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Archive for Saturday, February 2, 2008

Four city swimmers reach finals

February 2, 2008

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— It was a case of "close, but no cigar" for two Lawrence High swimmers on the first day of the Sunflower League swimming and diving meet at Chisholm Trail Junior High.

After falling less than two-tenths of a second short of qualifying for two championship heats, Lawrence's Alex Boyer and Zach Henderson will have to settle for just one championship heat and one consolation heat.

"When you get into a big meet like this, there's normally not much separating the top time," Boyer said. "Often it comes down to the tenths or the hundredths of a second."

With the top six times earning a spot in the championship heat, Boyer qualified for the consolation finals in the 200 freestyle with a seventh-place time of 1:53.78, which was 0.17 seconds behind the sixth-place time.

"In my case, I'm going to try to get a top-three time and just be able to say, 'You know what, I went faster than everyone that placed higher than me,'" Boyer said. "You want to race for placing, but at the same time it's not quite as intense, not quite as nervous."

For Henderson, the gap between him and sixth place in the 100 butterfly was even closer. Henderson came up a mere 0.06 from sixth with his time of 57.78.

"I don't worry about that because then I would just obsess about it," said Henderson, who bounced back in the 100 backstroke with a fifth-place time of 59.48. "I'll take what I get. I tried as hard as I could. I made finals in one, so I'm happy about that."

Much like Henderson, Boyer was able to exact some revenge in his second race. Boyer made the championship heat of the 100 freestyle with a fifth-place finish of 50.65 with just 0.42 separating himself and the seventh-place finisher.

"Historically, these Lawrence High guys come back the second day and swim faster, so it should be exciting to see them go tomorrow," LHS coach Kent McDonald said.

Free State High's Nolan Frank will join Henderson in the finals of the 100 backstroke with a third-place time of 57.45.

"It's going to be good for me, because the way they put the lanes by seeds," Frank said. "It means I'm going to have the two fastest people racing on either side of me."

Frank will be racing in a consolation heat, as well, after a 10th-place finish in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:17.61.

"That was kind of a surprise because I don't think he was seeded around there," said FSHS coach Annette McDonald of Frank's finish in the 200 IM. "When I saw the 2:17, I didn't think he would be in the finals. So we're really pleased about that because that's not his specialty."

FSHS's Tony Libeer was the only other city individual to qualify for the final day of competition with a 12th-place time of 1:09.21 in the 100 breaststroke.

The diving prelims will take place at 9 a.m. today, with the finals being held, along with the swimming events, in the afternoon.

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