The Newton High School boys’ swimming team overcame a substantial deficit against Campus in the final three events to move into third place in the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday at the NHS pool.
Defending Class 5-4-3-2-1A state champion Maize dominated the meet, scoring 520 points, followed by Derby at 311, Newton at 280, Campus at 267, Salina Central at 245, Salina South at 212 and . Maize entries won all but one event in the meet.
The Railers claimed three individual and one relay medal. The top three in each event medaled.
“Those boys who swam those last three events, they are such competitive athletes,” Newton coach Kim Powell said. “They have not been feeling well. They have been battling the flu, sore throats and they have not come back fully. They just didn’t have a lot left. I have already canceled practice Monday. They need to rest, rest, rest.”
The team of Ryan Hirsh, Shaedon Wedel, Ethan Torres and Joey Perales took second in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:48.17, a 1.27 time cut. The same four took sixth in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:43.96.
Torres took second in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:17.47. Torres took second in the 100-yard backstroke in 57.97, followed by Hirsh in fourth in 1:02.34. Torres cut .25 seconds off his time and lost the race by .34 seconds.
“I felt like I did OK,” Torres said. “I felt like as a team, we could have done better a little bit. A couple of guys are sick. I’m planning on doing the same events at state. I really want to get my times down by at least a second. I hope I can get into the finals. Ryan Hirsh was really sick this week. In the medley relay, we did pretty well.”
Wedel took third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.79, followed by Conner Ekerberg in seventh in 1:09.78.
Wedel took fourth in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:01.25, a 3.48 time cut that finished just .17 seconds shy of the automatic state qualifying time.
Perales took fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in 54,52. Seth Zastrow finished fifth in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:56.55.
Hirsh took sixth in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.83.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Conner Ekerberg, Cristian Patton, Noah Massanari and Eli Albrecht finished seventh in 1:46.79.
Newton will compete at the Class 5-4-3-2-1A state championships Friday and Saturday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium at the Hummer Sports Park in Topeka.
“All three of our relays qualified,” Powell said. “Some of our guys qualified in only one individual event, so we may have some guys swim in three relays. We’ll try to figure out what the best combination is for the team. We had someone have a 25 in his 50, Joey Perales, and we have not had a 25 in the 50 all year. Noah Massanari had stepped it up. we look for him to become a leader. We’ll have to play the numbers game and see where the best place for everybody to swim. … There is a of good competition there and we like good competition. The top 10 is where we’d like to be. We don’t have as many swimmers going to state as we’ve had in the past. We hope to be injury free. I’m excited. We have a good group of guys.”
Maize swept the relays. Jacob Ruder of Maize won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:54.73 and the 100-yard freestyle in 51.19. Ryan Kuhl won the 200-yard medley relay in 2:11.23 and the 100-yard backstroke in 57.63. Taylor Christian won the 100-yard butterfly in 56.01 and the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:02.57.
Bryce Nelson won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.44. Britton Beggs won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:30.71.
The sole event not won by a Maize swimmer was diving, won by Jake Burke of Campus with a score of 380.20.