Andover Boys Repeat as Kansas 5-1A High School State Champions, Mendez Lowers Record in 500

2024 KSHSAA 5-1A Boy’s State Swimming & Diving Championships

  • February 15-17
  • Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium
    • Topeka, KS
  • Short Course Yards (25 Yards) Format
  • Meet Mobile: “5-1A Boys State Swimming & Diving Champs-2024”
  • Full Results

Andover High School repeated as the Kansas 5-1A Kansas Boy’s state champions at the 2024 KSHSAA 5-1A State Championships, winning the title for a second time and consecutive year.

Andover had its best showing in the 100 freestyle where seniors Eli Conard and Ian Diefenbach went 1-2 in 46.95 and 48.18, respectively. Freshman Brett Ziser also placed 5th in the 100 freestyle, bringing in a total of 51 points in less than 50 seconds. Conard, Diefenbach, and Ziser, alongside David Gott, went on to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:28.16. Conard, Diefenbach, Ziser, and Eric Witt ended the meet with a victory in the 400 freestyle relay, posting a 3:12.94, winning by over two seconds, and falling just over two seconds shy of their own State Record set in 2023.

The 200 IM was another lucrative event for Andover, resulting in a 39-point haul thanks to a 3rd-place finish from Witt as well as 7th- and 8th-place finishes from Luke Neugent (2:06.26) and Baul Lee (2:06.86). Conard and Ziser also placed 2nd and 6th, respectively, in the 50 freestyle, recording times of 21.49 and 22.53, respectively. Furthermore, Gott recorded two 3rd-place finishes in the 100 butterfly (53.45) and the 100 backstroke (54.92), while Witt picked up two 3rd-place finishes in the 200 IM (1:57.87) and the 100 breaststroke (1:00.31).

The only State Record to fall in the 5-1A Championships came from Lansing High School junior Zach Mendez, who posted a 4:32.58 in prelims, shaving nearly a second from the 2018 mark of 4:33.52, set by Zeke Metz. Mendez easily won the final though fell just short of his new record, stopping the clock in 4:33.78, fully 21-seconds ahead of runner-up Clark Young (4:55.21), a freshman from Andover High School, the overall team champions. His prelims performance marked a 4-second time drop from his previous lifetime best of 4:36.73, set in December. Mendez also won the 200 freestyle in 1:40.81, making for a 1-second drop overall from his previous lifetime best from December coming in over four seconds ahead of silver medalist Jackson Lee from Andover Central, who recorded a 1:45.25. Mendez finished the meet with a 46.06 split on Lansing’s 400 freestyle relay, the fastest in the field, helping his squad to a 3rd-place finish in 3:15.97.

Derek Yang, a senior from Wichita Collegiate, picked up a pair of golds in the 50 freestyle (20.79) and 100 butterfly (50.75). Yang won the 50 freestyle by a whopping 0.7 seconds and was faster than any in the 6A field. Yang’s 100 fly was similarly dominant, clocking in 1.48 seconds ahead of runner-up Jackson Lee of Andover Central who posted a 52.53, making for Lee’s second silver medal of the day. Yang also provided a 22.41 butterfly split in the 200 medley relay, the only sub-23 fly split in the field. Yang placed 2nd in the 50 in 2023 in a slightly faster time of 20.66, though opted not to swim the 100 fly last year, choosing the 100 free instead.

Senior Frank Alberti, representing Wichita-Kapaun Mt. Carmel, defended his 2023 titles in the 200 IM (1:55.56) and 100 backstroke (50.45). Alberti’s teammate Henry Studnicka placed 2nd in the 100 backstroke in a 54.53. While Alberti’s IM was a bit off of his 2023 time of 1:53.95, he improved his backstroke immensely since 2023 when he finished in 51.41 after a 51.14 in prelims.

Alex Moeller, a junior from Overland Park-St. Thomas Aquinas, won the 1-meter diving, scoring 418.00 points. Three of the twelve divers in the 5-1A meet represented Andover, accounting for another 33-point haul, led by junior Braden Lee who placed 3rd with 384.15 points.

Top-10 Team Scores

  1. Andover – 374
  2. Wichita Collegiate – 278
  3. Wichita-Kapaun Mt. Carmel – 216
  4. Overland Park-Blue Valley Southwest – 176
  5. Lansing – 169
  6. Andover Central – 163
  7. Overland Park-St. Thomas Aquinas – 141
  8. Louisburg – 104
  9. Winfield – 84
  10. Basehor-Linwood – 82

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About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six with the Clay Center Tiger Sharks, a summer league team. At age 14 he began swimming club year-round with the Manhattan Marlins (Manhattan, KS), which took some convincing from his mother as he was very …

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