39.13.

400 Freestyle Relay = 1. Lady Bullpups ‘A’ 4:00.98 (Kierstan Trost, Avery Van Der Wege, Karik Elliot, Marissa Pearcy); 7. Lady Bullpups ‘B’ 4:40.88 (Adrien Lochard, Olivia Mader, Mackenzie Heline, Alexis Smith).

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