John Amrein Breaks Record as The Independent School Wins Kansas Boys 5-1A State Championships

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Photo Courtesy: SJA Gameday Twitter (@SJA_Gameday)

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The 2020 Kansas 5-1A Boys State Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka, Kan.

Two Kansas 5-1A records were broken during the meet. St. James Academy’s John Amrein broke the mark in the 100 breast during prelims in 55.78 while Wichita the Independent set a new standard in the 4×100 free relay with their prelims time of 3:11.99.

Click HERE for full results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Wichita the Independent – 213
2. McPherson – 182
3. Wichita Kapaun Mt. Carmel – 180
4. Andover Central – 177
5. Topeka Seaman – 142

Wichita the Independent began their winning ways as Daniel Jekov (25.54), Matthew Janssen (28.13), Aidan Scott (22.70), and Edward Sturm (21.70) won the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:38.07, two seconds ahead of Wichita Kapaun Mt. Carmel (1:40.26) and Topeka-Seaman (1:42.29).

Emporia’s Reed Slayden dove to first on the 1-meter board for the second year in a row, posting a final score of 450.80 for the win. Salina South’s Isaac Frost was second with 377.20 points followed by Bishop Carroll’s Kyle Eck in third with a total score of 342.25.

After placing third in the 200 free last season, Wichita the Independent’s George Jekov found himself with the gold medal this year after stopping the clock in 1:43.19 It was a tight race as McPherson’s Justus Hampton was right behind him in 1:34.76 for second while Bishop Carroll’s Quade Harris took third in 1:46.00.

Amrein dominated the 200 IM, winning by over five seconds in a final time of 1:53.13 that was just shy of his prelims time of 1:52.41. Wichita Classical’s Nathan Chan (1:58.43) and Topeka Seaman’s Noah Florence (1:59.75) also got under the two-minute barrier for second and third, respectively.

Shortly after anchoring the winning medley relay, Scott was back in the pool to splash-and-dash his way to the state title in the 50 free after clocking in at a quick 21.11. Clay Center Community’s Brandon Spielman finished second in 21.66 and 21.95 was fast enough for Lansing’s Greyson Walker to take third.

Scott wasted no time collecting yet another gold medal. The senior flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly and got his hands to the wall in 50.67, just off the 50.37 he posted during prelims. Sturm (52.39) earned silver and the bronze medal went to Leavenworth’s Curtis Springer (53.77).

Last year’s 100 free runner-up William Powers of McPherson swam away with the state title this season after turning in a swift 46.60 during finals. 50 free bronze medalist Walker sprinted to second place in 47.87 and Salina Central’s Nick Rost rounded out the top three in 48.08.

G. Jekov added another title to his hardware collection after dropping over three seconds from his morning swim to take the 500 free in 4:48.06. Hampton again followed very closely behind him in 4:48.26 for second while D. Jekov powered home in 4:53.90 for third.

McPherson’s W. Powers (21.49), Rhys Vanderhoof (22.50), Matthew Powers (22.63), and Hampton (21.60) joined forces to win the 4×50 free relay in a combined time of 1:28.22. Wichita the Independent took second in 1:30.24 and third went to St. James Academy in 1:30.49.

W. Powers powered home to a win in the 100 back, getting himself on the top of the podium another time after clocking in at 53.35. Wichita Kapaun Mt. Carmel’s Jackson Burrus raced to the runner-up spot in 54.97 while D. Jekov finished third with a time of 55.26.

200 IM champion Amrein, who took second in the 100 breast in 2019, got himself the gold this year once he got his hands to the wall the fastest in 56.04. His prelims time of 55.78 broke Lex Hernandez-Nietling’s Kansas 5-1A state record of 56.04 set last year. Chan was also under the 60-second marker in 59.40 for second while Florence wound up third in 1:00.70.

Scott (46.67), D. Jekov (49.44), G. Jekov (47.82), and Sturm (48.12) sealed Wichita the Independent’s team title by concluding the meet as champions in the 4×100 free relay with a combined time of 3:12.05. Their prelims time of 3:11.60 broke the Kansas 5-1A record of 3:11.99 set by Topeka-Seaman in 2018. McPherson (3:14.62) and Maize South (3:21.79) rounded out the top three.

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