East’s Drayden Bell looks to defend state titles

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 4:38 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - We’re less than a month away from the Kansas High School Boys Swimming and Diving State Championship, and Wichita East junior Drayden Bell, already a three-time state champion and All-American, has his sights set on defending his titles.

“I definitely want to maintain my two championships and get a state title in both the 50 and 100 but also try to break the state record in both of those events,” said Bell.

Bell won back-to-back state championships in the 50-yard freestyle as a freshman and sophomore. He also brought home the state title in the 100-yard freestyle last season. He holds the school record for both races.

“The biggest thing about him is he is this rare combination of very athletic but very hard working,” said East High Swim Coach Joe Hutchinson, who has coached at East since 1998. “He’s one of the best I’ve worked with and I’ve had All Americans before but almost all of them were All Americans their senior year not their freshman and sophomore year.”

In October, Bell swam the fastest 50-free time in the country in the class of 2022. The Division I prospect’s goal now is to defend his titles in February and break the state record in both events.

Those are far from his only aspirations.

“One of my goals at the moment is trying to get an Olympic trials cut and see how close I can get to the Olympics,” said Bell. “I know it’s a stretch to say I would make the Olympic team this year, but maybe in the future.”

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