A league title-winning Lansing High girls’ swim team will head to the Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium for the Class 5-1A state finals beginning 2 p.m. Friday for a two-day run.
The goal for the Lions? To make it to Saturday and with the talent on hand, why couldn’t they?
The top 16 swimmers in each event advance to the final and Lansing head coach David Bresser has eight swimmers that will participate in three relays and five individual events in the hopes of advancing on.
Leavenworth High sophomore Elizabeth Bert is also heading to state as a qualifier in the 500 freestyle.
“Two of our relays are seeded in the top 16 and our 200-freestyle relay is 19th,” Bresser said. “ Our 400-freestyle relay has an excellent chance of moving up to the top eight. We need to have four of our best swims of the year in that relay to get us to the podium, but it's possible. We are seeded alright but need to swim well to move up in our relays and to maintain our spots in the individual events.
“The girls came off the (Kaw Valley League) meet high to get back to work to prepare for state. They've been working hard refining the details so they are ready to swim fast on Friday. We have to swim fast on Friday if we want to be there on Saturday.”
Lansing’s state qualifiers include senior Summer Dietz (200 IM and 100 butterfly), a returning state medalist who finished seventh in the 500 freestyle a year ago and 12th in the 200 IM. She is also a member of the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.
“Summer has an excellent chance to complete her high school career very well before she goes off to swim at Oklahoma Baptist University,” Bresser said. “She will have a busy weekend with graduation activities and state swim. On Saturday, she will walk across the stage to receive her diploma then immediately get in the van to head to Topeka to swim.”
Sophomore Trinity Hall (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 400 freestyle relay) and junior Maddie Walker (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay) are also returning state participants.
“Maddie is having a great season after her surgery at the end of last year,” Bresser said. “However, she has a difficult double swimming the medley relay then facing the individual 200 free immediately after it. She swam great at KVL but will need to improve her 100 free time to get to the second day in that event.”
Sophomore Darby Mance (200 IM) and the 200 freestyle relay team of juniors Maggie Bell, Leah Wiegers, Hailey Sundblom and Bethanie Courtney are the other state qualifiers.
“The 200 freestyle team) is coming off great swims at the KVL meet last week,” Bresser said. “This relay is seeded 19th but qualifying for day two is not out of the question. They all will have to swim their best to get that relay to move up to top 16.”