2014 Kansas 6A, 5-1A Girls HS Swim & Dive State Champs: Shawnee East Makes it 5 in a Row

Full team scores were not available at this time.

The story of the day for the 6A division state finals was the number of double state champions.  The session saw three double winners on the day including Hanna Musser in the 200 IM and 100 fly, Bentley Hulshof in the 200 and 500 free, and Courtney Caldwell in the 50 and 100 free.  The ladies from Shawnee Mission-East were able to make it five team titles in a row with only one individual event winner on the day in Bonnie Longan.  With their depth and podium relays, Shawnee Mission-East was able to stay in the hunt and ultimately came out victorious.

For the 5-1A finals, it was the year of the freshmen.  There was a total of 4 freshmen winners on the day, giving them an ultimate kick start to their high school careers.  Full event recaps can be found below starting with 6A division followed by the 5-1A division.

6A Division

The 6A division state champion in the one meter event won by a landslide.  Emma Roush, a senior out of Blue Valley West, dominated the field, winning by almost 120 points.  She found herself at the top of podium with a score of 472.25.  Mallory Wilhite garnered a score of 354.20 which was good enough for second place while Payton Kisinger rounded out the top three with a score of 351.45.

The first swim race of the meet, the 200 medley relay, sure didn’t disappoint.  Lawrence-Free State and Shawnee Mission-East traded off the lead on each leg but it was the top seed, Shawnee Mission-East who had the lead when it mattered most.  While Lawrence-Free State’s Sydney Sirimongkhom-Dyck had some blistering speed on the anchor leg with a 24.09 split, Shawnee Mission-East held on for the win with a time of 1:48.33.  Lawrence-Free State dropped six seconds from their prelim time, finishing second in a 1:48.53 while OP-Blue Valley-Northwest faded to third in a time of 1:51.04.

The 200 free was up next and Bentley Hulshof and Katya Vakshteyn were neck and neck through the 175 until Hulshof kicked it into high gear on the final wall.  With white water behind her, Hulshof  powered her way to the finish, winning the race in a time of 1:51.92.  Vakshteyn fell off the pace and settled for the silver with a 1:53.46 while Cierra Campbell fell behind for third in a time of 1:55.71.

The 200 IM belonged to Hanna Musser right from the start.  Leading every stroke of the way, Musser claimed the victory with a time of 2:03.74.  Finishing almost a whole 25 behind, Abbey Lassley grabbed second in a 2:13.70.  Karah Brown was two seconds behind her, rounding out the top three in a time of 2:15.62.

The 50 free is typically known to be one of the tighter races in a meet.  But despite this stereotypic description,  Courtney Caldwell had a different idea.  Winning the splash and dash by almost .7 in a time of 23.28, Caldwell can call herself a state champ.  Her teammate, Sydney Sirimong-Dyck, garnered some extra team points by grabbing second place in a time of 24.10.  Sarah Allegri swam to the wall in a 24.39, good enough for third place.

Just coming off her win in the 200 IM, Musser became a double state champ on the day by claiming victory in the 100 fly.  The senior broke the Kansas state record last night in the prelims but wasn’t able to lower it in finals, touching in a 55.15.  Olivia Tran swam a 57.85, good enough for second place while Hailey Brull rounded out the top three, touching for third in a 58.75.

Courtney Caldwell heated things up in the 100 free with a new Kansas state record.  Dropping .63 from her prelim swim, Caldwell touched in a blistering 50.28, erasing the old record by just .15 seconds.  Not only did she write her way into the record books but she completed the sweep of sprint freestyles, becoming a double state champ.  Sarah Allegri led the rest of the field, touching for second in a 53.14.  Katya Vakshteyn followed with a 53.29 which garnered a bronze medal.

The 500 free featured our third double winner on the day.  Bentley Hulshof who won the 200 free earlier in the session, swam her way to double gold, touching first in a 5:02.12.  Cierra Campbell fell off the leader’s pace, falling behind to second with a time of 5:12.21.  Emily Minick rounded out the top three with a time of 5:17.96.

The second relay of the day was the 200 free relay, where we saw Blue-Valley Northwest and Lawrence-Free State battle it out for the title.  In the end, it was the squad from Blue Valley-Northwest coming out victorious in a time of 1:39.43.  Lawrence-Free State was right there with them, touching for second with a 1:39.65.  Ending up third was Blu Valley North with a time of 1:40.13.

In the 100 back, Bonnie Longan was able to upset top seed Olivia Tran for the win.  Longan shaved off a full two seconds from her prelim swim to touch first in a 56.91.  Tran ended up second in 57.15 while Eliza Anderson wrapped up third place in a time of 58.86.

