Archive for Monday, February 22, 1999


February 22, 1999


Lawrence High swimming coach Pat Grzenda figures Jonathan Hemphill's 500 freestyle state record will stand the test of time.

After all, it's not every day that a swimming record is broken by nearly four seconds.

"I'm quite certain Lawrence has never had a state record in boys swimming before," Grzenda said. "He's known for a long time he has wanted to do this. It's very big. It'll be so much fun if it could stick for a while unless some other kid comes out and licks his chops."

Hemphill, an LHS senior who also won the 200 freestyle at state, cruised in the 500 free at the state meet on Saturday. He finished in 4:35.59 to shatter the previous standard of 4:39.02, set in 1997 by Blue Valley's Travis Carver, now swimming at Ohio State.

It marked the third time in four years that a record had been set in the 500 free, but never by such a wide margin. A year before Carver, SM Northwest's Tyler Cederlind finished in a then state record 4:40.49.

Before Cederlind, the 500 free record stood for 16 years. Salina South's Russ Scheffer went 4:41.43 in 1980.

  • Girls swimming starts today: Grzenda, also the LHS and Free State High girls swimming coach, won't have long to savor Hemphill's state performance. The girls swimming teams will start practice this afternoon.

  • She got game: Somer Easterwood, the leading scorer on Lawrence High's girls basketball team, finished with a game-high 25 points and snatched eight rebounds in Thursday's 76-51 loss to Shawnee Mission South. She scored the Lions' final 11 points.

Early in the third quarter, Easterwood connected on her first career three-point attempt.

"I hit seven out of eight one time in practice," Easterwood. said. "My coaches and parents have been telling me to shoot more threes, so maybe I will."

Easterwood is receiving a lot of attention from junior colleges. Junior college recruiters from Allen County, Kansas City (Kan.) CC, Coffeyville CC and Hutchinson CC provided their pitches after the SM South game.

The Lions will play their final home game of the season tonight when they play host to Overland Park Aquinas. Tipoff is approximately 7:15 p.m. in the Lions' gym.

  • Three-team race: With one league game remaining, Leavenworth, Olathe South and Shawnee Mission West are tied atop the Sunflower League boys basketball standings with 8-1 records. All three could remain tied after Friday's regular-season finales. Leavenworth plays at Shawnee Mission East, O-South plays at SM North and SM West will play host to SM Northwest.

  • Sub-state update: Heading into the final week of the season, LHS and Free State are on course to clash in a Class 6A sub-state girls basketball semifinal on March 4.

Free State is currently the No. 4 seed at 8-11 and LHS is No. 5 at 6-12. The two city teams would likely join Olathe South (15-3) and Leavenworth (4-13) for a four-team sub-state at O-South.

The LHS and FSHS boys will likely play at a sub-state at Olathe East. LHS (4-15) is currently the No. 8 seed and would meet No. 1 Leavenworth (17-1) in the first round. No. 5 Free State (7-11) will likely meet No. 4 O-East (9-9). Both games will be played on March 5. Sub-state pairings will be made official on Saturday.

-- Steve Rottinghaus' phone message number is 832-7152. His e-mail address is

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