High School State Championships: Kansas 6A and 5A-1 Boys Championships

TOPEKA, Kansas, February 21. BLUE Valley High School, from Stillwell, captured the team title at the Kansas 5A-1 Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 16-18 in Topeka. Wichita"s Bishop Carroll took second with 192 points, with Lenexa's St. James Academy followed in third (179.5). Topeka Hayden and Overland Park"s Blue Valley Southwest tied for fourth with 176 points.

Blue Valley was led by junior Chris Hearl, who was victorious in both the 100 back (50.30) and 100 fly (49.86), and senior Austin Averkamp, the winner of the 100 free (48.27). Senior Toby Harrison and junior Vaughn Ericson joined Hearl and Averkamp for the 200 medley relay (1:39.59). Junior Corey Luetjen was the diving champion, scoring 335.50 points.

Keiser Witte, a junior at Lunfield, was champion of both the 50 free (21.53) and 200 free (1:44.99). St. James junior Heath Maginn claimed the 500 free title with his 4:45.07, and added a second title with his 2:00.03 in the 200 IM. The Independent School's Andrew Parker closed out his high school career with a thrilling 1:02.11-1:02.18 triumph in the 100 breast over Bishop Carroll senior Alec Khoury.

Blue Valley Southwest's quartet of seniors Keanon Swan, Jackson Brown, Nick Hettrick and Noah Linton defeated Blue Valley"s team of Harrison, Ericson, Avercamp and sophomore Daniel Voss for the 200 free relay victory, 1:33.49-1:33.56. Hayden's team of sophomore Austin Lewis, juniors Michael Wangeon and Ryan France, plus freshman John-Martin Schmidt, combined for a first-place 3:23.16 in the 400 free relay.

Shawnee Mission East was the 6A champion, putting together 337 points to out-distance Overland Park"s Blue Valley North (272.5), with Wichita East taking third (260). In a close battle for fourth, Maize scored 196 points to 195 for Olathe East.

Shawnee Mission East was victorious in both free relays. Its 200 free relay of seniors Grant Minick, Andrew Hornung, Jack Haverty and sophomore Zach Holbrook combined for a 1:27.46 victory; junior Troy DeMoss came on board in the 400 free relay with Minick, Hornung and Holbrook for a 3:11.08 triumph. Maize's 200 medley relay of seniors Mitchell Wagner and Gavin Olson, freshman Christopher Clemons and junior Lucas Popp combined for a first-place 1:35.16.

Popp was one of two double-event champions with his 21.34 in the 50 free and 46.08 in the 100 free. Wichita East senior Jake Spitz also claimed two titles in the 100 fly (50.99) and the 200 IM (1:54.01). Single-event champions included Blue Valley North"s Sihan Liu (200 free, 1:42.36), Lawrence senior Zach Andregg (500 free, 4:43.28), Maize junior Mitchell Wagner (100 back, 51.39) and Wichita East sophomore Nate Dirner (100 breast, 59.20). Clark Thomas, a senior at Olathe Northwest, scored 545.45 which was good for first in the 1-meter diving event.

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