Kansas Boy’s High School State Championships Recap: 6A & 5-1A

Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium hosted two State Championship meets last weekend (February 16th & 17th) to wrap up yet another season of Kansas boy’s high school swimming.

Through 2009 Kansas ran one all-classes high school state championship meet, but in 2010 began staging two separate meets: one for the smaller 5-1A high schools, and the other for the larger 6A high schools, which can dwarf even 4A and 5A schools.

Because both meets are hosted at the same venue, the 5-1A competition takes place in the morning and is followed by the 6A competition which occupies the afternoon.

This year’s 5-1A 2018 State Championship was won by 5A Topeka Seaman High School, while the 6A title went to Shawnee Mission East High School, a program with a long history of winning state championships, even during the era of the all-classes state meet.

Topeka Seaman bested runner-up Bishop Miege High School by a 150-point margin, 347 points to 197 points, respectively. Shawnee Mission East’s victory over rival Overland Park Blue Valley North High School, meanwhile, was a mere 19 points, resulting in a 316.5 to 297.5 final tally for each team.


University of Greenbay commit Zeke Metz, who represented Seaman High School, won the 200 freestyle by nearly 3 seconds, stopping the clock in 1:40.81, and the 500 freestyle by a nearly equal margin edging teammate Joshua Florence 4:40.56 to 4:43.62. Metz also led off Seaman’s champion 400 freestyle relay (split unavailable) and was a member of Seaman’s runner-up 200 medley relay where he swam the fly. Metz’s time in the 200 freestyle also came as a new 5-1A state record.

Junior Ben Patton of Wichita’s Trinity Academy decimated the field in the 200 IM, winning by over 6 seconds with a 1:50.26. Patton went on to also nab the silver in the 100 backstroke in a 51.12, just behind Wichita Heights junior Aidan Gantenbein who touched for gold in 50.97. Gantenbein was also 2nd in the 100 freestyle where he posted a 46.47.

Sophomore Max Hernandez-Nietlin took the 50 freestyle in a 21.16 and the 100 fly in 50.30, while his brother Lex Hernandez-Nietlin, a junior, won the 100 freestyle in a 45.84 and the 100 breast in a 57.09. Both Hernandez-Nietlin brothers swim for Bishop Miege high school, and through their combined efforts they helped their team to victory in the 200 medley relay (1:36.79) and brought their 400 free relay team to a 2nd-place finish (3:15.29).

Topeka Seaman set state records in the 200 freestyle relay (1:27.77) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:11.99), while overall team championship runner-up Bishop Miege registered a new state record in the 200 medley relay (1:36.79).

Junior Keetan Munsell of 5A Salina South High School won the 1-meter diving competition with 409.30 points, narrowly edging Logan Carter of Bishop Carroll High School, who took silver in 399.25 points.

Some meet videos can be viewed on Seaman High School’s athletics website.

Full results can be found here.


Lawrence High’s Stephen Johnson swept the 200 and 500 freestyles, winning in 1:40.74 and 4:41.68, respectively. Manhattan’s Preston Harrison won the 100 butterfly in 49.88 seconds, making him the only swimmer under 50 seconds in the event in either state competition this year. Harrison also took 2nd in the 100 backstroke in a 51.76. Evan Eskilson of Lawrence Free State won the 100 back in 51.06 and was runner-up in the 100 freestyle (46.54), which was won by Hugh McPherson of Wichita East High School in a 46.18.

Tarrin Fisher, a senior at Topeka’s Washburn Rural High School, won the 200 IM in 1:53.01, besting top seed Aidan Holbrook of Shawnee Mission East who finished 2nd in 1:54.34.

Fisher later stole the state record in the 100 breaststroke in a 56.15. The former record set by Luke Musser of Overland Park Blue Valley Northwest High School in 2009 had stood at 56.25 from prelims. In finals, Musser lowered the record again but was disqualified for an illegal dolphin kick during one of his pullouts, as Kansas had not yet adopted the one-dolphin-kick rule for breaststroke for the 2008-2009 season.

Shawnee Mission East won the 200 freestyle relay (1:26.08) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:10.04) and came in 6th in the 200 medley relay. Overland Park Blue Valley North, meanwhile, won the 200 medley relay (1:36.74) and took 2nd in the 200 freestyle relay (1:26.43) and 400 freestyle relay (3:12.73).

Wichita North’s Miguel Bernal won the 1-meter diving competition with 412.65 points. Silver went to Olathe Northwest’s Bradley Davis who put up 407.70 points, barely holding off Manhattan’s Zane Kohl who took bronze with 406.65 points.

Full results can be found here.

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Laura Dittmer

I am James Sadler one of the Seaman 200 free relay record breaker’s mothers. It was a fantastic event! We beat 7 state records in the two day prelim/finals. Seaman beat the 200 medley relay as well rather than Bishop Miege. We had some great competition, but everyone of our team mates pulled together and did their part. We are very proud of the hard work and dedication of the team. Coach Rod Garman is a fantastic coach and won 5A Coach of the Year for the State of Kansas. Thank you for the great write up!

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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