Varsity Kansas

East wins eighth straight City League girls swimming crown

What surely must be a sign of spring was repeated again Thursday, as East raced to its eighth consecutive City League girls swimming title.

Another customary sight is coach Joe Hutchinson drenched from head to toe after a celebratory post-meet dip. It’s one he enjoys every time.

“They did a really good job (Thursday),” Hutchinson said. “We knew the meet was going to be pretty competitive. You saw a lot of really good races, you saw a lot of really good competitors, but the girls really stepped up, everyone was pretty much going best times, and they were all really engaged in the meet.

“That was a lot of fun to watch.”

The Blue Aces were pressed a little this time. Eventually, East’s depth and talent wore down its league rivals for a 70.5-point victory. East established its dominance from the outset, capturing the 200 medley relay, 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle – three of the first four events.

Only Heights junior Katelyn Blattner prevented an East sweep of the four opening events, and she was thoroughly the class of the 200 freestyle, winning the event and lowering her league record to 1:53.55. Blattner also bettered her City League mark in the 500 freestyle, winning the event in 5:05.40.

East swimmers captured every event but those two, the 100 butterfly (won by Bishop Carroll’s Sydney Schmidt) and diving (won by Heights’ Brianna Reece).

Individually, East’s Madison Allen captured two races, and fellow junior Aiden Chan breezed to victory by nearly eight seconds in the 100 breaststroke.

“For once, I really felt amazing,” Chan said of the race. “I actually did feel more confident this meet than any other meet during the season.”

Blattner said that beyond state, she’s looking forward to more showdowns next year as seniors.

“Freshman year, there were six of us and we kept progressing and progressing, and it’s awesome to see us all getting faster each and every year,” she said.

East swimmers twice narrowly missed City League records. Allen’s winning time of 24.53 seconds in the 50 free was 0.1 off the City League mark set by East’s Abby Grandstein in 2000. Allen also dominated the 100 freestyle and anchored East’s victorious 400-freestyle relay team in the final event.

The Blue Aces’ time of 3:43.39 was .16 off North’s league-record 3:43.23, set in 2008.

East also got a big lift from freshman Katerina Savvides, who won the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley.

With another City League crown safely tucked away, the Blue Aces can turn their attention to the Class 6A state meet in Topeka, where another goal might be a state title.

Allen said she thinks East still has a number of goals to accomplish.

“I think we have a lot more goals teamwise with our relays,” she said. “There’s a lot more we can do, I think.”

Team – 1. East, 373.50 points; 2. Kapaun, 303; 3. Carroll, 190; 4. Northwest, 126; 5. Heights, 125; 6. North, 89.50; 7. Southeast, 42; 8. South, 34; 9. West, 24.

Events

200 medley relay – 1. East (Katerina Savvides, Aiden Chan, Janis Hwang, Madison Allen), 1:52.01. 2. Kapaun (Grace Vanderpool, Katherine Baldessari, Hayley Knapp, Reagan Moege), 1:58.58; 3. Northwest (Jillian McKernan, Madison Johnson, McKayla Siemiller, Emily Brown), 2:04.46. 200 freestyle – 1. Katelyn Blattner, H, 1:53.55 (City League record); 2. Tatum Hilger, BC, 1:59.95; 3. Brenna Vandeventer, E, 2:04.74. 200 individual medley – 1. Savvides, E, 2:12.55; 2. Sydney Schmidt, BC, 2:14.96; 3. Chan, E, 2:15.77. 50 freestyle – 1. Allen, E, 24.53; 2. Julia Whitfield, E, 26.17; 3. June Baldessari, KMC, 26.20. Diving – 1. Brianna Reece, H, 369.05; 2. Taylor Linn, BC, 293.30; 3. Dana Daher, NW, 257.70. 100 butterfly – 1. Schmidt, BC, 58.26; 2. Hwang, E, 1:02.45; 3. Knapp, KMC, 1:02.59. 100 freestyle – 1. Allen, E, 53.74; 2. Whitfield, E, 56.85; 3. J. Baldessari, KMC, 56.93. 500 freestyle – 1. Blattner, H, 5:05.40; 2. Hilger, BC, 5:24.28; 3. Vandeventer, E, 5:26.67. 200 freestyle relay – 1. East (Chan, Whitfield, Hwang, Hannah Balch), 1:44.99; 2. Carroll (Hilger, Hannah Chadd, Kayla Hennen, Schmidt), 1:45.03; 3. Kapaun (K. Baldessari, Knapp, J. Baldessari, Elizabeth Mitsch), 1:46.50. 100 backstroke – 1. Savvides, E, 57.42; 2. Vanderpool, KMC, 1:01.96; 3. Mitsch, KMC, 1:03.60. 100 breaststroke – 1. Chan, E, 1:09.45; 2. Hennen, BC, 1:17.34; 3. Katie Gann, KMC, 1:17.48. 400 freestyle relay – 1. East (Balch, Savvides, Whitfield, Allen), 3:43.39; 2. Carroll (Chadd, Hennen, Schmidt, Hilger), 3:51.61; 3. Kapaun (Annabelle Brown, J. Baldessari,

Vanderpool, Mitsch), 3:52.65.

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