Strong off the block — Swim team anticipates top finishes at 5A State

Sam Brennan, Ads Manager

As the clock ticks closer to the 5A boys State swim meet, sophomore Chris Hearl pictures all his hard work coming together in one swim.

After placing fourth in the Eastern Kansas League meet, finishing only one point behind Blue Valley West, the team will compete today and tomorrow at State.

“I’m really looking forward to State,” Hearl said. “My number one priority is for the team to win.”

Coach Greg House said he believes the team will do well this weekend based on times compared to other State competitors.

The BV 200 free relay out-touched a previously undefeated Blue Valley Northwest relay, setting a new pool record on the BVNW board, as well as a BVHS school record.

“The school records in all three relays have been broken,” House said. “Those records were from ‘06, 1998 and 1987, and that gives you the range of talent over the years.”

Although the team didn’t win EKL, House said the main priority is winning the meet this weekend.

“The light at the end of the tunnel for us has always been State,” House said. “At league we needed to swim fast to make our statement to ourselves. You want to earn respect.”

Senior Adam Chinery said he did not swim his best at EKL, missing the wall during the 100 free event, but hopes his preparation for State will pay off.

He said this year’s team has one major advantage going in to the weekend.

“Our team has bonded a lot more, and we are not as intimidated by coach House,” Chinery said. “We all have the same goal in mind — to win State.”

Junior member Austin Averkamp said the team has progressed since the start of the season.

“We are a lot more mature,” he said. “We are more dedicated; we push through hard sets instead of giving up. We have an incentive because we think we can win State.”

House said the opportunity to compete for a State title is very unique.

“I’m not the type of person that counts the chickens before the eggs hatch,” House said. “You have to earn it everyday, and you have to earn it at the State meet.”