Ben Patton, Lex Hernandez-Nietling Each Set Two Records as Wichita Heights Wins Kansas Boys 1-5A State Championships

wichita heights
Photo Courtesy: W.Heights Swim&Dive Twitter (@WHTSwimming)

The 2019 Kansas 1-5A Boys State Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka, Kan.

Trinity Academy’s Ben Patton set new 1-5A records in the 200 IM and 100 back, while Bishop Miege’s Lex Hernandez-Nietling did the same in the 100 free and 100 breast. L. Hernandez-Nietling was also a member of the record-breaking 4×50 medley relay.

For the third time in the past five seasons, Wichita Heights won the team title with a final score of 213, only two points ahead of runner-up and defending champions Topeka Seaman (211).

Click HERE for full results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Wichita Heights – 213
2. Topeka Seaman – 211
3. Wichita the Independent – 202
4. Bishop Miege – 197
5. McPherson – 178

Bishop Miege’s Max Hernandez-Nietling (22.73), L. Hernandez-Nietling(25.25), Kevin Hannon (24.96) and Kyle Eskew (22.38) started the meet off with a bang, winning the 4×50 medley relay in 1:35.32 and crushing the old 1-5A record of 1:36.68. Topeka Seaman was second in 1:38.17 followed by Wichita Heights (1:38.28) for third.

Emporia’s Reed Slayden dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 433.55 for the win. Salina South’s Keetan Munsell was second with 401.00 points followed by Wichita Heights’ Kolby Adams in third with a total score of 390.20.

Topeka Seaman’s Joshua Florence cruised to first in the 200 free, stopping the clock in 1:43.91. Second went to Maize South’s Hunter Rey in 1:44.17 and Wichita the Independent’s George Jekov rounded out the top three in 1:46.00.

Patton dominated the 200 IM, winning the event by 12 seconds. His time of 1:46.78 crushed David Winter’s previous 1-5A record of 1:49.50 set back in 2007. Also under the two-minute mark was Topeka Seaman’s Cameron Stanley in 1:58.48 for second and Wichita the Independent’s Matthew Janssen was third in 2:03.56.

After leading off the winning medley relay, M. Hernandez-Nietling splashed-and-dashed his way to the gold in the 50 free in a swift 20.84. O P St. Thomas Aquinas’ Andrew Kutney (21.18) and Wichita the Independent’s Aidan Scott (21.36) finished second and third, respectively.

It was a quick turnaround for M. Hernandez-Nietling, who followed up his 50 free victory with another gold in the 100 fly as the only swimmer under 50 seconds. His final time of 48.91 was fasther than runner-up Harry Tjaden (50.56) of St. James Academy and third-place finisher Kutney (51.82).

The Hernandez-Nietling brothers continued their winning ways as Lex sprinted to the top of the podium in the 100 free with a time of 45.12. McPherson’s William Powers powered home to second in 46.80 and Wichita Heights’ Aidan Gantenbein raced to third in 47.77.

After taking second in the 100 fly, Tjaden found himself in the top spot in the 500 free. He won in 4:39.53, 10 seconds ahead of 200 free champion Florence (4:49.33). McPherson’s Justus Hampton rounded out the top three in 4:54.00.

McPherson’s Powers (21.53), Dawson VanGoethem (21.95), Silas Steinert (22.81) and Hampton (21.54) combined to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:27.83, just shy of the 1-5A record of 1:27.77. Wichita the Independent was second in 1:28.97 and Wichita Heights took third in 1:29.32.

Patton’s second record of the day came in the 100 back, where he won the event by nearly four seconds. His time of 48.60 destroyed Winter’s 1-5A mark of 50.28 set in 2006. Gantenbein was second in 52.04 and Stanley swam to third in 52.75.

L. Hernandez-Nietling got his hands to the wall first in the 100 breast with a time of 56.08, taking down Ryan Downing’s 2017 1-5A record of 56.28. Also break 60 seconds were St. James Academy’s John Amrein (57.08) for silver and Wichita Classical’s Nathan Chan (59.29) for bronze.

Bishop Miege’s M. Hernandez-Nietling (45.50), Hannon (50.96), Henry Taylor (50.57) and M. Hernandez-Nietling (45.35) concluded the meet by winning the 4×100 free relay in a combined time of 3:12.38 ahead of McPherson (3:15.49) and Topeka Seaman (3:15.52).

1 comment

  1. Meg Stanley

    Aleksei Hernandez-Nietling 👏🏻👏🏻