2 State Records Fall as Wichita Independent Wins Kansas Boy’s 5-1A State Title

2020 Kansas 5-1A Boy’s State Swimming & Diving Championships

The Wichita Independent School dominated the 2020 Kansas 5-1A Boy’s High School State Championships, one of two high school state championships held every February at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium since the former all-classes state meet was hosted for the last time at CapFed Natatorium in 2009.

Wichita Independent finished 3rd in 2019 just 9 points behind runners-up Topeka Seaman and 11 points behind team champions Wichita Heights, who captured the title with 213 points.

This year, Wichita Independent put nearly 100 points between themselves and runners-up McPherson High School, tallying 273 points to McPherson’s 182. Topeka Seaman slid to 5th with 142 points while Wichita Heights High School was bumped up to the 6A designation and competed in the 6A State Championships, placing 15th.

Wichita Independent kicked off its campaign for the team title with a victory in the 200 medley relay where Daniel Jekov (25.54), Matthew Janssen (28.13), Aidan Scott (22.70), and Edward Sturm (21.70) combined for a 1:38.07 to win by over two seconds. Wichita Kapaun Mt. Carmel took 2nd and Topeka Seaman 3rd. Jekov, Scott, and Sturm all had the fastest splits in the field in their respective disciplines, though the fastest breaststroke split went to John Amrein of Lenexa St. James Academy who blasted a 26.29, a full second-and-a-half faster than anybody else in the field.

George Jekov of Wichita Independent posted a 1:43.19 in the 200 freestyle to edge out McPherson’s Justus Hampton who took silver in 1:43.76. Nobody else in the field achieved a time faster than 1:46.00. McPherson High School placed only 16th in the 200 medley relay but made up for it with 2nd, 7th, and 8th-place finishes in the 200 free.

Lenexa St. James junior Amrein dominated the 200 IM, winning in 1:53.13. The silver medal went to Wichita Classical School’s Nathan Chan who finished in 1:58.43.

Wichita Independent’s Aidan Scott won the 50 freestyle by over half-a-second, touching in 21.11. Scott also dominated the 100 butterfly, finishing in 50.67. Independent teammate Edward Sturm took 2nd in 52.39. Scott finished the meet by leading off the 400 freestyle relay in a 46.67, which was only 0.07 off the winning time in the 100 freestyle earlier that day. Independent’s team of Scott (46.21), G. Jekov (47.93), D. Jekov (49.70), and Sturm (47.76) broke the 5-1A State Record in the prelims, posting a 3:11.96. Scott’s 46.21 prelims lead-off split was the fastest 100 freestyle of the entire 5-1A meet, including relay splits.

McPherson’s William Powers posted a 46.60 to win the 100 freestyle by over a second. Powers also dominated the 100 backstroke with a 53.35 to win gold. Powers posted a 21.49 leading off McPherson’s 200 freestyle relay which captured gold in 1:28.22, more than 2 seconds ahead of Wichita Independent. Powers finished the meet by anchoring his team’s 400 freestyle relay in a 46.46, propelling McPherson to a 2nd-place finish behind Wichita Independent.

Clay Center’s Brandon Spielman placed 2nd in the 50 freestyle and 4th in the 100 freestyle, clocking a 21.66 and a 48.17, respectively. Spielman was 9th in both the 50 (22.03) and 100 (49.32) freestyles in 2019. As a one-man team for Clay Center, Spielman earned a total of 32 points to secure his school an 18th-place overall finish.

Reed Slayden of Emporia was the only member of his team to compete in the finals Saturday in Topeka. Slayden won the 1-meter diving competition with a final score of 450.80, well in front of runner-up Isaac Frost of Salina South who took silver in 377.20.

George Jekov won the 500 freestyle in 4:48.06, just holding off Justus Hampton of McPherson. At 450 yards Jekov looked like he had the race in the bag, and though he did get his hand on the wall first, Hampton blasted a 26.67 over the final 50 to Jekov’s 28.85, all but closing the gap between the two. This was Hampton’s second silver of the day. Daniel Jekov, younger brother of George, finished 3rd in 4:53.90, netting Wichita Independent 37 points.

Lenexa St. James’s John Amrein blew away the field in the 100 breaststroke, taking the state title in 56.04. Wichita Classical School’s Nathan Chan picked up his second silver medal of the day in a 59.40, making he and Amrein the only swimmers under the one-minute barrier. Amrein was slightly faster in prelims posting a 55.78, breaking Lex Hernandez-Neitling‘s 2019 State Record by 3/10ths. Amrein is only a junior and has one more year to take the State Record closer towards 54-second territory.

Event-Winners

  • 200 Medley Relay: Wichita Independent (D. Jekov, 25.54; M. Janssen, 28.13; A. Scott, 22.70; E. Sturm, 21.70)
  • 200 Freestyle: 1:43.19, George Jekov, Wichita Independent
  • 200 IM: 1:53.13, John Amrein, Lenexa St. James
  • 50 Freestyle: 21.11, Aiden Scott, Wichita Independent
  • 1-Meter Diving: 450.80, Reed Slayden, Emporia
  • 100 Butterfly: 50.67, Aidan Scott, Wichita Independent
  • 100 Freestyle: 46.60, William Powers, McPherson
  • 500 Freestyle: 4:48.06, George Jekov, Wichita Independent
  • 200 Freestyle Relay: 1:28.22, McPherson (W. Powers, 21.49; R. Vanderhoof, 22.50; M. Powers, 22.63; J. Hampton, 21.60)
  • 100 Backstroke: 53.35, William Powers, McPherson
  • 100 Breaststroke: 56.04, John Amrein, Lenexa St. James Academy
  • 400 Freestyle Relay: 3:12.05, Wichita Independent (A. Scott, 46.67; D. Jekov, 49.44; G. Jekov, 47.82; E. Sturm, 48.12)

Final Team Scores

  1. Wichita-The Independent – 273
  2. McPherson – 182
  3. Wichita-Kapaun Mt. Carmel – 180
  4. Andover Central – 177
  5. Topeka-Seaman – 142
  6. Lenexa-St. James Academy – 138
  7. Maize South-116
  8. Maize – 111
  9. Overland Park-Blue Valley Southwest – 110
  10. Wichita-Bishop Carroll – 102
  11. Salina South – 100
  12. Andover – 95
  13. Lansing – 71
  14. Wichita Collegiate/Salina Central – 69
  15. Wichita-Trinity Academy – 40
  16. Wichita-Classical School – 34
  17. Clay Center Community High School/Overland Park-St. Thomas Aquinas – 32
  18. Great Bend – 30
  19. Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege – 29
  20. Tecumseh-Shawnee Heights – 23.5
  21. Wichita Northwest – 23
  22. Leavenworth – 22
  23. Newton – 22
  24. Emporia – 20
  25. Kansas City-Turner – 18.5
  26. Chanute – 13
  27. El Dorado – 11
  28. Winfield – 10
  29. Hays/Lawrence-Bishop Seabury – 9
  30. De Soto – 8

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Coach Mary

John Amrein was the fastest 200 IM and 100 brstk in both the 5A and 6a meet. Both of his breastbone swims were faster than the 2019 record by his KCSA Club team member

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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