Shawnee Mission East High School boys swimming and diving coach Wiley Wright — in the midst of his 30th season at the helm — led the Lancers to their 12th consecutive Sunflower League title on Saturday.
Senior Benjamin Schmatz, who won the 100-yard breast stroke and 200 individual medley, led the Lancers to a 79-point victory over Lawrence Free State. Freshman Aidan Holbrook added a 500 freestyle title and then paired up fellow Lancers Schmatz, Patrick Hornung and Hayden Linscott to win the 200 freestyle relay.
“They work hard for him and when I go to the state meet every year there are swimmers who show up from 10 years ago to support East,” said Kurle, referring to the support of Wright. “I’m going to cry when he retires.”
SM East and Lawrence Free State combined to win all but two events. The other two winners were Brant Pitcarin of Olathe Northwest and Ryan Sweat of SM South. Pitcarin won the one-meter diving event with 459.70 points and Sweat finished first in the 100 backstroke in 54.03 seconds.
Olathe East placed third with 205 points. The Hawks placed in the top five in nine of the 12 events, with runner-up finishes from Dylan Walters in the 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay. He partnered with Albert Winemiller, Jacob Ockerhausen and Ryan Gabrielson in the 200 freestyle relay.
“I was really pleased with how they swam,” Youker said. “We are doing what we are supposed to be doing. We are swimming faster at the end and hopefully the kids will gain some confidence seeing the other kids swimming so well.”
SM South placed fourth, followed by Lawrence, Olathe Northwest, SM West, Olathe South, SM North, Olathe North, SM Northwest and Leavenworth.
Eastern Kansas League meet
Blue Valley Northwest boys swimming coach Kyle Farrington got a nice surprise on Saturday at the EKL meet.
Two Kansas City Blazer swimmers decided to swim for the Huskies for the first time. Juniors PJ Musser and Yousef Eldakak swim for the Kansas City Blazers Swimming Club.
Musser won the 200-yard individual medley with a personal record (PR) time of 1 minute, 52.61 seconds and the 100 freestyle with a school record time of 45.82 seconds.
“My best events are the 200 and 500,” he said. “I don’t know what I will swim at state, but I will be in the 500 for sure.”
Eldakak won the 200 freestyle and-500 freestyle in 1:47.58 and 4:54.61, respectively. Why did he decide to swim for the Huskies?
“When PJ decided to swim high school, I decided to do it with him,” he said.
Eldakak swims anywhere from the 200 to 1,650 freestyle for the Blazers, along with the 200 backstroke. Now, he takes aim on the state meet with a specific goal.
“Hard work, practice and going above and beyond what I’m capable of,” Eldakak said.
Blue Valley West senior David Fecteau will be looking for his third state title in the one-meter diving event. His first two were in Class 6A, but because the Jaguars moved down to 5A this year he will be the favorite in Class 5-1A.
He easily won the EKL one-meter diving title with a score of 553.6 points, winning by almost 90 points.
“My challenge was executing my dives,” said said Fecteau, who will dive next year at Louisville, where he will study engineering.
| Charles Redfield, Special to The Star