HHS relay places eighth at state
By The Hays Daily News
TOPEKA -- Hays High School swimming coach Ann Adams was pleased with her squad's performance, despite boasting just one state placer at the Class 5-1A state swimming meet.
The Indians' 400 freestyle relay team of seniors Blake Mathews, Josh Brungardt, Connor Hess and Derek Drees placed eighth with a time of three minutes and 35.56 seconds.
However, Adams was most pleased by her team's placing. Hays High finished 13th -- eight places better than last season's finale and its best finish in many years.
"I do not at all feel disappointed, because last year we placed (21st), very close to the bottom," Adams said. "This year we placed 13th. Definitely as a team, we were much stronger this year."
Hays High might have had more state placers if the Indians had better days on Friday.
Senior Derek Drees posted the fifth-best time in the 50 freestyle (22.85 seconds) and eight-best time in the 100 butterfly (57.39 seconds) in the consolation finals, but since he didn't make the championship finals, he placed ninth in each event.
The 200 freestyle relay, composed of Mathews, Brungardt, sophomore Morgan Mathews and senior Cade Sharp, also had the eight-best time with a 1:35.72, but it, too, didn't qualify Friday for the finals.
"That's just the way it is at state," Adams said.
Multiple Indians posted personal bests. In several events, Hays High swimmers were hundredths of a second away from breaking school records, but none were broken.
"That is the way the sport is," Adams said. "A hundredth of a second is the difference."