TOPEKA — Emporia High School girls swimming and diving competed in the Centennial League meet Thursday, producing several impressive performances.
The Spartan divers all set personal records for a 1-meter, 11-dive competition. Cadance Vincent placed second, followed by teammate Jacey Stutler in third, and sophomore Divinity Gardner took fifth. All three Emporia divers will be competing at next week’s state meet.
On the swimming side, the 200-yard freestyle relay was the major highlight for Emporia. The team of Ryan Peak, Brooklyn Wiltz, Alison Brown and Arianna Hamilton eclipsed the automatic qualifying standard of 1:52.97, clocking 1:52.10.
Ana Chapman was an honorable mention.
“Tonight the four girls went out and dropped over three seconds to get the auto time and hit it by almost a full second under,” said Emporia head swimming coach Jamie Dawson via email. “This is going to be great for them going into next week, and hopefully, we can manage to get a good lane placement on Friday and try to get into the finals on Saturday!”
Dawson decided to forego a taper and maintain intensity and volume, hoping it carries over to next week.
“I decided to take a big risk this year and not put these girls on a taper at all for league in hopes that we could make it to state outright without it…You never know how that is going to work and with the weather change this week, we were dealing with a lot of cramping, tiredness, and other issues from the heat and humidity,” she said.
But the team responded well to the strategy.
“I knew when I saw Brooklyn and Ryan swim their 50 frees that we were going to have a night of very good swims,” Dawson said.
Wiltz reduced her time in the event to 27.38, the state consideration, or provisional, time 28.18, and automatic standard 26.84. Peak dropped a second off of her time, setting a personal record of 28.39.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Wiltz exceeded the consideration time of 1:02.37 by a second, recording 1:01.31. Peak also dipped under the consideration standard, swimming 1:02.13.
Dawson was jubilant after the meet, saying this year’s league meet was one-of-a-kind.
“I can safely say that in my seven years of coaching swim/dive at EHS I have NEVER had a league meet quite like this one tonight,” she said. “The girls were on tonight and swam/dove out of their minds!”
Wiltz was selected as first-team all-league and Peak and Vincent second-team. Stutler received an honorable mention.
The state meet will be held next Thursday-Saturday at the Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center in Lenexa. The diving competition starts Thursday, the swimming preliminaries Friday, and the finals Saturday.
Centennial League meet results
1-meter diving (11-dive)
1, Brianna Delvin, Topeka, 461.95. 2, Cadance Vincent, Emporia, 449.55. 3, Jacey Stutler, Emporia, 404.30. 5, Divinity Gardner, Emporia, 355.
1, Tauren Walz, Seaman, 24.99. 4, Brooklyn Wiltz, Emporia, 27.38. 8, Ryan Peak, Emporia, 28.39.
1, Gabby Grace, Seaman, 53.97. 3, Wiltz, Emporia, 1:01.31. 5, Peak, Emporia, 1:02.13. 8, Arianna Hamilton, Emporia, 1:05.44.
200-yard freestyle relay
1, Manhattan (Juliet Balman-Audrey Conley-Ruth Perez-Sophia Steffensmeier), 1:47.14. 4, Emporia (Peak-Wiltz-Alison Brown-Hamilton), 1:52.10.
1, Avery Walz, Seaman, 1:06.96. 4, Ana Chapman, Emporia, 1:19.09.
400-yard freestyle relay
1, Seaman (T.Walz-Joslynn Grace-G.Grace-A.Walz), 3:42.64. 4, Emporia (Peak, Hamilton, Brown, Wiltz), 4:18.16.