Even though a majority of this season’s Lansing boy’s swimming team was new to the program, they were aware of the shoes they had filled Monday as the team won its second-straight United Kansas Conference championship at Turner High School.
Head coach Joshua Floetke said the team with a contingent of freshmen came in with a strong game plan for the last team meet of the season.
“The mentality going into last night was that every race counts and our strength is in our depth as a team,” he said.
Lansing’s depth was at the forefront Monday as the Lions amassed 339 total team points, over 50 more than second-place Leavenworth. Turner came in third with 139, followed by Basehor-Linwood with 134, De Soto with 121 and Shawnee Heights with 78.
“It is nice to be in a league where each school is represented at the championship swim meet,” Floetke said. “As the programs in our league grow, we hope to rise with the rising competition. I look forward to competing in more UKC championships.”
David Bresser, assistant coach for the Lansing boys and head coach for the Basehor-Linwood boys, said he was impressed with both teams’ performances at the meet.
“Last year we (Lansing) lost a large senior class and I was very happy with the growth this year,” he said. “We have a large freshman and sophomore class so this strong performance is a good experience.”
“I am very encouraged by their (Basehor-Linwood) strong performance yesterday. We just need to build and get more swimmers. I think the future is bright for Basehor but we need numbers.”
For the Lions, they got boosts from senior Nathan Spikelmeier as well as underclassmen Greyson Walker, Mike Bresser and Vianney Verzola. Floetke said they all showed improvement this season.
Spikelmeier finished first in the 200-yard freestyle Monday with a final time of 2:03.78. The relay team of Mike Bresser, Verzola, Walker and Antonio DePaolis won the 200-yard medley in a final time of 1:48.36, five seconds faster than second place.
Walker also bested his own school-record Monday in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing first in 21.95 seconds. He did the same in the 100-yard freestyle where he also took first in 48.81 seconds. Bresser said he is looking forward to seeing Walker swim at state after the season he had.
As Lansing looks toward the state competition next weekend in Topeka, Floetke said their preparation will become more focused.
“State will be a little different as only qualifiers get to compete, which means a smaller squad,” he said. “Each state qualifier will get the opportunity to focus on the events he will swim at the state meet (during practice) this week.”
The boy’s state swimming competition is scheduled to begin Thursday and run through Saturday at the Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka. For full results from the UKC championships, visit unitedksconf.org