Seaman’s third consecutive win of the annual Topeka West Invitational swim meet at Capitol Federal Natatorium demonstrated the Vikings’ depth and dominance.
Having won the meet the past two years by margins of 76 and 105 points, Seaman eclipsed second-place Washburn Rural by a whopping 234 points Tuesday.
Most impressive, according to Vikings coach Rod Garman, was that both of Seaman’s entrants in two different relays finished with medals.
“That’s rare, that you have two relay teams in the same race finish in the top three,” Garman said. “You’re only allowed to take one relay team to state per event, but I really think we could put two teams in each of the relays and have a shot at both teams finishing in the top eight.”
In the first event of the meet, the Vikings’ 200 Medley Relay shattered the Seaman school record and set the tone for a dominant performance.
Viking swimmers collected a total of 34 medals, which left almost none for any other Topeka schools. Runner-up Washburn Rural, by comparison, claimed just seven.
Garman praised the depth of his squad and the contributions made by developing swimmers who didn’t medal. He said he believes his team is well on its way to improving upon their fifth-place finish at state in 2017.
“I’m very pleased with where we are at right now,” Garman said. “We’re already beating our best times, in many cases, from at state last year. To be that far ahead of where we were last year …
“We set a goal to be in the top three this year, and I think we’re well on our way to accomplishing that.”
Seaman was paced by senior Zeke Metz, who claimed first in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, and anchored two winning relay teams.
Metz, a senior who already committed to swim at Wisconsin-Green Bay, didn’t post any tremendous times, Garman pointed out, because of his workload balancing club and high school competition.
“Zeke and several others who also swim club are practicing hard in the morning the same day as a meet, and they swam in a tough club meet over the weekend,” Garman said. “So what I appreciate about Zeke and the other club swimmers is their heart, and their grit. They want to win every time in the pool, and they are going to do whatever it takes to do that.”
Also claiming first in individual events for Seaman was Josh Florence, who won the 50 freestyle.
Leading the way for Washburn Rural was Tarrin Fisher, who is headed to swim next year at Brigham Young University. Fisher won the 100 backstroke and took third in the 100 butterfly. Fisher also contributed to a second-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.
“I got a personal best in the backstroke, and was just really focused on my fundamentals,” Fisher said. “There are a lot of fast guys here, so this was a good meet. I was just trying to do my best. I’m really looking forward to finishing strong and hopefully doing well at state.”