NEWTON — The Buhler High School boys swimming team set a school record in every event the Crusders competed in Thursday at the Newton Invitational I at the NHS pool.
The Crusaders were making their debut, taking seventh out of eight teams. Andover Central won the meet with 354 points, followed by Andover at 293 and Newton at 198. Buhler scored 44 points, while Hutchinson finished eighth with 6 points.
“We set 11 records,” joked Buhler coach Shane DeWeese. “We had three weeks of practice. Over the Thanksgiving break, we had some illnesses. As long as we went away learning something, I feel like we had a success.”
In actuality, the Crusaders set 10 school records, hampered by both teams in the 400-yard freestyle relay getting disqualified.
“The community has really been supporting us,” DeWeese said of the team’s building process. “The track and cross country coaches have been pushing the boys to do something in the winter. They want to make themselves better all-around athletes, not just runners. In their own right, they have been becoming good swimmers and have been really been seeing what they can do.”
The team is practicing at the Hutchinson YMCA. The team will have meets there Dec. 17 and Jan. 14, both hosted by Hutchinson.
“We want to keep all the swimmers,” DeWeese said. “I’d like to get a couple to state. I think a couple of them will be just fine doing that.”
Buhler scored points in its very first event, when the team of Levi Black, Kody Carlton, Hayden Keller and Spencer Hines placed eighth in the 200-yard medley relay in 2:10.54. The same four in the order of Black, Carlton, Hines and Keller placed seventh in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:51.35 and eighth in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:16.19.
Hutchinson had a handful of swimmers in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle, along with a relay team and an entry in the 100-yard breaststroke. Jace Rimbey was eighth in the 50-yard freestyle in 26.60 to lead the team.
Buhler competes at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Maize Invitational at the Wichita Northwest YMCA. Hutchinson competes at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Great Bend Invitational at Barton County Community College.