Overland Park-Blue Valley North Repeats as Kansas Boy’s 6A High School State Champions

2024 KSHSAA 6A Boy’s State Swimming & Diving Championships

  • February 15-17
  • Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium
    • Topeka, KS
  • Short Course Yards (25 Yards) Format
  • Meet Mobile: “6A Boys State Swimming & Diving Champs-2024”
  • Full Results

Overland Park-Blue Valley North (OP-BVN) High School repeated as the Kansas boy’s 6A high school (big schools) champions, securing the team title with 314 points, 98 points ahead of runners-up Shawnee Mission East, the 2022 state champion team.

Overall, the KSHSAA 6A State Championships was significantly faster in 2024 than in 2023, with five of the eight individual events seeing notably faster winning times, and two of the three relays getting faster in this Olympic year.

Shawnee Mission South’s Grady O’Connor repeated as state champion in the 100 and 200 freestyles, posting times of 44.99 and 1:38.58, respectively. O’Connor’s 200 freestyle time comes in as a new State Record, taking down Ben Bravence’s 13-year-old mark of 1:38.72 from 2011. O’Connor entered the meet with a 1:40.42 and broke 1:40 for the first time with a 1:39.84 in prelims. Overall, O’Connor dropped nearly two seconds from his lifetime best en route to his State Record performance on Saturday, touching the wall nearly six seconds ahead of runner-up Jack Miranda (1:44.04) from Washburn Rural High School. O’Connor was similarly dominant in the 100 freestyle where he was the only swimmer to break the 47-second barrier. O’Connor was named the Athlete of the Meet and was responsible for scoring 40 of the 41 individual points brought in by Shawnee Mission South, which placed 10th in the team standings with 89 points. O’Connor also led off his school’s 200 freestyle relay, posting a 20.95, the fastest in the field despite coming from a flat start, and faster than the winning time in the 50 freestyle. O’Connor ended the meet with a blazing 44.56 split as the anchor on the 400 freestyle relay, the fastest in the field by over two seconds, helping his team secure a 7th-place finish in the relay.

O’Connor improved significantly upon his 2023 winning times, which clocked in at 26.29 in the 100 free, marking a 1.30 second improvement, and a 1:41.80 in the 200 free, a 3.22 second improvement. Either time from 2023, however, would still have been fast enough for gold in 2024.

Miranda, the runner-up in the 200 freestyle, had his own run-away victory in the 500 freestyle, clocking a time of 4:43.71, a massive 5.3-second drop from his prelims swim, where he posted a 4:49.03. Prior to the meet, Miranda had never been under 4:50 in the race. Notably, Miranda went a 4:55.31 at the 2023 6A state championships to place third. Miranda finished the meet with a 47.39 split on Washburn Rural’s 400 freestyle relay, which placed second in 3:13.16, just 19-one-hundredths shy of OP-BVN’s 3:12.97.

Cleveland State commit Brock Wallace of Wichita Northwest High School also brought home a pair of golds, successfully defending his state titles from 2023 in the 200 IM (1:51.51) and 100 backstroke (50.54). Wallace also provided a 23.96 lead-off split in the 200 medley relay, the only backstroker to crack 24 seconds, and a 46.40 anchor split on the 400 freestyle relay, each squad placing 10th and 14th, respectively. Wallace’s winning time in the 200 IM was 3.44 seconds faster than he went in 2023 (1:54.95), while his 100 backstroke was 0.97 seconds faster than he went at the meet in 2023 (51.51) to win gold.

Micah Churchill, a junior from Overland Park-Blue Valley Northwest, defended his 100 butterfly title from 2023, hitting the wall in 50.59, winning by nearly a second. Churchill also placed second in the 200 IM in 1:54.17, shaving 0.8 from his prelims time which itself was a lifetime best by 0.82 from his previous lifetime best, set in February 2023.

Washburn Rural’s Brogan Meier won the 50 freestyle in 21.41, shaving 0.08 from his prelims time for a total improvement of 0.43 from his previous lifetime best set in January 2024. Meier also placed second in the 100 fly, posting a 51.46, the second-fastest performance of his career. Meier, alongside 500 free champ Miranda, posted a 46.86 split on the 400 freestyle relay which finished second, with Meier’s split being the third-fastest in the field. Meier also anchored Washburn’s 200 freestyle relay, which placed third, in a 20.97, the second fastest in the field.

Overland Park-Blue Valley North claimed 316 points, a whopping 98 more than the runners-up, 80 of which came from two relay victories, with another 34 coming from a silver-medal effort in the 200 freestyle relay. Interestingly, the overall team champions did not win a single individual event.

Though the winner of team title was clear, it was a close battle for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Ultimately, 2022 team champions Shawnee Mission East ended up taking 2nd with 216 points. Manhattan and Washburn Rural tied for 3rd with 200 points. The 5th-place finishers from Overland Park-Blue Valley West, brought in 148 points.

Other Notable Performances

  • Jack Punswick, a junior from Overland Park-Blue Valley West, won the 100 breaststroke in 58.60, the only swimmer to break the one-minute barrier.
  • Manhattan’s Mariano Palacian, a senior, recorded a pair of second-place finishes in the 50 freestyle (21.60) and 100 freestyle (47.46).
  • Junior Gioni Benoit of Wichita Northwest won 1-meter diving, capturing 455.25 points. In 2023, Benoit placed sixth with 419.70 points.

Top-10 Team Scores

  1. Overland Park-Blue Valley North – 314
  2. Shawnee Mission East – 216
  3. Tie: Manhattan/Washburn Rural – 200
  4. Overland Park-Blue Valley West – 148
  5. Olathe East – 142
  6. Overland Park-Blue Valley Northwest – 131
  7. Maize – 118
  8. Shawnee Mission Northwest – 117
  9. Shawnee Mission South – 89

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

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 …

Read More »