KEARNEY — In each of the last three years, the Kearney boys swim team has finished in the top five at the state meet.
The Bulldogs were fourth last season, second in 2017 and fourth in 2016. If Kearney wants to repeat that success in 2019, it will have to happen with a youthful bunch.
“We are a young team, which has been a change from years past,” Bulldogs coach Nate Long said. “Over the past three seasons, we have graduated five Division I-level athletes and some others that had major contributions, so this team gets the chance to form their own identity and define what they want this new era to look like.”
The Bulldogs graduated four state contributors, including current Iowa Hawkeye Evan Holt and Tyler Godsey of Oklahoma Christian.
Kearney returned six all-state swimmers in senior Micah Brant, junior Vaughn Sloan, junior Carter Woods, junior Reese Meyer and sophomores Scott Doll and Adam Hoffman.
Kearney hopes the trend of top-5 team finishes continues.
“We have a lot of work to do if we want to repeat as conference champions and make some noise down at state,” Long said. “These guys work their tails off and we plan on being at full strength come conference and state.”