The 100 breast featured a close race between the middle four lanes through the 75 yard mark.  Freshman Aiden Chan made her move with one lap to go and it paid off.  Chan touched for the first state title in her high school career in a time of 1:08.63.  Hailey Brull was in the middle of the pack but couldn’t hold on, finishing second in a 1:09.23.  Annie Mann was right behind her for third in a 1:09.55.

The final relay of the day secured the team champion title for Shawnee Mission-East.  And while they didn’t win the relay, they didn’t DQ which was the key to success.  Lawrence-Free State claimed the 400 free relay, touching in a 3:34.10.  Shawne Mission-East came in second with a 3:37.79 while Blue Valley North dropped off for third in a time of 3:41.27.

5-1A Division 

In the 5-1A division, each diver medaled due to the fact that only three competed. Becca Gregory was the big winner in the event, scoring a 330.45 to score the state title. Lauren Gothard dove for the silver while Blair Meyer rounded it out for third.

In the first swimming event of the day, OP-Saint Thomas Aquinas ended up victorious with a time of 1:52.43.  Wichita-Bishop Carroll fell to second in a 1:54.89 while Maize-South grabbed the bronze in a 1:56.15.

Freshman Katelyn Blattner claimed the first state title of her high school career, swimming to the win in the 200 free in a 1:54.41. Another freshman, McKynley Larson, was close behind her for second with a time of 1:55.04.  Meg Plank settled for third, touching in a 1:56.67.

Maddie Carrigan was the only swimmer under 2:10 in the 200 IM and her 2:09.12 secured the win.  Taylor Kostboth swam in for second with a time of 2:10.77 while Hanna McGowan ended up third in a 2:14.07.

The splash and dash was up next and it was a close one.  The victory of margin was just a mere .07 seconds, but it was enough for Maggie Hatfield‘s first state title as a freshman.  Kendall Kilgore touched out Holly Hanson for the silver in a time of 24.30, making Hanson the bronze medalist with a 24.36.

It was a freshman again at the top of the podium again in the 100 fly.  Cailey Grunnard was out fast from the start and never looked back, winning in a time of 57.33.  Madison Hutchison swam in for the silver with a 58.21 while Phoebe Edwards faded to third in a 59.29.

For the third event in a row, another freshman claimed gold.  Mia Gibson dropped almost a second off her prelim time in the 100 free to get to the wall first in a time of 52.62.  Hatfield, the 50 free winner, got to the wall for second place with a 53.07 while Kendall Kilgore touched with a 53.56 for third.

Phoebe Edwards closed out her high school career with a win in the 500 free.  The senior got to the wall a full three seconds ahead of Katelyn Blattner, winning in a time of 5:05.90.  Blattner tried to keep it close but faded to second in a 5:08.86.  Camille Parman closed out the top three with a 5:15.18 for third.

OP-Saint Thomas Aquinas grabbed their second relay title of the day, this time in the 200 free relay with a 1:40.37.  Kendall Kilgore of Wichita-Trinity Academy tried to catch Holly Hanson at the end with her sizzling 23.9 split but it wasn’t enough, leaving Wichita-Trinity Academy for the second place spot in a time of 1:41.15. Wichita-Heights fell to third in a time of 1:42.78.

Another senior was able to close out her high school career with a victory, this time in the 100 back.  Madison Hutchison clocked in a 56.91 to secure the win while two freshmen, who were previous winners on the day, came in for second and third.  Mia Gibson, winner of the 100 free, swam to second in a 57.43 while Cailey Grunnard, winner of the 100 fly, was just behind her for third with a 57.81.

The final individual event of the day, the 100 breast, was won by Hanna McGowan, breaking the 1:07 barrier with a time of 1:06.67.  Maddie Carrigan ended up second with a 1:07.55 while Emily Rozar fell back to third in a 1:09.22.

Wichita-Heights upended an OP-Saint Thomas Aquinas sweep of the relays, winning the final 400 free relay of the day in a time of 3:45.78.  OP-Saint Thomas Aquinas was no where to be found in the top three while Wichita-Trinity Academy grabbed second with a 3:46.02 and OP-Blue Valley-Southwest claimed third in a time of 3:46.97.

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About Christine Wixted

Hailing from the Mile High city of Denver, CO, Christine Wixted is a current senior at Duke University. Her swimming career started at the age of 12 and is soon coming to a close with only one semester of collegiate compeition left. Throughout her four years at Duke, she has …

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