Blue Valley North junior Sam Disette says he remains a basketball player at heart, and after spending much of his childhood on the hardwood, it would be difficult to change his mind.
But being labeled a swimmer is starting to sound pretty good.
After picking up the competitive sport less than two years ago, Disette is already a multi-time state champion. He won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races at the Kansas Class 6A state meet this season. And he anchored two winning relay teams.
After only his second season of competitive swimming, Disette is The Star’s All-Metro Kansas boys swimmer of the year.
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“My teammates were on me constantly to try out for swimming,” Disette said. “It wasn’t an easy decision because I’ve always loved basketball, but I didn’t want to regret having the potential to do something (with swimming) and miss my opportunity. I’m glad I made this decision.”
That much seems obvious now. Disette filled his junior season with gold medals, kicking off his postseason with two championships at the Eastern Kansas League meet. He followed that with his two wins at state, with the 100 freestyle victory coming by less than half of a second.
“I didn’t know I had won until I looked at the scoreboard. It was an indescribable feeling,” he said. “Just being in this position — coming from my background as a basketball player to a (swimming) state champion — it’s not something you can predict or ever see coming.”
The Star’s All-Metro Kansas boys swimming team
200 MEDLEY RELAY
Lawrence Free State (Evan Eskilson, sophomore; Evan Yoder, junior; Jordan Portela, junior; Carson Ziegler, senior). Free State cut more than 3 seconds off its preliminary race time to win the Kansas Class 6A state title in 1 minute, 36.01 seconds.
Jordan Portela, Lawrence Free State, junior. Portela won a pair of Class 6A state championships, but he was most dominant in the 200 freestyle, which he won by nearly 3 seconds with a time of 1 minute, 39.94 seconds.
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
Will Vance, Blue Valley North, senior. The Eastern Kansas League champion added a Class 6A state title in the 200 individual medley. He was also third in the 100 freestyle.
Sam Disette, Blue Valley North, junior. The Star’s All-Metro Kansas boys swimmer of the year was a two-time state champion, taking home gold in the 50 and 100 freestyle races.
Brant Pitcairn, Olathe Northwest, senior. In one of the most dominant performances at the Class 6A state meet, Pitcairn totaled 521 points to win the diving championship — a 96-point margin of victory.
Colten Becker, Blue Valley Northwest, senior. After winning the 200 freestyle title at the Eastern Kansas League championships, Becker shifted to the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly for the Class 6A state meet and placed third in both.
Hayden Linscott, Shawnee Mission East, junior. With a pair of top-four finishes, Linscott helped Shawnee Mission East win the Class 6A team title. He was second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.90 seconds.
Aidan Holbrook, Shawnee Mission East, sophomore. In helping the Lancers to the team championship, Holbrook won the 500 freestyle title, with his time of 4 minutes, 39.63 seconds, giving him a convincing victory.
200 FREESTYLE RELAY
Blue Valley North (Mitch Fisher, junior; Owen Stamper, junior; Will Vance, senior; Sam Disette, junior). After placing second in the preliminary race, the Blue Valley North group surged into first in the state-championship race, finishing in 1 minute, 26.05 seconds.
Ryan McMonigle, Blue Valley North, senior. It was a relatively easy Class 6A state win for McMonigle, who shaved seconds off his qualifying time to touch the wall in 50.84 seconds. He was also second in the 100 butterfly.
Jordan Cowen, Blue Valley West, senior. He entered the Class 6A state meet with the second best qualifying time, and he didn’t win the preliminary race, either. But he won the one that mattered most — the Class 6A championship final.
400 FREESTYLE RELAY
Blue Valley North (Will Vance, senior; Ian Hulshof, sophomore; Logan McMonigle, freshman; Sam Disette, junior). The foursome won the Class 6A state race in 3 minutes, 8.81 seconds, compiling 40 points for the team, which placed second.