By William

SALINA – For the third time this season the combined McPherson/Smoky Valley girls swim team took to the pool and came out with a win as they outpaced Manhattan in the end to win the Salina Invitational on Thursday.

“Today in Salina, it was a really great meet for all the girls,” explained head coach Abby Bradstreet. “They stepped up and definitely had to work hard to earn their 1st Place team finish as we were behind Manhattan the entire meet and ended up pulling ahead within the final two events of the meet. It was exciting to watch them compete against some good competition today and to see their hard work paying off.”

The Lady Bullpups/Lady Vikings scored 504 team points to nip Manhattan for the team trophy as Manhattan ended up with 474 while Salina Central was third with 325. Valley Center, Newton and Salina South were the other three teams competing.

McPherson/Smoky Valley scored five (5) first place gold medals as Karik Elliott in the 50 Freestyle, Marissa Pearcy in the 100 Freestyle and Danica Brunk in the 500 Freestyle won individual golds while both the 200 Freestyle Relay and the 400 Freestyle Relay teams scored gold as well.

It was not just the gold that excited the team during the meet, it was also that fact that Danica Brunk set a new McPherson school record in the 500 Freestyle while Karik Elliott broke the Smoky Valley school record for the 100 Backstroke.

The meet also produced six more state qualifying times for the team with Marissa Pearcy and Danica Brunk both making state qualifying times in two events while Karik Elliott qualified in one along with the 200-freestyle relay quartet of Danica Brunk, Alexis Smith, Kierstan Trost, and Marissa Pearcy.

Adding to the excitement was Kierstan Trost scoring state consideration times in both the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Coach Bradstreet concluded her post meet reflections by adding, “We had several state qualifications, state considerations, and even a couple of school records being broken! This group of girls continue to amaze me in their work ethic and support for one another. It is fun to watch them cheer each other on and become invested in their team. I am excited about the progress being made, ready to make some changes, and looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season turns out.”

The Lady Bullpups/Lady Vikings will return to the competitive pool next Tuesday when they go to Newton.


TEAM SCORING: 1. LADY BULLPUPS/LADY VIKINGS – 503; 2. Manhattan – 474; 3. Salina Central – 325; 4. Valley Center – 281; 5. Newton – 275; 6. Salina South – 218.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 10 finishes):

200 Medley Relay = 4. McPherson ‘A’ team 2:13.17 (Karik Elliott, Zoey Whorton, Alexis Smith, Avery Van Der Wege); 8. McPherson ‘B’ team 2:31.54 (Olivia Mader, Skylar Nutt, Emily Heskett, Mariah Andrewson).

200 Freestyle = 4. Avery Van Der Wege 2:30.26; 7. Mackenzie Heline 2:39.69; 8. Emily Heskett 2:43.39.

200 Individual Medley = 2. Marissa Pearcy **2:26.46; 6. Olivia Mader 2:54.71; 8. Skylar Nutt 3:13.37.

50 Freestyle = 1. KARIK ELLIOTT **26.92; 2. Kierstan Trost *27.11; 5. Zoey Whorton 28.46.

100 Butterfly = 6. Kierstan Trost *1:09.07; 9. Alexis Smith 1:17.57.

100 Freestyle = 1. MARISSA PEARCY **57.14; 5. Avery Van Der Wege 1:03.64; 7. Zoey Whorton 1:04.99.

500 Freestyle = 1. DANICA BRUNK ***5:24.13**; 6. Adrien Lochard 6:56.88.

200 Freestyle Relay = 1. MCPHERSON ‘A’ TEAM **1:46.52 (Danica Brunk, Alexis Smith, Kierstan Trost, Marissa Pearcy); 4. McPherson ‘B’ team 1:56.83 (Karik Elliott, Mackenzie Heline, Adrien Lochard, Avery Van Der Wege).

100 Backstroke = 4. Karik Elliott ***1:09.54; 5. Alexis Smith 1:09.71; 8. Olivia Mader 1:18.87.

100 Breaststroke = 3. Danica Brunk **1:17.80; 7. Emily Heskett 1:33.50; 8. Skylar Nutt 1:36.23.

400 Freestyle Relay = 1. MCPHERSON ‘A’ TEAM 3:54.69 (Zoey Whorton, Marissa Pearcy, Kierstan Trost, Danica Brunk); 6. McPherson ‘B’ team 4:46.22 (Mackenzie Heline, Emily Heskett, Olivia Mader, Adrien Lochard); 10. McPherson ‘C’ team 5:31.09 (Chloe Patrick, Avery Kruckenberg, Skylar Nutt, Mariah Andrewson).


Danica Brunk – Lady Bullpups – 500 Freestyle

Karik Elliott – Lady Vikings – 100 Backstroke


Marissa Pearcy – Lady Bullpups – 200 Individual Medley & 100 Freestyle

Karik Elliott – Lady Vikings – 50 Freestyle

Danica Brunk – Lady Bullpups – 500 Freestyle & 100 Breaststroke

Lady Bullpup 200 Freestyle Relay of Danica Brunk, Alexis Smith, Kierstan Trost, & Marissa Pearcy


Kierstan Trost – Lady Bullpups – 50 Freestyle & 100 Butterfly

{McPherson Lady Bullpup Postings needs SPONSORS – inquiry with}

{Smoky Valley Lady Viking Postings needs SPONSORS – inquiry with}