Jama Crady is ready for the weekend, but not so she can leave work. In contrast, she's prepared to go to work as the coach of the Free State High girls swimming and diving team.
Today marks the first day of the Sunflower League meet at the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center, and Free State and Lawrence High are ready to begin the postseason festivities.
"I'd say they're ready for league," Crady said about her Firebirds. "I think they're just ready to get to the championship part of the season. They're tired of just swimming duals and quads."
Free State enters the meet with eight swimmers already qualified for state. At least one girl has qualified in each of 12 events, and all of the school's relay teams have made the cut as well.
Crady said today would be the time to see if up to five more swimmers could earn an automatic trip in two weeks to Topeka's Hummer Sports Complex Natatorium after posting consideration times during the regular season.
Lawrence coach Ryan Adams is well aware of how talented the league is -- as it is every year.
"If we get in the top half, we did really well," Adams said of the final results.
The Lions have had four swimmers automatically qualify for state in individual events, plus all three of their relays. The West sisters, Meredith and Mallory, also have qualified in diving.
Adams is looking to add a few more state qualifiers today, in particular Julia Szabo and Hannah Buchner in the 200-yard freestyle and Kahheetah Barnoskie in the 500 free.
"We've worked hard all season," Adams said. "This is the time where it's kind of the fruit of labors. We deserve to swim well."
The swimming portion of the league meet will run from 5-8 p.m. today. Saturday, the diving competition will start at 9 a.m. The diving finals will be held around 1:20 p.m. The swimming finals should get under way at 1 p.m. Saturday.