Entering the season, Blue Valley Northwest senior Hannah Musser knew it would be a task to build upon the swimming team’s third-place finish last year at the Kansas Class 6A state meet.
The Huskies lost a couple of seniors and had a few girls decide to swim only with their club team, so the pressure was on Musser to defend her state titles in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 butterfly.
“I knew last year was a big success for our team, which made the expectations even higher,” Musser said. “Also, I knew it was my last shot to go out with a bang, so I needed to give it my all.”
Musser delivered. As a result, she is The Star’s All-Metro Kansas girls swimmer of the year.
She repeated as state champion in both events, setting a state record in the 100 butterfly with her preliminary time of 54.89 seconds. Additionally, her winning marks of 2 minutes, 3.74 seconds in the 200 individual medley and 55.15 seconds in the 100 butterfly helped secure another third-place finish in the team standings.
She also helped BV Northwest to the state title in the 200 freestyle relay.
“I think she enjoys the team atmosphere we have at the high school and flourishes in it,” Blue Valley Northwest coach Kyle Farrington said. “It’s her commitment to the sport and to the team that makes the biggest difference for her.”
Musser will continue her swimming career at Western Kentucky.
The Star’s All-Metro Kansas girls swimming team
200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY
Shawnee Mission East (Sarah Allegri, sophomore; Annie Mann, senior; Bonnie Longan, sophomore; Madeline Peters, senior). The Lancers won the Kansas Class 6A state title in 1 minute, 48.33 seconds.
Katya Vakshteyn, Blue Valley, senior. A five-time school record holder, Vakshteyn placed second at state in 1:53.46. She also finished third in the 100 freestyle.
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
Hannah Musser, Blue Valley Northwest, senior. She won state titles in the 200 individual medley (2:03.74) and 100 butterfly (55.15).
Courtney Caldwell, Lawrence Free State, junior. She defended her Kansas Class 6A state titles in both the 50 and 100 freestyles. Her 50 free time at state was 23.28 seconds. She also won the Sunflower League 50 free title.
Emma Roush, Blue Valley West, senior. Roush repeated as Kansas Class 6A state diving champion with 472.25 points. Her next closest competitor finished with 354.20 points.
Cailey Grunhard, Bishop Miege, freshman. She won 100 butterfly titles at the Eastern Kansas League meet and Kansas Class 5-1A state meet. Her state time was 57.33 seconds.
Sarah Allegri, Shawnee Mission East, sophomore. She was runner-up at the Kansas Class 6A state meet with a time of 53.14 seconds. She also helped the Lancers to the team title.
Bentley Hulshof, Blue Valley North, sophomore. As a Kansas Class 6A state champion in both the 200 and 500 freestyles, Hulshof led the Mustangs to a fifth-place finish as a team. Her winning time in the 500 was 5:02.12.
200 FREESTYLE RELAY
Blue Valley Northwest (Hannah Musser, senior; Hallie Breidenthal, senior; Katie Thill, junior; Claire Albright, sophomore). They were Kansas Class 6A state champions in 1:39.43.
Bonnie Longan, Shawnee Mission East, sophomore. Her defense of her state title in the 100 backstroke was an important part of the Lancers’ fifth straight team title. Her state winning time was 56.91 seconds.
Maddie Carrigan, Blue Valley Southwest, junior. She helped the Timberwolves capture the Kansas Class 5-1A team state title with her runner-up finish in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.55. She also won the 200 individual medley state title.
400 FREESTYLE RELAY
Lawrence Free State (Simone Herlihy, freshman; Courtney Caldwell, junior; Eliza Anderson, junior; Alexa Malik, junior). The Firebirds sealed a runner-up team finish at the Kansas Class 6A state meet by winning the event in 3:34.10.