BSHS swim coach reflects on first season coaching boys, prepares for girls season’s start
Topeka After taking a couple of days to reflect, first year Bonner Springs boys swimming coach Preston Williams said he couldn’t be more pleased with how the season ended on Friday at the Class 5-1A state swimming and diving championships.
“I was so proud of how they did because they barely made it in,” Williams said, referring to his 200-yard freestyle relay team. “They took off a lot of time from the beginning of the season just to be able to make it.”
The event was the only one the Braves competed in during the weekend at the Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka. The team consisted of Jacob Kraus, Thomas Hook, Lucas Skyler and Jack Klingele, with senior team captain Jacob Sopher standing by as an alternate.
The four-man team capped the season off by moving up five places from the 32nd spot to place 27th during the preliminaries on Friday with a time 1:42.49, but failed to make it to the finals on Saturday.
The 200-yard freestyle relay time was four seconds faster than what it had previously been, Williams said, with anchor Klingele swimming his leg in 24.12 seconds.
The 200-yard medley relay team was two-hundredths of a second from making it to state. Sam Nelson also narrowly missed the mark in the 100-yard butterfly.
The Shawnee Mission South swimming team placed first on Saturday with 236 points, followed by Hayden High School with 199 points, and Maize-South who placed third with 183.
Now that he has his first season completed for next year to be a success, “it’s as simple as getting faster”, Williams said. “I kind of started thinking, it has been a night and day difference from the beginning of the season to the end. The kids worked hard and it paid off for them.”
With Sopher as the only senior for the Braves, Williams said he is looking forward to having all of his swimmers return, in addition to the incoming classes throughout the next few years.
His focus for next year will remain on improving technique, strength and speed, he said. “I really want to build this program up to where we can go to the state meet and compete,“ Williams said. “I think we will be able to take quite a bit more relays and hopefully individual events to state next year.”
Williams’ attention will soon turn to the start of the girls swimming season, a mere few weeks away. Whereas many coaches will be beginning what amounts to an offseason, Williams’ quest for improvement will be put to the test in real time come March.
“I just want to continue to improve my coaching as far as technique, learning new drills and things I can do to help them get better,“ Williams said. “But I am definitely happy with the way it (the season) went and I am really proud of them.”