BOYS STATE SWIMMING 5 THINGS
The Kansas state high school swimming preliminaries for both Kansas Class 6A and 5-1A are today at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium. The state meet wraps up Saturday.
1. SM East faces stern challenge to dynasty
Shawnee Mission East has won six state swimming and diving titles in the last eight seasons, but Wichita East and Blue Valley North, which won the Kansas 6A championship in 2011 and claimed the East Kansas League title two weeks ago, are expected to challenge the Lancers’ dynasty. SM East, which has won the Sunflower League championship 10 consecutive seasons, will be counting on its depth, which should allow for strong relays, though senior Troy DeMoss, who is the top seed in the 200-yard individual medley (1:54.78) and 100 backstroke (52.81), also must come up big.
2. Last chance for gold
Olathe Northwest senior Zach Willis and Lawrence Free State senior Ben Sloan have collected plenty of medals at state, but neither has snagged an individual gold. That will be the aim during the next two days. Willis is a four-time Sunflower League champion in the 100 breaststroke, but he’s seeded second (1:00.21) behind Wichita East junior Nate Pinner. Meanwhile, Sloan is the top seed in the 100 butterfly (51.11). He’ll have to contend with the reigning Class 5-1A champion, Blue Valley senior Chris Hearl, who has moved up to Class 6A and is also the reigning 5-1A backstroke champion.
3. Huskies freestyler set to dominate?
There isn’t a single returning individual event champion from metropolitan Kansas City in Class 6A, but there BV Northwest has a potentially dominant swimmer nonetheless. Senior Jesse Musser is the top seed in the 200 freestyle by nearly 4 seconds (1:41.79). He’s also seeded first by roughly 1.5 seconds in the 500 freestyle (4:43.57).
4. Maginn, St. James eye championships
There’s going to be a new Class 5-1A champion with Blue Valley moving up a class. Perhaps that creates an opening for St. James Academy, which finished third behind the Tigers and Bishop Carroll last winter. The Thunder is led by senior Heath Maginn, who is the reigning state champion in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle. He is the top seed in both events with seed times of 2:01.37 in the 200 IM and 4:52.27 in the 500 free.
5. SM South’s Sweat positioned for double gold
SM South sophomore Ryan Sweat won the 200 freestyle at the Sunflower League meet, but he’ll be eyeing double gold at state. With the Raiders dropping down to Class 5-1A, Sweat is the top seed in the 200 freestyle (1:45.26) and 100 butterfly (53.33).
| Tod Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org