Sitting in third at the 50-yard mark of the Class 6A 100 breaststroke, East’s Aiden Chan only had one though running through her mind.
“I had to get this,” Chan said. “I wasn’t going to let them win.”
And she didn’t let Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Hailey Brull or Shawnee Mission East’s Annie Mann deny her the victory. Chan made up the ground on both over the final half of the race and won by more than a half second in 1:08.63 on the final day of competition at the Class 6A meet.
Brull was second in 1:09.23 and Mann was third in 1:09.55.
Chan’s title came on the heels of a bit of disappointment for the Blue Aces. After qualifying first by a wide margin in the 100 backstroke on Friday, East senior Olivia Tran seemed poised to claim her first state title.
Instead, Tran couldn’t hold off defending champion Bonnie Longan of SM East, finishing second in 57.15 to Longan’s winning time of 56.91.
Tran also was runner-up in the 100 butterfly to Blue Valley Northwest’s Hannah Musser, who won by more than two seconds and earned swimmer of the meet honors.
East freshman Madison Allen added a pair of top-five finishes, setting a school record in the 200 freestyle with her fifth-place finish in 1:55.95. She was also fourth in the 100 freestyle and East added fourth-place finishes in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay en route to a fourth-place team finish.
North’s Abbey Lassley took second in the 200 individual medley, finishing 10 seconds behind Musser in 2:13.70. She added a fifth in the 100 backstroke.