Overland Park-Blue Valley West Captures Kansas 6A Boy’s State Title by 1 Point

2020 Kansas 6A Boy’s State Swimming & Diving Championships

Overland Park-Blue Valley West High School (henceforth OP-BVW) successfully defended their 2019 team title at the 2020 Kansas 6A Boy’s High School State Championship on Saturday. The 6A State Championship is one of two high school state championships held every February at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium since the former all-classes state meet was hosted for the last time at CapFed Natatorium in 2009.

The 2019 5-1A State champion Wichita Heights High School was reclassified as 6A by the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) in September of 2019. Unable to defend their 5-1A title, Wichita Heights competed in the 2020 6A State Championships, placing 15th.

Olathe East began its campaign for the 2020 6A state title by nearly breaking Overland Park-Blue Valley North’s 2015 State Record but fell just 0.05 short of the mark, finishing in 1:34.16. OP-BVW also came within 1 second of the 2015 record, finishing 2nd in 1:34.95. Though OP-BVW had a considerable lead after the backstroke, Olathe East gained a narrow 0.05 edge after the breaststroke then widened the lead considerably on the butterfly, and managed to hold on until the 200th yard. No single team in the final could claim more than one of the fastest splits in the field for any of the four stroke disciplines.

Fastest Medley Relay Splits:

  • Backstroke: 23.74, Kevin Glenn, OP-Blue Valley West
  • Breaststroke: 25.26, Philip Costello, Olathe East
  • Butterfly: 22.17, Reilly Moore, Lawrence Free State
  • Freestyle: 20.26, Sean North, Overland Park-Blue Valley North

Three of these four swimmers went on to win at least one individual event. Sean North did not win an individual title but finished 2nd in both the 50 and 100 freestyles, each of which was won by Wichita East’s Drayden Bell. Though Bell did not swim on Wichita East’s 200 medley relay team, which finished 13th, for the sake of comparison, Bell did anchor Wichita East’s 200 freestyle relay in a 20.37, helping his team to a 4th-place finish in the 200 free relay.

Olathe East went 1-3-4 in the 200 freestyle, led by Harry Tjadin who took gold in 1:41.75. Aidan Walters nabbed bronze in 1:43.99 with teammate Keaton Kristoff a little over a second behind in 1:45.24. OP-BVW was also impressive in the ‘A’ final of the 200 free; Hunter Rey took 2nd in 1:43.14 and was joined on the podium by three other teammates, giving OP-BVW a 2-6-7-8 finish.

Kevin Glenn won the 200 IM by a comfortable margin over Lawrence Free State’s Reilly Moore. As a butterfly specialist, Moore was out fastest in a 23.57 though his lead was quickly eaten up by Glenn, the backstroke specialist, who put the hammer down with a 27.53 split to turn at 100 yards in 51.74 to Moore’s 53.98. Moore was marginally faster on the breaststroke and nearly 4/10ths faster on the freestyle, but the damage was already done on the backstroke and Glenn sailed to victory in 1:54.27 to Moore’s 1:55.99. Philip Costello from Olathe East touched just behind Moore for third in 1:56.17. While Costello’s first 100 was no match for Glenn or Moore, his breaststroke split (32.25) put him back in the game and was more than a full second faster than anybody else in the field. Each of the top-3 finishers in the 200 IM would go on to win individual events later in the meet.

Glenn’s next victory came in the 100 backstroke, which he took in 50.26, comfortably ahead of 200 freestyle bronze medalist Aidan Walters of Olathe East who finished second in 51.82. Moore dominated the 100 fly with a 49.62, making him the only swimmer in the final under 51-seconds. Costello won the 100 breaststroke by over two seconds and scared the 6A State Record held by Washburn Rural’s Tarrin Fisher. Costello’s final time of 56.21 was just 0.06 shy of equalling Fisher’s 2018 mark.

