Shawnee Mission East High School boys swimming and diving coach Wiley Wright might want to bring his own swimsuit with him to the Kansas state meet.
Wearing jeans and a Lancers polo, Wright jumped into the pool — the traditional celebration of the state title-winning coach and team — for the second year in a row and eighth time since 2005 on Saturday. That’s because his Lancers won the Kansas Class 6A state title at the meet at Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka.
“It was a whole team effort and it took swimmers and divers to do it,” Wright said. “That’s why it’s swimming and diving. You combine those and we’re a pretty awesome group to go up against.”
Sophomore Aidan Holbrook led the Lancers, winning the 500-yard freestyle for SM East’s only individual state title.
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“I’m thrilled. It’s crazy to be a state champion,” Holbrook said. “It was a gutsy race I had to go through, especially with my team behind my back. I could hear them and the fans cheering, and that really pushed me through.”
The Lancers recorded three top-four finishes in the relays and, at times, had as many as four competitors score points in the individual events. SM East’s depth held off team runner-up Blue Valey North, which won six state titles.
Junior Sam Disette paced BV North with state titles in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. He set a state record in the 50 freestyle during Friday’s prelims, with a time of 20.67 seconds. That broke the previous mark of 20.74 seconds, which stood since 1994.
BV North seniors Will Vance and Ryan McMonigle also captured state titles. Vance won the 200 individual medley and McMonigle finished first in the 100 backstroke.
“It was the last race of my swimming career, so I was happy to out with a first place,” McMonigle said. “I had a great race until my finish, when my arm went over the wall and I touched the wall with my back. But ending with a state title, I guess I can’t complain too much.”
Two other 913-area athletes won Kansas Class 6A state titles: Jordan Cowen of Blue Valley West in the 100 breaststroke and Brant Pitcairn of Olathe Northwest in the diving competition.
Bishop Miege senior diver Jacob Stockton marked the only 913-area athlete to win a state title in the Class 5A-1A division.
Stockton won the event with his final dive after trailing the entire competition.
“My destiny has been fulfilled,” Stockton said. “After two years of second place, it feels amazing.”
Stockton finished the diving competition with 410.30 points.