The Leavenworth Pioneers and Lansing Lions finished 14th and 23rd, respectively, at the Class 5-1A state swimming finals over the weekend in Topeka.
LVHS had four individuals qualify for the finals, recording season-best times on the final day Saturday, led by Danny Christie earning first-team all-state and tying the school’s 100 freestyle record with his 400 freestyle relay lead-off split of 48 seconds.
Christie also brought home a second place in the 100 butterfly, improving his time by nearly two seconds at 50.77 and then took fourth-place honors in the 200 butterfly (1:47.08) to improve from his third- and sixth-place finishes in the events a year ago.
The 400 freestyle relay team (Christie, Marshall, Springer and Fischer) ended up in a team-high ninth place, just missing the medal podium in a time of 3:27.19.
The Pioneers’ 200 medley relay team of Marshall, Fischer, Springer and Christie finished 11th at 1:45.13, cutting one-half second off of their preliminary time.
Zach Crumpacker’s 11th-place finish in the 500 freestyle led the way for the Lions, while he, Robert Shafer and Brock Martin all showed significant improvement in the event.
Lansing’s Maxwell Walck finished 15th in both the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke to earn points for the Lions.
“Maxwell swam his best time by over two seconds at the state meet (in the 200 IM) and is a little over four seconds from the school record for Lansing,” Lansing head coach Josh Floetke said. He added that Walck tied the school record in the 100 breaststroke.
The 200 freestyle relay finished in 15th place, advancing five spots from its pre-meet ranking.
Greyson Walker, Jonathan Spickelmier, Collin Kenaga and Jake Hamilton swam a time of 1:36.13 in the event.
“We had a great meet with a lot of good swims.” Floetke said. “Most dropped time, and a lot of school records are in play for next year. We have a strong junior class coming back. These boys have shown that they can perform under pressure.
“Next season depends on how much they work in the offseason and how much they put into their senior season. Greyson showed some poise, performing well on relays. These kids performed their best in the championship meets, both Kaw Valley League and the state meet. I am excited to see what they do next season.”
Lansing High qualified 10 wrestlers and Leavenworth eight for next weekend’s Class 5A state finals in Park City following their performances at the Kansas City Turner Regional over the weekend.
Lansing ended up in fifth place as a team with 155 points while Leavenworth ended up in eighth at 102.5 points.
“What a tournament we had this weekend,” coach Nick Flynn said. “As a team, we performed extremely well. There were many times where we beat wrestlers who had beaten us earlier this year. I could not be prouder of our team as a whole. It is important now that we stay focused. It is absolutely important to celebrate the day and be proud about the performance. Our team has higher goals than qualifying. Look for our wrestlers to make some noise at state and shock the world.”
Lansing’s Joseph Irwin led all grapplers with a big title win at 138 pounds while teammate Braiden McKee finished second in the heavyweight class as Leavenworth High’s Joey Hancock took second at 152 pounds after defaulting the title match.
Irwin won 4-0 over Mill Valley’s Brodie Scott.
“I wrestled really well and smart,” Irwin said. “I stayed in control of the center of the mat and pushed my opponent to take bad shots. I had some good re-attacks that helped me run the score up. He made it difficult for me to turn him on top. In my opinion, he should’ve gotten a stall call or two, but it didn’t affect the outcome. Overall good day and good weekend.”
“Joseph Irwin had another dominating performance this weekend,” Flynn said. “This makes his third regional title. I am really excited to watch him this coming weekend. He is sitting at 98 career wins, 100 wins in high school is an incredible milestone. I am hoping he can find that 100th win this coming weekend.”
Joining Irwin and McKee on the trip to Park City were Camden Maestas, Tucker Bieber, Tyler Williams, Claye Howard, Malachi Tinnel, Dylan Ward and Green.
Following Hancock’s lead to state are Hartwell Taylor, Dylan McLain, Etena Tuivaiti, Jeremiah Blevins, Jonathon Nunes, Carson Lucas and Chase Allen.
Hancock sat out his final to play it safe for the state tournament as he deals with some physical ailments.
“I am just ready for state and the state title is what I am wanting to win,” Hancock said. “I teched my first kid. I can’t complain how I wrestled coming back (from sitting out). I’ve been back for about 2-3 weeks. I made the finals … still top 10 in the state and I will practice next week and get back at it. I am not holding anything back. My goal is to win the state title and I am going to win the state title.”
Lansing’s Camden Maestas (106 pounds) and Tyler Green (182 pounds) captured third-place finishes, with Maestas saying he uses music before matches to get him going into his high-energy attack.
“Drake’s music really pumps me up,” Maestas said.
Green was dominant in his win and his finish was a fantastic change from his slow start to the season as he heads into state on a hot streak.
“I felt good, it just came down to how good I could warm up, cool down and keep up my endurance,” Green said. “In the beginning of the season I was coming back from the hospital and my conditioning was really bad. (As it improved) I was able to go for longer periods and I was able to push it. What I learned, I learned in the wrestling room and I put out here. Coach Flynn gave me his account so I was able to watch wrestling (online while he was recovering).”
“Camden, Claye, Tyler Williams and Tyler Green all wrestled fantastic this weekend, as did all of the team,” Flynn said. “It was an incredible thing to watch. Each of them beat wrestlers that have beaten them this year.”
Hartwell Taylor of Leavenworth also finished in third place, at 120 pounds winning late in the third round by default after taking a 4-0 lead.
“First day, I was feeling pretty good,” Taylor said. “I lost to the Blue Valley (Southwest) kid in the semifinals but had to wrestle for third place and I got it. I don’t like how the situation played out. I don’t know how it went, but I wish I could have finished it.
“I have to work on my shots, shot defense, that’s pretty much it. Hopefully I get on that podium.”
All told, it was also a strong weekend for the Pioneers.
“It was a successful weekend overall,” LVHS head coach Jacob Beck said. “It was great to see guys stepping up in clutch situations. Though we didn’t get all 12 through, eight guys is a good number to take down to Wichita. Our team came together even more this weekend. The hard work is paying off for the boys. Blevins, Allen, Nunes and Lucas all have made huge jumps this season, and it’s no surprise. They are on point when they walk in the door each day and train their tails off. They will continue to do so and look to make another splash this weekend. Our captains continue to get the job done as well.
“Taylor, McLain, Hancock and Tuivaiti were great leaders for our team both on and off the mat this weekend. They are all wrestling great. Taylor is making jumps by the week and Hancock is really rolling. We would have loved to see Joey wrestle in the finals, but the decision was made to hold him out. This weekend is always a fun one, and a big test for all involved, myself included. We are prepared and looking forward to the challenge.”
The University of Saint Mary women’s and men’s basketball teams will host Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) quarterfinal playoff games this week following a wrap to the regular season.
On Wednesday at 7 p.m., the USM women will enter as the fourth seed having won nine of their last 10 games, including Saturday’s massive 99-50 win over York.
The Spires (17-11, 14-8) will host Sterling (16-13, 13-9), who they split with during the season, with each team winning at home.
Saint Mary’s men (16-12, 14-8) are also a fourth seed and will host York (16-13, 13-9) Thursday evening at 7 p.m. only days after the Spires defeated their guests 81-73 on Saturday to earn a home playoff game.