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Three Swimmers Represent McPherson and Smoky Valley at State Meet


LENEXA, Kan. – The Boys Swim season wrapped up on Saturday, with the State Meet in Lenexa. Three individuals qualified between McPherson and Smoky Valley, as the Smoky Valley Boys included Tytus Reed and Gabe House, while Reid Schuckman was the lone qualifier for McPherson.

During Friday’s prelims, Gabe House kicked things off with the 200 Freestyle, setting a new SVHS school record with a time of 1:58.79. However, the record-breaking time put him 19th overall, with only the top 16 moving on to finals on Saturday.

Tytus Reed had a tough decision to make Friday, having qualified in the 100 Butterfly and the 100 Freestyle, which fell back-to-back. Head Coach Matt Cotton said, “We decided to focus on the 100 Butterfly and his swim was enough to move into the consolation finals seeded 13th.” He added, “The 100 Freestyle was a wash at that point, having pushed hard just 3 heats prior meant we had nothing left.” Although the tank was empty for the day, he did enough to ensure he’d be back the next day.

Later, House competed in his second event, the 500 Freestyle, where he’d PR by more than five seconds, and made it into the consolation final with a time of 5:24.64. “It was a disciplined race that showed how far we’d come his Sophomore year, and it made him only the second swimmer from SVHS to ever make it through to finals, guaranteeing he’d score team points for the school,” said Coach Cotton

Reid Schuckman had the last swim of the day on Friday, just making the cut for state consideration by .02 seconds at the league meet the week prior. Schuckman competed in his first-ever state appearance, and dropped a second off his previous time, down to a 1:02.95. Unfortunately, it earned him 22nd overall, but Coach Cotton said, “For being only a second-year swimmer, it was awesome to see Reid earn this chance to compete at the highest stage, and I think it gives a lot of our young guys who are new to the sport as well that they too might be able to get there someday.”

With only two swimmers qualifying on Saturday, Coach Cotton said, “We were able to push hard knowing there was nothing to save it for.” 

Tytus Reed was up first in the 100 Butterfly and Cotton said, “From the first stroke, it was clear he was on a whole different level from the day before.” Reed got out ahead of the pack to win the first wall but ultimately ended up second in the consolation final, taking 10th overall. It was his highest-ever state finish and good for seven points, which Cotton noted was more than he’d scored in his 3 previous state appearances combined. 

Gabe House then built on that momentum, and Coach Cotton said, “Rather than try to protect our position, we came out swinging, hoping to swim up past some of the guys ahead of us that we thought we might be able to catch.” Cotton noted that House swam hard, improving on his time from Friday, and ultimately finished 13th overall, providing an additional four points to the SVHS’s total.

With 11 team points, the 2-man team of Tytus Reed and Gabe House was good enough to snag the last spot of the top 25 teams in the state, finishing 25th out of 41 teams in attendance 

“It was a fitting capstone for Tytus,” said Coach Cotton who mentioned the senior, qualifying for the state meet in all four of his possible years. Cotton added, “It was a great experience for Gabe, knowing he’ll likely be back next year to keep the tradition alive.”

Cotton recognized the crowd in attendance and thanked those that made the trip, as well as those who supported the MHS/SVHS Boys Swimming Team over the course of the season. 

He reflected on the year by saying, “This group of guys has been an honor to work with all year, and even when we have missed our goals or come up just short of where we wanted to be, they never lost sight of what we knew we were capable of or stopped pushing to get there. He concluded by saying, “As always, I’m left counting down the days until we get to start back up to do it all again this November.”