The Dodge City Red Demons boys swimming team opened their second season on Thursday, competing in the Newton Invitational.

The Red Demons finished seventh at the event.

“It went really well,” Red Demons head coach Kaitlyn Paul said. “I was very impressed. We had a lot of kids who got best times compared to last year’s times, so it just shows me that as a program we are getting stronger and we’re going in the right direction.”

Allen Richter was among the team’s best performers Thursday, finishing fifth in the 500-meter freestyle in a time of 6:12.19. He also finished 8th in the 200-meter freestyle. Jonathan Austin also performed well, finishing seventh in the 200-meter individual medley.

Paul said the team performed better in this year’s event, specifically in some of the non-swimming details.

“Last year’s first (event) there was a lot of confusion,” Paul said. “There was a lot of not (being) sure where they were supposed to be and what they were doing. This year my veterans really stepped up and walked into the room with confidence and were ready to go at the meet and that confidence spilled over into the beginners who are just starting their first year.”

That allowed the newer swimmers also to be more confident, Paul said.

“This year we were a lot more confident compared to last year,” Paul said.

The Red Demons boys swimming team is next scheduled to compete in Great Bend, Kansas next Tuesday at Great Bend-Barton Community College. The meet is scheduled for 4 p.m.