By Eric Finger
TOPEKA, Kansas, March 1. BLUE Valley-North won the Kansas 6A Boys State Swimming and Diving Championships last Saturday night at the Hummer Sports Complex, taking down defending state champions Wichita-East with 312.5 points. Shawnee Mission-East took second with 301 points, while Wichita-East came in third with 282 points.
Topeka-Washburn Rural’s 200 medley relay started off the night with a victory in the 200 medley relay, led by Nick Badsky, Bryan Hahn, John Fritsch and Craig Haug in a time of 1:34.49. Lawrence-Free State followed right behind in a time of 1:35.50, while Wichita-East finished third in 1:36.06.
In the next event, Jordan Portela of Lawrence-Free State, Preston Barley from Maize and Will Vance from Blue Valley-North had a close race in the 200 freestyle, finishing in that order with times of 1:41.53, 1:43.52, and 1:44.59 respectively.
Maize’s Christopher Clemons pulled off the win in the 200 IM with a time of 1:53.41, just over a second faster than he swam in prelims. Lawrence-Free State’s Canaan Campbell finished behind him in a 1:54.61, just out-touching John Fritch of Topeka-Washburn Rural, who came in at 1:54.91.
Blue Valley-North’s only win of the night came in the 50 freestyle, courtesy of Brian North in a scorching time of 21.28. He touched ahead of Shawnee Mission-East’s Zack Holbrook and Olathe-East’s Tanner Emerson, who came in right behind in times of 21.58 and 21.63, respectively.
Jordan Portela of Lawrence-Free State dropped over two seconds in the 100 butterfly to come out victorious in 50.79 seconds. John Fritsch got his third top-three finish of the night, following Portela in 51.43 seconds. He reached the wall just in front of Maize’s Clemons, winner of the 200 IM earlier in the meet, who came in at 51.75.
The 100 freestyle turned out to be one of the closest races of the evening, as Zack Holbrook from Shawnee Mission-East came in first with the only sub-47 swim, going 46.69, and Brian North, winner of the 50 free, came in second in 47.17. Tyler Gartenberg from Olathe-East made his first top-three finish of the night, coming in third at 47.29.
The longest race of the evening, the 500 freestyle, went to Caanan Campbell, who came in second in the 200 IM earlier in the evening, in 4:40.74 seconds. Maize’s Will Vance, who finished third in the 200 free, came in second in 4:46.97, followed by Michael Prekopy from Topeka-Washburn Rural in 4:48.47.
Shawnee Mission-East’s Partick Hornung, Peter Milledge, Cooper Johnson and Zack Holbrok won the 200-yard free relay in 1:25.92, comfortably ahead of competition Blue Valley-North went a 1:27.33 to take second, and Olathe-East came in third with a 1:28.39.
Nick Badsky out of Topeka-Washburn Rural won the 100 backstroke in 51.78, just .23 in front of Wichita-East’s Brandon Shinsato, who came in at 52.01 seconds. Blue Valley-North got another top-three finish out of Ryan McMonigle, who came in at 52.58.
In the final individual race of the evening, Topeka-Washburn Rural’s Bryan Hahn picked up another win. Hahn, who swam the breaststroke leg on Topeka-Washburn Rural’s winning 200 medley relay, won the 100 breast by going a 57.30. Lawrence-Free State’s Josh Terrell followed closely in second with a time of 57.97. In third was Benjamin Schmatz from Shawnee Mission-East in 58.34.
In the last race of the evening, Topeka-Washburn Rural broke the state record in the 400 free relay by .15, as John Fritsch, Craig Haug, Bryan Haun and Nick Badsky swam a 3:09.47 in the event. They were followed by Shawnee Mission-East, who came in at 3:10.99, and Lawrence-Free State, who touched in 3:11.56.