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Bishop Carroll claims its first-ever girls swimming state championship

Swimming pool lanes at swim meet outdoors
Swimming pool lanes at swim meet outdoors

Bishop Carroll was trailing Kapaun Mt. Carmel, 252-251, heading into the 400-yard freestyle relay in Saturday’s finals of the Class 5-1A State swimming championships at Capitol Federal Natatorium.

With a first-place finish in the 400-free relay (3:35.29), the quartet of Sydney Schmidt, Alexis Webb, Lexie Shelton and Zoe Winter helped the Golden Eagles to their first state championship in program history with 291 points, edging Kapuan by seven points.

“I was just thinking, ’Man, it comes down to this one race, so I’ve got to give it everything I’ve got,’” Schmidt said.

Carroll had five individual champions, and three relays claimed gold. Schmidt was named the co-athlete of the meet along with Topeka West’s Kadance Jefferies.

Schmidt earned two gold medals individually. She swam a 23.78 in the 50-yard freestyle, which was .01 away from tying a meet record that was set in 1998 by Winfield’s Kathy Echiverri. Schmidt finished the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.96.

“I’m just really happy that our team won,” Schmidt said. “I’m a lot happier this go-around, with the team winning. It’s more fun to see everyone else happy and excited. It makes me happy that I was able to do it for everyone else.

“I’ve been shooting for (the 50-free record) all season. I was a little disappointed in it, but oh well. It’s just one thing.”

Winter, Shelton, Natalee Clark and Lexie Biby swam a 1:49.35 to claim first-place in the 200-yard medley relay.

Winter won the 200-yard individual medley (2:05.81) and 100-yard butterfly (57.71).

Shelton took second in the 500-yard freestyle, recording a time of 5:08.81. She won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.29.

The quartet of Biby, Webb, Rachel Bailey and Schmidt took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:41.31.

Lexie Weatherford, a freshman for Wichita Trinity, took home the title in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.89.

Crusaders take second, despite no champions

Despite taking second for the second consecutive meet with 284 points, Kapaun was right there at the top of the team standings with the Golden Eagles.

Kapaun got a second-place finish from Claire Conover in the 200-yard individual medley and third-place finishes in the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, Sydney Le in the 100-yard backstroke, Conover in the 100-yard breaststroke and a fourth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle.

Blue Valley Southwest’s Leachner sets diving record

Blue Valley Southwest junior Natalie Leachner did the unthinkable in Saturday’s finals of the Class 5-1A diving championships.

She upset three-time defending state champion Haylee Weiss of Emporia with a new state meet record of 486.90. Leachner broke the meet record of 477.95 that had been set by Blue Valley West’s Payton Kisinger.

“It’s feels really amazing,” Leachner said. “Being able to come back and overcome my situation (last year) was really amazing. (Haylee’s) really amazing. She knows how to dive. She’s just a great competitor. I just really tried to do my best.”

Leachner led the Timberwolves as their sole state champion as they finished third in the overall team competition with 232 points. BV Southwest got second-place finishes from the 200 medley relay, Sarah Graven in the 100 backstroke and a fourth-place finish by the 400 free relay.