SM East boys in good position to repeat as Kansas 6A champs after solid first day at state swim meet
position : Shawnee Mission East is trying for a third consecutive Kansas Class 6A swimming title.
The Lancers took one giant step toward that goal on Friday at the boys state swimming and diving meet at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka.
Shawnee Mission East has a top-three qualifier for the finals in nine of 11 swimming events. The school took the top seed in all three relays — the 200-yard medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle. The Lancers’ time in the latter, 3 minutes, 8.51 seconds is nearly 6 seconds faster than second-seeded Lawrence Free State.
Senior Ian Longan, won the 100 backstroke preliminary in 52.47 seconds, and teammate Evan Root (53.24) is within striking distance of the top three.
Aidan Holbrook, a junior, won the 200 freestyle prelim, and took second in the 500 freestyle, where he’s the defending state champion in the event. Junior Hayden Linscott placed second in both the 50 and 100 freestyles.
Blue Valley North senior Sam DiSette has no intention of giving up his unofficial title as the fastest high school swimmer in Kansas. DiSette won the 50 freestyle prelim in a time of 20.33 seconds, 0.34 faster than his state-record time last year. DiSette also won the 100 freestyle in 45.85 seconds.
Lawrence Free State senior Jordan Portella, the state record holder in the 100 butterfly, cruised to a victory in the prelims in 50.53 seconds. Portella, the defending state champion in the 200 freestyle, finished fourth in a competitive prelim.
Olathe East finished fourth in the 200 medley relay prelim, and seniors Austin Lee and Jake Gartenberg placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 200 individual medley.
Blue Valley Northwest senior John Tran leads the 6A diving competition with 202.15 points, 1.05 points ahead of Olathe Northwest junior Kyle Fuhrman.
In the 5A-1A state meet, Turner had a solid showing. The Golden Bears are in contention in the 200 freestyle relay, where they placed second in the preliminary in 1:30.67, just 0.3-seconds behind top-seeded Wichita-Heights. Turner was also third in the 200 medley relay. Senior Gabe Pena finished third in the 50 freestyle in 21.97 seconds, which bested his seed time.
Bishop Miege sophomore Max Hernandez-Nietlin finished second in the 100 butterfly (52.23) preliminary. Lex Hernandez-Nietlin was second in the 100 freestyle (47.52).
The state finals will be Saturday. The 6A swimming and diving finals are set for 10:30 a.m., with the 5A-1A finals scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.