After taking third place last year, Wichita East defeated defending champions Shawnee Mission East with a score of 308.
"It's really pretty good," Wichita East head coach Joe Hutchinson said. "They set their goals last year. At the end of the meet last year I said I think we can win this."
The head coach may actually get almost as good of a workout as his swimmers. He paces the sidelines of the pool alongside his swimmers in most races, giving them advice and encouragement.
"I've been a swimmer, I know what they are going through," Hutchinson said. "I want to share it with them."
His extra work paid off in the first race of the day. The Blue Aces started out strong in the finals with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. Brandon Shinsato, Nate Pirner, Jake Spitz and Andrew Sousa swam a 1:35.91.
"I'm excited that we won, Shinsato said. "We were going for the old record, but we didn't get it"
Olathe East's team followed the Blue Aces, Tyler Gartenberg, Chuck Balkenbusch, Tanner Emerson and Connor Davey got a time of 1:37.59. Lawrence Free State's Connor Munk, Josh Terrell, Ben Sloan and Jack Ziegler rounded out the top three.
Wichita East had quite a few swimmers that defended their top finish in state last year. One of them being senior Jake Spitz. He finished the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.00, breaking the 2002 record of 50.26.
"It's nostalgic," Spitz said. "I'm going to remember this my whole life. Even though last year I took two first, this one's good, this one's way sweeter."
Nate Pirner also defended his 100-yard breaststroke first place finish from last year with a time of 57.80. The junior said the pressure was on this year.
"It's kind of challenging," Pirner said. "You've got the mental aspect and you have to be able to actually get off the block and do stuff. I was kind of nervous coming in today even though I did pretty good yesterday."
Olathe East's Balkenbusch came in second at 59.95. Lawrence Free State's Josh Terrell finished behind him at 1:00.32.
Blue Valley's Chris Hearl took second with a time of 50.30 and Lawrence Free State's Ben Sloan followed him with a time of 51.01.
Shinsato had a nice finish in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 52.00. He just couldn't catch Blue Valley's Hearl, who swam at a 50.90 pace. He did barely beat out Shawnee Mission East's Troy DeMoss who finished at 52.12, good for third.
Kyle Cullinan got a third place finish for Wichita Heights with a time of 4:44.79 in the 500-yard freestyle. Blue Valley North's Jesse Muller took first with 4:32.06 and Free State's Canaan Campbell took second at 4:37.66.
To end the day for Wichita East, their relay team took third in the 400-yard relay. Spitz, Brandon Vandeventer, Charlie King, and Shinsato swam a 3:15.27. Shawnee Mission East finished on top in the race. Jackson Granstaff, Christopher Watkins, DeMoss,and Zack Holbrook had a time of 3:10.67. The Maize team consisting of Grant Latimer, Preston Barley, Chris Clemons and Lucas Popp swam a 3.11.18 to take second.
Maize also had a few first place finishes themselves.
Lucas Popp had another great meet. The senior beat out Spitz in the 50-freestyle with a time of 20.99 to defend his state title.
"It was definitely a great way to end my high school career," Popp said. "Just coming back from last year, I was the expected winner, because of that, but I knew we had some amazing swimmers this year and it was going to be a lot for work.
Spitz's time was a hair slower at 21.05, and Olathe East's Tanner Emerson finished third with a time of 51.74.
Popp also repeated in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 45.37. Shawnee Mission East's Zack Holbrook was the closest swimmer to him at 47.19 and Nick Badsky of Washburn Rural was third with a time of 48.10.
Maize also had a comeback first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Latimer, Clemons and Barley kept it just close enough to allow Popp to get the win at 1:26.97. They just beat out Shawnee Mission East's team of Watkins, Peter Milledge, Patrick Hornung and Holbrook who finished at 1:27.29. Washburn Rural's Matthews, Haug, Bryan Hahm and Nick Badsky swam third at 1:27.84.
Sophomore Chris Clemons took second in the 200-Yard IM after taking seventh overall last year. He swam a 1.55.25. He was in the top spot for most of the race but lost it in the final lap to DeMoss.
"It's really exciting," Clemons said. "I had him going the last 15, I just couldn't pull it out."
DeMoss swam a 1:53.86 to take the top spot in the race and Wichita East's Pirner won third with a 1:55.68.
Maize could be a team to look out for in the future. Freshman Preston Barley was already making waves with a third place finish in the 200-yard freestlyle with a time of 1:45.52. Blue Valley North's Musser took the top spot with a 1:39.47 and Free State's Campbell got second with a time of 1:42.35.
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