2017 KSHSAA Boy’s State Championships
- Hosted at Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium, Topeka, KS
- Friday, February 17th – Saturday, February 18th (Diving prelims Thursday, February 16th)
- 2016 Results 6A
- 2016 Results 1A-5A
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheets 6A
- Psych Sheets 1A-5A
State record holder and University of Minnesota commit Jordan Portela will look to defend his state titles in the 200 free and 100 fly this weekend at the 6A State Championships where he will represent Lawrence Free State High School, which placed third overall in team standings last year. After an impressive showing at the 2017 Winter Junior Championships (West) where he posted a best time of 48.86 in the 100 fly, Portela is far and away the favorite to take the 100 fly title again and possibly lower his own state record of 49.44 set at the 2016 state meet. Portela was also a member of Free State’s championship 200 medley relay and third-place 400 freestyle relay last year. While one swimmer from each relay graduated, Free State will still pose a serious gold-medal threat in each event.
Sam DiSette from Overland Park Blue Valley North West High School (OPBVN) is far and away the top seed in the 50 and 100 freestyle races, coming in seeded over a second faster than anyone else in the 50 (20.34) and over two seconds ahead of the rest of the field in the 100 free (45.03). DiSette’s seed times in both the 50 and the 100 are actually faster than the state records in each event. DiSette is already the state record holder in the 50 with his 2016 time of 20.67, and he comes in seeded a full 3-tenths faster. The 100 freestyle state record, set by Lucas Popp in 2013, is also in danger of falling, even in DiSette only swims right at his seed time. Perhaps DiSette will take the record under the 45-second barrier.
Last year’s championship went to Shawnee Mission East High School, and with most of their state squad returning this year, Shawnee Mission East stands a good chance of winning yet another title. OPBVN will be strong as ever, though graduating some of their top point scorers last year they will have their work cut out for them with Shawnee Mission East. Lawrence Free State will likely repeat its third-place finish from last year, and with strong underclassmen performances could stand to make up some of the ground between them and OPBVN, who finished 118 points ahead of Free State last year in second place.
Though the depth in the 1A-5A State Championships has been wanting compared to that of 6A since the creation of the second meet in 2010, this year’s field in 1A-5A showcases times that would also be competitive among the largest schools in the state. Junior Ryan Downing of Bonner Springs High School holds the top seeds in both the 200 IM (1:57.29) and 100 breast (58.74), though Downing will have to hold off Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege sophomore Lex Hernandez-Nietling who comes in with 58.81. Lex Hernandez-Nietling also holds the top seed in the 100 free with a 47.39, well ahead of second seed Dylan Jensen of Wichita Heights who enters with a 48.77. Max Hernandez-Nietling, also of Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege, holds the top seed in the 100 fly at 51.89 and the fourth seed in the 100 back at 54.46. If both Hernandez-Nietling brothers hold their spots or even move up in their second events, Bishop Miege could improve upon its sixth-place finish at last year’s state championships.
Last year Maize High School barely beat Wichita Heights to claim the state title, winning 280 points to 279.50 points. Maize, having graduated several big point scorers last year, could be vulnerable this year. Even so, they are probably guaranteed at least a second-place finish, as last year’s third-place team, Rose Hill High School, was just over 120 points behind state runner-up Wichita Heights.