By Grant Barrett, Ad Astra Radio
McPHERSON, Kan. – The McPherson and Smoky Valley Co-op Swim Team will accompany Moundridge this season, as they begin their 2023 plunge on Wednesday. They will travel to Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium, under first-year Head Coach Angela Brunk.
Brunk comes in with five years of experience as an assistant behind Abby Bradstreet, who led McPherson to a sixth-place finish in the state meet last season. “Losing our seniors will hurt this year,” said Coach Brunk, after losing three key pieces last season due to graduation. McPherson will once again field three seniors including; Emily Heskett, Zoe McHenry, and Jordan Vanderhoof. “Our team is small, but I think we will have some good depth,” said Brunk, who anticipates at least a couple of girls to qualify for state individually.
Junior Danica Brunk was part of the 200-meter freestyle relay team that took first in the state. She also finished fourth in the 50-meter freestyle and fifth in the 100-meter freestyle. Bree Pickerell and Clarea Williams will be key returning sophomores this season. Pickerell was a top 10 finisher at the state meet, and Williams was part of the state-winning 200 free relay last season.
Coach Brunk looks for Claire Schmidt to be a sophomore newcomer who could make an immediate impact along with freshman Adyson Wiens. Adrien Lockard, Olivia Bengtson, and Lena Rauchholz will represent Smoky Valley during the postseason, and Ella Shrag will serve Moundridge.
McPherson finished first in a majority of their regular season meets last season and finished 3rd in the league. They will look to improve on that marker in 2023, with a goal of sending all of the relay teams to state.
Below is the complete schedule:
3/23 @ Topeka Meet 5:00 pm
3/28 @ Andover Invitational 5:00 pm
4/6 @ Salina South Meet 3:30 pm
4/11 @ Newton 1:00 pm
4/18 @ Haysville-Campus Meet 5:30 pm
4/21 @ Salina South Meet 3:30 pm
4/25 @ Hutchinson Meet 3:30 pm
4/27 @ Emporia Invitational 4:00 pm
5/2 @ Hutchinson Meet
5/12 AVCTL @ Hutchinson 5:00 pm
5/19-5/20 State @ Topeka 3:00 pm