Girls swimming and diving stay on top in second day of state

By Daniel Davidson, Sports Editor

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Girls dress up the Chesty Lion in a swimsuit, an annual tradition before state.

TOPEKA — The second day of state leaves the Lions with a cushiony gap going into Saturday’s finals.

The undefeated Sunflower League champions have a shot at the first state title since 1997. Swimmers from every event advance to finals with around a 30-point lead.

Relays are the head of this lead. The first race of the afternoon was the 200-yard medley relay, in which the team of Maddie Dean, Marian Frick, Aubrey Fischer, and Emily Guo took second with a time of 1:49.75.

The 200 freestyle relay fell from first seed to third, but that has not shaken coach Kent McDonald’s confidence.

“We have a lot more room to move up,” McDonald said. “We can improve our placings instead of just trying to hold what we have.”

Several individual events made their impression on placings as well.

Guo is now seeded third in the 200 individual medley and second in the 100 butterfly. Morgan Jones, along with heading the seeded-second 400-yard freestyle, is placed third in the 200 freestyle and second in the 500 freestyle.

The Lions’ biggest competition remains Shawnee Mission East, Blue Valley West, and Wichita-East, which all placed alongside Lawrence in the relays. SME may be trailing second behind after prelims, but the girls have already shown they can beat them at league.

Divers Beth Brandt and Eden Kingery will kick Saturday morning finals off at the Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka. Whether the Lions maintain their undefeated status shall be determined that afternoon.

“I’m nervous, but I know we can do a lot better,” Madi Heckman said. “We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves so right now we are just focused on our races.”