Warren Ross couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to have a school swimming pool like the one at Smoky Hill High School.
Ross is the coach of the Ponderosa co-op team, which draws swimmers and divers from Chaparral, Legend and Ponderosa high schools.
“None of the schools in Douglas County have pools and it's really slim pickings when it comes to advertising for the sport when you don't have a pool in your school,” Ross said.
However, the Ponderosa co-op team has one of the state's best swimmers in Carter Griffin.
Griffin, a senior at Chaparral, is the Class 5A defending state champion in the 200 and 500 freestyle events. He captured the state 200 title last season with a time of 1:40.92 and swam a 4:34.43 to take first in the 500.
“It's amazing to have a swimmer like Carter come out of a school that doesn't have a pool,” Ross said.
Griffin has been swimming multiple events so far this season and has yet to pick one on which to concentrate.
“He can do anything from sprints to distance and all four strokes in between,” Ross said.
His times in five different events rank among the best posted by Class 5A swimmers this season.
His 47.25 in the 100 freestyle is the sixth fastest. He has the second best clocking in the 100 backstroke (40.65), third quickest in the 100 butterfly (51.95), seventh in the 200 freestyle (1:44.63) and eighth best in the 200 IM (1:58.72). He swam in the 500 for the first time this season on April 12, but results were not available.
“He's good enough that he doesn't know exactly what events he wants to compete in at state,” Ross said. “He's such a team player that with our team, we're pretty decent this year, that he said wherever you want to put me, whatever makes the team stronger, I'll swim any of those. That's what we've done.
“We have to fine-tune where he's going swim at state. He can fill any open spot we have and do well.”
Griffin swam in three preliminary relay races April 13 at the Smoky Hill Invitational, but then bowed out to get ready for a prom at Chaparral.
“He is the defending state champ in 200 and 500 freestyle,” Ross said. “He would obviously like to repeat at those, but he will keep his options open for 100 backstroke as well.”