SM East girls make it five titles in a row in Kansas 6A swimming

05/25/2014 12:27 AM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Shawnee Mission East’s depth paved the way to its fifth consecutive Class 6A girls state swimming and diving title Saturday.

The Lancers won just one individual event and one relay at the Capitol Federal Savings Natatorium but came away with the state championship with 348.5 points, beating second-place Lawrence Free State by 26.5 points. Blue Valley Northwest was third with 259 points.

The Lancers had three swimmers in six individual events and four in the 100-yard breaststroke.

SM East sophomore Bonnie Longan wasn’t seeded first coming in to the meet, but she won the 100 backstroke with a personal best of 56.91.

“I was really pumped up,” she said. “I got first last year and I wanted to do it again.”

The Lancers’ only other victory came in the 200 medley relay. Sophomore Sarah Allegri, senior Annie Mann, Longan and senior Madeline Peters finished first in 1:48.33.

“We had a fantastic second day,” SM East coach Rob Cole said. “They were all focused and determined and wouldn’t let it slip away.”

Lawrence Free State junior Courtney Caldwell won the 50 and 100 freestyles. Her mark of 50.28 in the 100 broke her own state record.

The Firebirds won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:34.1. Campbell found herself behind, but responded with a 49.4 anchor split.

BV Northwest senior Hannah Musser won the 200 individual medley (2:03.74) and 100 butterfly (55.15).

Musser also anchored the 200 free relay team in an upset of Lawrence Free State. She had an anchor split of 22.88, lifting the team that included senior Hallie Breidenthal, sophomore Claire Albright and junior Katie Thill to a time of 1:39.43.

“You do the training all year long, and when you get to a big meet you’ve got to believe you can do it,” Musser said. “You have to have the right mind-set.”

Musser had set a meet record of 54.89 in the 100 butterfly on Friday.

“I was surprised when I got it,” she said. “I’m happy to get my name on the big board.”

BV North sophomore Bentley Hulshof won the 200 and 500 freestyles, with marks of 1:51.92 and 5:02.12, respectively.

She finished second in both events last year.

“I was motivated after taking second last year,” she said. “I knew I had to be more motivated this year.”

BV West senior Emma Roush easily repeated as champion in one-meter diving with an 11-dive score of 472.25. She was 118 points better than the second-place finisher.

BV Southwest repeats

After Blue Valley Southwest won the first title in the school’s history in 2013 and lost seven seniors off that team, the Timberwolves came back and captured the 2014 5A-1A title with 208 points.

They beat second-place Maize South by 32 points.

“We started the season thinking about winning a state trophy,” coach Arvel McElroy said. “Last night we said that the state title is in their reach and they went for it.

“Our kids did an outstanding job. It was a total team effort.”

BV Southwest got an early 20 points from sophomore diver Becca Gregory.

Gregory trailed St. James Academy sophomore Lauren Gothard after Friday’s preliminaries, but Gregory chose dives with a higher degree of difficulty in the last three dives and won with an 11-dive score of 330.35, almost 20 more than Gothard.

BV Southwest junior Maddie Carrigan won the 200 individual medley in 2:09.12 and was second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.55.

St. Thomas Aquinas finished fourth with 171 points. The Saints won the 200 medley relay (1:52.43) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:40.37).

Bishop Miege freshman Cailey Grunhard won the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.33.

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