Grunnhard Comes Back from DQ to Take 100 Fly Record; Blue Valley SW Nabs Kansas 5A-1A Title

View the 6A (big school) recap here.

Sophomore Cailey Grunnhard of Bishop Meige High School had a tough start to the Kansas High School Activities Association 1A-5A State Championships. In the 200 IM, she touched the wall first, almost five seconds ahead of the competition, but a disqualification on the breaststroke pullout lost her the state championship.

“The judges said I was too far on my vertical axis when my hands came apart,” Grunnhard said.

Going into her next event, the 100 fly, Grunnhard knew that her prelims swim was just .29 seconds off the state record set by Emily Dicus.

“I was really trying to focus and harness that anger after the IM DQ,” she said.

That strategy worked, and Grunnhard set the Kansas high school class 5A-1A state record with a time of 55.35. That swim won her the title “Swimmer of the Meet.”

The swimmers from Blue Valley Southwest won the meet by a landslide 201 points, taking their third consecutive state championship. The Southwest swimmers won two individual events and two relays, but they scored most of their points with depth, often swimming two or more swimmers in the ‘A’ final.

The first event of the night was diving, where Blue Valley West’s Payton Kisinger took the state record with 477.95 points, destroying the old one by 41.25 points. The old record, set by Kerri Pribly, has been standing since 1996. Becca Gregory from Blue Valley Southwest took second with 432.70 points, and Kailey Naismith from Newton ended up third with 398.30.

Madison Moore, Maddie Carrigan, Isabelle Finzen, and Gabbi Miller brought Blue Valley Southwest off to a great start with 1:49.21 in the 200 medley. Second came Maize South High School swimmers Mia Gibson, Megan Ewing, Ashton Pearson, and Stephanie Severe with 1:53.92.

Wichita Heights sophomore Katelyn Blattner dropped over four seconds from her prelims swim to win the 200 free in 1:54.47. Meg Plank from Andover finished second in 1:55.29, and Gabby Vosburgh took third in 1:56.68.

With Grunnard out of the final results, Finzen, a junior, won the 200 IM in 2:11.20, just out-touching Brooke Dreiling of Andover Central, who finished in 2:11.39.

Taylor Kostboth of Trinity Academy broke the 24 second barrier to win the 50 free in 23.99. Coming up behind her were Holly Hanson of Saint Thomas Aquinas (24.30) and Kostboth’s teammate Kendall Kilgore in 24.39.

Finzen and Plank took second and third behind Grunnard’s record-breaking 100 fly. They swam a 58.03 and a 59.75, respectively.

Kilgore won the 100 freestyle in 53.08, followed by Gibson of Maize South (53.47), and Blue Valley Southwest’s Carrigan in 53.75.

Dreiling finished the 500 free eleven seconds ahead of the competition, hitting the wall at 5:06.64. There was a tight race for second place, but Madison Batkiewicz’s 5:17.47 edged out Camille Parman’s 5:17.62. Batkiewicz swims for Blue Valley Southwest, while Parman is from Topeka West.

Saint Thomas Aquinas swimmers Laila Carter, Julia Jenkins, Caroline Backs, and Hanson won the 200 free relay in 1:40.95, followed by Trinity’s Madeline Pall, Abby Davis, Kostboth, and Kilgore with 1:42.26.

The 100 backstroke was a nail-bitingly close race. Gibson dropped two and a half seconds from her prelims swim to win the race in 56.64, and Laura Dicus of Topeka West touched .03 seconds after in 56.67.

Blue Valley Southwest senior Carrigan took the 100 breast with 1:07.56, followed by Carter in 1:08.74 and Kostboth in 1:08.92.

To round out the meet, Blue Valley Southwest swimmers Finzen, Moore, Jacqueline Leonard, and Carrigan won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:41.50, followed by Bishop Carroll’s Gabi Biby, Hannah Chadd, Kayla Hennen, and Tatum Hilger in 3:48.56. Grunnhard and Bishop Miege gave Southwest a run for their money, finishing just behind them, but Meige was disqualified its second time of the night.

The final results were as follows:

  1. Blue Valley Southwest: 379
  2. St. Thomas Aquinas: 178
  3. Newton: 170
  4. Andover: 169
  5. Maize South: 146
  6. Trinity Academy: 132
  7. Blue Valley West: 127.50
  8. Bishop Carroll: 112
  9. Topeka West: 107
  10. Emporia: 104

Full meet results available here.

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About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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