The Lancers of Shawnee Mission East have returned to the throne.
The SM East girls’ swimming team had won 11 straight Sunflower League championships before losing the league crown last year to Lawrence Free State.
The Lancers were determined to not let that happen again on Saturday at Olathe’s Prairie Trail Middle School.
SM East won three individual events and all three relays to easily win the team title with 351 points. Lawrence Free State placed second with 243 points.
“We had a younger team last year,” SM East coach Rob Cole said. “They have matured this year and they were very determined to redeem themselves.”
SM East junior Crissie Blomquist was a double winner, capturing the two distance freestyles — the 200- and 50-yard freestyles. She won the 200 in 1 minute, 53.2 seconds and the 500 in 5:01.89.
“I felt faster and stronger today,” she said. “I’ve worked on being faster in practice and worked on my turns.”
Blomquist is the Kansas Class 6A defending state champion in the 500 free, and she was second at the state meet in the 200 in 2015.
Senior Sarah Allegri of SM East was a first-time Sunflower League winner in the 100 backstroke. She had a clocking of 58.36 seconds.
“I trained harder this year and worked on my underwater stroke,” she said. “Our coaches worked us harder this year.”
The senior was also a member of the Lancers’ first-place 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays teams.
Allegri was second in the backstroke last year at the state meet. She is going to swim in college at Missouri State in Springfield.
SM East sophomore Emma Linscott was on the first-place 200- and 400-freestyle relay teams.
“We trained a lot more this year and I worked on my starts and turns,” she said.
A sophomore, Linscott placed second in the 200 individual medley (2:13.06) and 100 butterfly (59.28).
Another SM East sophomore, Hannah McPhail, was on the winning 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams.
“We had a more positive attitude this year,” she said. “We had more fun with our teammates and urged each other to do our best.”
Olathe Northwest took the top two spots in one-meter diving. Senior Jessie Payne was the winner with an 11-dive score of 399.15 points. Sophomore teammate Madison Fentiman was second at 367.6.
SM Northwest junior Hailey Brull was a double winner. She won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.63 seconds and the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.39.
SM North sophomore Joely Merriman captured the 100-yard freestyle in 53.21 seconds.