By William /

MAIZE – A McPherson boys swim team that was already full of inexperienced varsity swimmers, swam short four swimmers on Saturday as they opened their 2021-22 season at the Maize Invitational.

Due to commitments to KMEA band and choir as well as a debate tournament, McPherson had four swimmers unavailable for the meet.

“We had a lot of solid swims today though on the whole, we were showing our inexperience in the water as little things such as starts, and turns really killed us today,” noted Bullpup head coach Matt Cotton. “We now know we have got a lot of work to do yet.”

Earning a seventh-place finish in the 200 Individual Medley and an eighth-place spot in the 100 Butterfly helped Tytus Reed lead the Bullpups for the meet.

Only two other McPherson swimmers earned a top ten placing as Christian Garcia ended up seventh in the 100 Breaststroke, just .15 seconds from a medal, while Tito Mendez placed eighth in the 500 Freestyle.

Entering just their second season of high school competitive swimming, both Garcia and Mendez impressed the Bullpup coaches with the way they stepped up into some leadership roles while fighting hard to win points for the team.

Coach Cotton also pointed out Ethan Elder and Gabriel House for gaining the opportunity to score their first individual points as Bullpup swimmers.

For the meet, Andover Central won the team title handily with 451 points while Andover placed second with 312 and Maize South had 261 for third. McPherson finished ninth out of ten teams with 93 points.

Reflecting on the first meet of the season, Coach Cotton added, “Our relay teams were cobbled together due to our limited roster and with that we finished farther down in swims than we probably could have.”

Concluding his reflections, Cotton said, “It was good to see some of the new guys step up and rise to the occasion as part of our ‘A’ relay quartets. This was our first experience of a high school varsity level swim for several of our guys, so this meet is going to be good for teaching moments that it provided.”

Next up will be a busy week for the Bullpup swimmers as they take a trip to Topeka for a meet on Wednesday before turning around to going to Andover for a meet on Friday.


(Top 20 Finishes only)

200 Medley Relay: 11. 2:04.49 Bullpups (Reid Schuckman, Christian Garcia, Tytus Reed, Tito Mendez).

200 Freestyle: 11. 2:26.54 Christian Garcia; 19. 2:45.67 Reid Schuckman; 20. 2:56.13 Ethan Elder.

200 Individual Medley: 7. 2:22.72 Tytus Reed; 18. 2:52.74 Gabriel House.

100 Butterfly: 8. 1:01.95 Tytus Reed.

500 Freestyle: 8. 7:25.59 Tito Mendez; 11. 8:09.66 Ethan Elder.

200 Freestyle Relay 11. 1:56.65 Bullpups (Tytus Reed, Christian Garcia, Reid Schuckman, Tito Mendez).

100 Breaststroke: 7. 1:18.12 Christian Garcia; 12. 1:23.52 Gabriel House.

400 Freestyle Relay: 14. 5:03.79 Bullpups (Gabriel House, Ethan Elder, Eli Spooner, Nathan Klapp).

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