Braves swim team advances to State

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Senior Mykael White swims the butterfly at the WYCO championship meet.

Christopher Adams, Sports Writer

The Braves boys swim team will compete at state this Friday, Feb. 21, at the Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium. All three relay teams qualified for the sixth year in a row while senior Mykael White returns in two individual events.

Head swim coach Bill Downing is ready for state, and he’s very confident in his team.

“I’m not swimming. What do I have to be nervous about? The truth is, I’m not nervous at all,” Downing said. 

Four swimmers including Freshman Landen Hill, seniors Mykael White, Joseph Katosh and Jacob Farmer dropped two seconds to qualify in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 5 seconds in the 400-freestyle relay at the Feb. 4 meet, a time that would later get them into state. 

“Everyone has to relax on Friday. They have worked hard all year, so they need to stay confident in themselves,” Downing said. 

White has been a highlight for the Braves swim team this year, and he will swim individually in the 200 free and 500 free. 

“I’ve coached Mykael for three years,” Downing said. “He’s probably the hardest worker I’ve coached in any sport, and he is also one of the athletes who is hardest on himself when he doesn’t perform like he thinks he should.”

In addition to competing in all three relays, Hill is competing in the 100 breaststroke. 

“I am nervous, scared and excited to compete. I need to keep my head up and be comfortable the whole time,” Hill said. 

One of Hill’s 200 relay teammates, Joseph Katosh is looking forward to competing on Friday.

“I am definitely excited for this experience. I’m ready,” Katosh said. “I’m just going to do what I have been doing all year, swim fast and stay focused.”

Prelims will start at 10 a.m. Friday morning. If the Braves advance, they’ll swim in the finals Saturday morning at 10 a.m.