Olathe East’s Harry Tjaden, who had already topped the podium in the 200 freestyle, won the 500 in 4:35.36, over 9 seconds ahead of runner-up Sam Foster of OP-BVW. Olathe East siphoned 36 points out of the 500 freestyle final thank to Tjaden and Keaton Kristoff who finished third in 4:48.37, though OP-BVW recorded 2nd, 4th, and 5th finished with Foster, Trevor Sinclair, and Sam Pankratz. Aidan White also put points on the board for OP-BVW with a 12th-place finish in the 500.

Minutes after winning the 500, Tjaden was back in the pool racing on Olathe East’s 200 freestyle relay where he recorded a 21.40 split on the third leg of the race. The 200 free relay was a dogfight between Olathe East, OP-BVW and Overland Park-Blue Valley North, though Olathe emerged with the victory in 1:26.90, just 0.15 ahead of OP-BVW and 0.33 ahead of OP-Blue Valley North. The relay was Tjaden’s third gold medal of the day, though it wouldn’t be his last.

Olathe East completed a sweep of the relays by winning the 400 freestyle relay in 3:08.92. Tjaden, once again swimming third, split a 46.56 to win his fourth gold medal of the meet. OP-BVW wasn’t far behind, finishing 2nd in 3:09.26, giving them their third silver-medal finish for the relays.

Shawnee Mission West’s Will Frankel won the 1-meter diving competition with 464.60 points.

Olathe East ended up winning 6 of the 12 events offered on the meet schedule, though Overland Park-Blue Valley West managed to outdo them by a single point, thanks largely to their depth. Shawnee Mission East finished 3rd n 191 points, just getting the better of Overland Park-Blue Valley North who ended up 4th with 186 points.

EVENT-WINNERS

  • 200 Medley Relay: 1:34.16, Olathe East (A. Walters, 24.36; P. Costello, 25.62; M. Leslie, 22.37; J. Gabrielson, 21.81)
  • 200 Freestyle: 1:41.75, Harry Tjaden, Olathe East
  • 200 IM: 1:54.27, Kevin Glenn, Overland Park-Blue Valley West
  • 50 Freestyle: 20.53, Drayden Bell, Wichita East
  • 1-Meter Diving: 464.60, Will Frankel, Shawnee Mission West
  • 100 Butterfly: 49.62, Reilly Moore, Lawrence Free State
  • 100 Freestyle: 45.19, Drayden Bell, Wichita East
  • 500 Freestyle: 4:35.83, Harry Tjaden, Olathe East
  • 200 Freestyle Relay: 1:26.90, Olathe East (J. Gabrielson, 22.26; L. Hagan, 22.28; H. Tjaden, 21.40; M. Leslie, 20.96)
  • 100 Backstroke: 50.26, Kevin Glenn, Overland Park-Blue Valley West
  • 100 Breaststroke: 56.62, Philip Costello, Olathe East
  • 400 Freestyle Relay: 3:08.92, Olathe East (K. Kristoff, 48.88; H. Tjaden, 46.56; A. Walters, 46.46; P. Costello, 47.02)

Final Team Scores

  1. Overland Park-Blue Valley West – 345
  2. Olathe East – 344
  3. Shawnee Mission East – 191
  4. Overland Park-Blue Valley North – 186
  5. Lawrence-Free State – 160
  6. Wichita East – 152
  7. Topeka-Washburn Rural – 121
  8. Shawnee Mission North – 108
  9. Olathe Northwest – 100
  10. Overland Park-Blue Valley Northwest – 84
  11. Shawnee Mission Northwest – 80
  12. Olathe South – 72
  13. Wichita-North – 51
  14. Shawnee-Mill Valley – 50
  15. Wichita-Heights – 47
  16. Derby – 46
  17. Manhattan – 38
  18. Shawnee Mission South – 33
  19. Shawnee Mission West – 27
  20. Garden City – 25
  21. Lawrence – 18
  22. Wichita-Haysville Campus – 16
  23. Olathe North – 14
  24. Overland Park-Blue Valley – 13
  25. Olathe West – 2

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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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