Lansing, LVHS set to make mark at state finals
The boys’ swim teams from Lansing High School and Leavenworth High School will aim to parlay strong regular seasons into big runs at this weekend’s Class 5-4-3-2-1A state finals at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium on Friday and Saturday.
Lansing comes in hot off the heels of winning the Kaw Valley League title in their home pool. The Lions take a solid contingent to the state capitol.
Seniors Brendan Jamerson (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay, 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke), Holden Giefer (200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Tanner Williams (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay and 50 freestyle) and Dylan Hawley (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay), junior Jonathan Spickelmier (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke) and sophomores Zachary Crumpacker (200 IM and 500 freestyle) and Maxwell Walck (200 IM, 100 breaststroke and 200 medley relay) are all state-bound in representing the Lions.
“This season was very successful,” Lansing head coach Joshua Floetke said. “We’ve had great leadership from our seniors who helped lead the team to our first KVL championship. We knew in order to win that meet everyone would have to swim well and contribute. We were second last year by nine points and going in to this year’s meet we were down three points if everything stayed the same. The boys stepped up and delivered a decisive win. We are also proud to have kicked off the season with our first all-relay meet which we continue to receive positive feedback about. After the great team showing at the Lansing Relays the boys never lost in their home pool, including an upset victory over our friendly rival Leavenworth, a great senior meet setting team records and then capped off with a KVL win at home.
“Our depth is what proved influential throughout the season. Throughout the season, we won very few individual events but the team performed well scoring consistently in every event. We are also fortunate to have an entry in every event at state for the first time in the program’s history. Overall, I am very pleased that the entire team displayed our team fundamentals and then had success in the pool. This has been a very fun and rewarding season with a great group of kids who worked together to achieve their goal.”
Lansing’s seven boys heading to Topeka offer plenty in the pool and could make some noise.
“Our strength remains as a collective group where we hope our relays can score points,” Floetke said. “We have some chances to score points in some individual events with Dylan, Zach and Max. We had a couple pleasant surprises throughout the season as both Holden and Jack achieved consideration times. Both are key members of state qualifying relays. Tanner has developed into an outstanding relay swimmer especially after having some injury set-backs in the middle of the season.
“The leader in the pool and out of the water is our senior captain, Brendan. Brendan is the quiet leader who leads by example every day. He is fired up to contribute on all relays at state and even willing to give up an individual event to help the relays. After four years of swimming, Brendan achieved his first automatic cuts in two individual events at KVL, his last meet as a Lansing swimmer.”
With that much talent at his disposal, Floetke has a reason to feel confident.
“Our goal from the beginning of the season remains unchanged: we want to be swimming on the second day of state,” Floetke said. “This is a lofty yet realistic goal for our relatively new program. We will be going against some great swimmers and some great teams with dedicated year-round swimmers. We have an outside chance for our relays to advance to the second day and we hope to have a few individual swims. Having any relays advance to the second day would be a huge accomplishment for these boys, most who joined the swim team to stay in shape for other sports.
“The senior class has discovered success through hard work and commitment to their teammates. I’d like to see them swim at finals on Saturday.”
It was quite a leap season for the Pioneers, who have nine boys heading to Topeka for potential state glory in the pool.
From the 200 freestyle relay (sophomore Sean Hammell, senior Jonathan Sabalboro, sophomore Mason Lamphier and junior Gabe Flores) to the 200 medley relay (senior Brayden Love, junior Danny Christie, sophomore Weston Marshall, and sophomore Kato Fischer) and the 400 freestyle relay (Love, Christie, Marshall and Fischer), this team could do some damage over the weekend.
Love (200 IM, 100 butterfly), Christie (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly), Marshall (200 IM, 100 backstroke), Fischer (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke) and junior Ben Hanlen (100 breaststroke) could also pick up key points in individual events.
“The season has gone really well with big time improvements and many best times for the season at the varsity Sunflower League Championships,” LVHS head coach Kaley Wittrock said. “The swimmers are competing with good technique, sticking to their race strategy, and swimming in top form at the end of the season. The boys are meeting their individual and team goals for the season because of their hard work and persistence throughout the season. The team has the opportunity to reach more goals at the state meet.
“As the season closes, the swimmers are peaking at the right time and supporting each other’s successes. For the state meet, I expect two of the team’s relays and some individuals to qualify for finals. This will require best times. Going into the meet, the team has individuals in good placement to swim best times and qualify for events in Saturday’s finals session. I expect the boys to score in some individual and relay events on Saturday. Over the past three years I have been with the team, we have not qualified for finals, so the scoring opportunities are exciting. The team has broken many individual and relay records this season, and I expect many to fall again at the state meet.”
Love and Christie were noted as being staple leaders throughout the season behind their work ethic and being supportive teammates.
“I expect Brayden and Danny to qualify for finals, and finish with season best times at the state meet,” Wittrock said. “Both boys have put the work in the pool, and now need to believe in their training. Weston, Kato and Ben have improved their strokes and times throughout the season. All three boys have a good chance of making finals in an individual event, and contribute in relays.
“I anticipate best times by these boys to contribute in scoring opportunities for the team.”