2019 Kansas Boy’s 6A State Swimming & Diving Championships
- February 14, 15, & 16
- Capitol Federal Natatorium, Topeka, KS
The Kansas Boy’s 6A State Swimming & Diving Championships wrapped up Saturday, February 16th, at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka, KS, with a nail-biter finish for team champion Overland Park Blue Valley West High School, which finished with a mere 2.5-points more than runner-up Overland Park Blue Valley North High School. The two schools finished with 280.5 points to 278 points, respectively.
Blue Valley West’s victory was led by senior Jonah Park and sophomore Kevin Glenn, each of whom left Cap Fed with 2 individual titles. Park, a freestyle specialist, took the middle-distance crown with victories in the 200 and 500 freestyles. First, int the 200, Park registered a 1:41.25 to win, comfortably ahead of Blue Valley North’s Logan McGonigle, who touched 2nd in 1:43.08. Later, in the 500, Park destroyed the competition with a final time of 4:37.70, nearly 8 seconds ahead of sophomore teammate and runner-up Sam Foster, who touched in 4:45.42. Blue Valley West also managed a 6th-place finish in the 500 by way of sophomore Sam Pankratz (4:58.33), giving them 50 points from the 500 alone.
Kevin Glenn, meanwhile, won gold in the 200 IM in a time of 1:54.41, well ahead of Mill Valley’s Christopher Sprenger, who touched 2nd in 1:55.36. Glenn was just getting warmed up though, and would go on to win the 100 backstroke in 50.14 seconds, sneaking past the previous 6A record of 50.43 set by Olathe East’s Ben Scheffer in 2011. Glenn split the race incredibly evenly, starting out in a 24.68 on the first 50, and finishing with a quick 25.46, making for a mere 0.6-second drop-off from the first to the second half of the race.
Before Park and Glenn could get things rolling for Blue Valley West, Olathe East High School kicked off the meet with a narrow win in the 200 medley relay, finishing a mere 5/100ths ahead of Wichita East High School, touching 1:35.83 to 1:35.98, respectively. Perhaps the most impressive splits in the medley relay were produced by Olathe East’s Phillip Costello, who split a 25.97 on the breaststroke for the champion relay, and by sophomore Reilly Moore of Lawrence Free State High School, who blasted a 22.20 50 butterfly split on Free State’s 3rd-place relay.
Both Costello and Moore went on to win individual titles each of their respective disciplines, with Costello taking gold in the 100 breast in 57.80, nearly a full second ahead of 200 IM runner-up Christopher Sprenger of Mill Valley, who touched in 58.78, making them the only swimmers to go under the 1-minute barrier in the race. Costello also finished 4th in the 100 free in 47.24.
Lawrence Free State’s Reilly Moore dominated the 100 butterfly with a 50.18, stopping the clock nearly 2 seconds ahead of silver medalist Trey Smith (51.89), a junior from Shawnee Mission North High School. Moore, who is only a sophomore, looks to uphold Lawrence Free State’s tradition of dominance in the 100 butterfly in Kansas boy’s 6A swimming. With Moore’s victory Saturday, Lawrence Free State has now won 5 of the last 6 titles in the 100 fly, with the only slip-up coming in 2018 when the fly was won by Manhattan High School’s Preston Harrison in a time of 49.88, leaving Moore to finish second in 51.54. From 2014 through 2017, the 100 fly title was won by Jordan Portela, the 6A state record holder. During his time at Free State, Portela lowered the 6A state record in the 100 fly three times while also maintaining a 4-year stranglehold on the 200 freestyle. Moore also raced the 200 IM Saturday, though he was disqualified.
The first of two state records set Saturday was delivered by Blue Valley North’s 200 freestyle relay, where the team of Sean North (21.19), Marshall Wietharn (21.65), Logan McGonigle (20.64), and Richie Stewart (21.09) blasted a 1:24.57, comfortably skating under the previous state record of 1:25.47, set by a different foursome from Blue Valley North in 2017. A video of the record-setting relay, courtesy of the Blue Valley North Boy’s Swim & Dive Twitter is below.
— BVN Boys Swim Dive (@BVN_SWIMDIVE) February 18, 2019
Wietharn and North also finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, in the 50 free, recording times of 21.10 and 21.14. North also picked up a 3rd-place finish in the 100 free (47.00), while teammates McGonigle and Stewart finished 5th (47.27) and 6th (47.77), respectively. All told, Blue Valley North scored 43 points in the 100 freestyle and 31 points in the 50 freestyle, with an additional 80 points coming from victories in the 200 freestyle relay (40) and 400 freestyle relay (40), where the team of McGonigle, North, Sam Peterson, and Stewart combined for a winning time of 3:10.71, comfortably ahead of Lawrence Free State, who finished 2nd in 3:11.62.
Though Free State may not have won the relay, they showcased an incredible lead-off leg by freshman Benjamin Vorthmann, who blasted off a 45.93 from a flat start. Vortmann had earlier claimed the individual gold in the 100 free with a time of 46.00, just ahead of Wichita East freshman Drayden Bell, who finished in 46.43. Vorthmann and Bell also claimed the top-2 finishes in the 50 freestyle, though Bell came out on top in the shorter race, stopping the clock in 20.73 to Vorthmann’s 21.07.
Going into the final race, the 400 freestyle relay, Blue Valley West led Blue Valley North 250.5 points to 238 points, a margin too small for error by either team. The relay victory went to Blue Valley North, garnering them 40 additional points, whereas Blue Valley West finished 4th in the relay, reaping another 30 points. Ultimately, Blue Valley West held on to the lead, finishing the meet with 280.5 points over Blue Valley North, which fell short with 278 points. While Blue Valley West was never seriously in danger of finishing worse than 4th in the 400 free relay, had they finished 5th, their margin of victory would have dwindled to merely half-point; had they finished 6th or worse, they would have lost the lead and the team championship.
Blue Valley West and Blue Valley North made for a well balanced competition, with neither team drawing on diving for significant points. Though Blue Valley North sent three divers to compete in Topeka, only junior Gabe Freeman scored, bringing in 4 points with a 13th-place finish and a score of 387.75. Shawnee Mission West’s Will Frankel won the 1-meter diving competition with 499.10 points, while Manhattan High’s Zane Kohl took 2nd with 444.95 points, and Derby’s Christian Tafoya 3rd with 436.40 points.
Top 5 Teams Finishes
1. OP Blue Valley West – 280.5
2. OP Blue Valley North – 278
3. Shawnee Mission East – 221.5
4. Lawrence-Free State – 210
5. Olathe-East – 185.5