The boys and girls state swimming titles where swept by Blue Valley Stilwell in 2012. But when the KSHSAA classifications came out this season, Stilwell was bumped up to 6A, meaning the 5-1A title was up for grabs.
Shawnee Mission South was the team to grab the top spot in 5-1A with a score of 202.
"It's amazing," sophomore Ryan Sweat said. "We worked really, really hard this year"
They were followed by Topeka Hayden and Maize South. Hayden had a score of 199 and Maize South was at 183. Maize South jumped up 4 spots from last years 7th place team.
"I'm really proud of them," head coach Hussein Yussine said. "They stepped up a lot. Especially, the middle guys, they helped out a lot."
The Mavericks are a young team which could help them going forward. They only had one senior swimmer at state, Greyson Heckman.
"Hopefully it's going to not be a rebuilding year, but a reloading year. We got a couple swimmers coming in," Yussine said. "Losing someone like Greyson will hurt.
The Mavericks opened the meet with a top finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Johnathon Lavalle, Greyson Heckman, Jacob Evraets and Caleb Peterson swam a 1:40.90. The Mavericks took fourth last year in the same race, but the four swimmers were able to make the jump because of a few key reason.
"We returned the whole relay and we got on it and trained harder and good coaching," Peterson said.
They were followed by a Wichita Collegiate team consisting of Jake Barrett, Trent Pirner, Rhys Powell and Sam Horner, who finished in 1:43.03. Another Wichita school, Bishop Carrol, took third in the relay with a time of 1:45.03. Jace Hilger, Will Smith, Alexander Vulgamore and Jacob Khoury were part of that team.
The Maverick's Greyson Heckman was able to fend off Shawnee Mission South's Ryan Sweat in the 100-yard butterfly. Heckman finished at 51.30 and Sweat finished right behind him at 51.74. Heckman finished second in the same race last year.
"I started four years ago, I barely had state times," Heckman said. "It feels good to have all the hard work pay off and get a state championship.
Hayden's Ryan France took the third spot in the race with a time of 53.97.
Maize South's Lavalle finished tops in the 100-yard backstroke, blowing away the other competitors with a time of 53.06. Even though he was ahead the junior kept his focus on a few thoughts.
"Attack the walls and finish hard and hopefully go for my best time" Lavalle said.
Shawnee Heights' McGown finished behind him at 55.27 and Wichita Trinity's Ben Johnson rounded out the top three with a time of 56.45. Johnson actually qualified for every event in state this year, but was only allowed to swim in four.
Lavalle also had a third-place finish in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:02.79. He was behind St. James Academy's Heath Maginn who finished first with a time of 1:57.25 and Shawnee Height's Kevin McGowan who was second with a time of 2:02.79.
Maize South had a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Caleb Peterson, William King, Lavalle and Heckman swam a 1:31.67.
Hayden took the top spot at 1:30.57. Their team consisted of Austin Lewis, France, Michael Wangerin and John-Martin Schmidt. Wichita Collegiate also grabbed another second place finish in a relay. Barrett, Jack Naron, Horner and Powell swam a 1:31.40. Powell says that the team's experience together gives them the strong chemistry that benefits them in races.
"We've been together for all four years basically," Powell said. "We've gotten better and this year was just a magical year, it all came together."
Winfield's Keiser Witte finished his high school career with a bang, breaking two state records. The first of the day in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.48. The record he broke was his own, set the day before in the prelims.
Maize South's Heckman followed Witte in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.48 and Bishop Miege's Jack Wirtz finished third at 22.03
Witte also broke the 100-yard free-style record from 1988. He swam the race at 45.58. He had his sights set on both records going into the meet.
"It feels really good, that's what I was trying to do," Witte said. "I did that and I'm really happy."
Witte's friend McPherson's Derek Goodson finished second with a time of 47.18. He was excited for Witte's chance to change a little bit of Kansas swimming history.
"I'm happy with that," Goodson said. "I wanted to help Kaiser break the record, like push him."
Shawnee Mission South's Kenneth Bergman was third with a time of 48.61
McPherson's Goodson also took third in the 200-yard freestyle. He swam a 1:46.06. This was behind Shawnee Mission South swimmer Ryan Sweat's time of 1:42.88 and Hayden's Schmidt, who finished in 1:43.39.
Bishop Carroll also had a top finisher in Will Smith. The junior finished the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.36. He was able to pull ahead of Hayden's Wangerin in the last yards.
"I could feel him creeping up on me," Smith said. "I just gave it all I had. I felt dead at the very end."
Wangerin finished with a time of 1:02.49 and Wichita Collegiate took third with a time of 1:03.90.
Hayden also had a top finish in the 500-yard freestyle. Schmidt swam a 4:42.15. He was followed by St. James Academy's Heath Maginn, who swam a 4:50.26. Schmidt's teammate Ryan France finished third at 4:56.25.
Hometown Hayden got first in the 400-freestyle relay to propel themselves into second place. Austin Lewis, France Wangerin and Schmidt swam a 3:17.91. Shawnee Mission South finished second, Sweat, Carter Stokes, Caruso and Bergman finished in 3:21.54.
Bishop Miege's Ben Rucker, Mackie Merill, John Pawlewicz and Jack Wirz took third with a time of 3:23.16.