Girls swimming and diving finish undefeated season with first state title since 1994

By Daniel Davidson, Sports Editor

After the first two days at the Hummer Sports Park, the team went into finals on Saturday still unsure if they could leave with a state championship. That turned out to just be nerves.

Not even the returning state champions of Wichita-East could topple the Lions, who finished first with a total of 303 points.

Kent McDonald has not coached such a successful girls swim team since he began 13 years ago. In fact, the program last achieved a state win back in 1994.

No single swimmer carried the team alone. The girls came out on top without taking the gold in a single event, a rare accomplishment that shows depth across the board.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Maddie Dean, Marian Frick, Aubrey Fischer, and Emily Guo placed second to start the day on a high-note. The 200 freestyle relay took third.

During a mid-meet inclement weather delay, McDonald feared Lawrence’s 11 point lead might not stick.

“I thought the weather might screw up the one year we could win state and celebrate,” McDonald said.

The close gap between them and runner-up Shawnee Mission East quickly grew, however.

After the short break, Guo returned to score points for the Lions with medals in the 200 individual medley (3rd) and 100 butterfly (4th).

Morgan Jones took third in the 500 freestyle, and Marian Frick third in the 100 breast.

Before the 400 freestyle relay could finish the meet out with silver, McDonald realized the girls had already done it.

“I looked up at the score and I figured we had it,” McDonald said. “It really waited until the end of the meet to tell.”

After McDonald splashed into the water alongside the girls to celebrate their new state title, they sung the Alma-Mater once again.

“It’s the best way a senior year could have ended,” Jones said. “I did what I needed to do to help get the team to first place. We believed we could, so we did.