Kim Miller claimed two individual gold medals and Free State took second at the Sunflower League swimming meet.
Kim Miller can flat out fly.
The Lawrence High senior swimmer won the 100-yard butterfly at the Sunflower League meet on Saturday at Knox Natatorium to become a four-time league champion in that event. She also won the 200 individual medley earlier in the day.
"I wanted it really bad," Miller said of her fourth gold medal in the butterfly. "The emotions from Free State, Lawrence High, the parents and everybody behind my lane were amazing."
Miller, who signed with Texas Christian University on Wednesday, led from the get-go in the 100 fly. Her winning time was 1:00.26 -- a tenth of a second faster than Olathe East junior Ashley Dower, who had beaten Miller by .06 seconds in Friday's preliminaries.
"Surely I think she was the sentimental favorite," LHS and Free State High swimming coach Pat Grzenda said of Miller. "She went for it and it's always fun to see a kid want it that bad."
Miller won the 200 IM in 2:16.38 and also swam a leg on two winning relays.
Other winners from the two city schools were Lawrence High's Andrea Hemphill (500 freestyle) and Free State's Caitlin Standish (100 backstroke). Hemphill, a freshman at South Junior High, won the long-distance event in 5:19.48 and Standish, a junior, won the back in 1:02.22.
"I was happy with where I placed but I wasn't happy with my times," said Hemphill, who also placed second in the 200 freestyle.
Standish survived a grueling triple. She sandwiched her backstroke victory between a 200 freestyle relay leg and a second-place finish in the 100 breaststroke.
"Think about how hard that is," Grzenda said of Standish swimming in back-to-back-to-back events. "That takes guts."
Standish entered the finals with top times in the 100 back and 100 breast. Her 1:12.73 time in the breast was .08 seconds behind Lesley Weaverling.
"I had a lot more rest in the prelims," Standish said. "It was really tough. I've never done anything like that before."
The city schools dominated the relays, sweeping all three. Free State's foursome of Standish, Brenna Graham, Kelli Criswell and Bria DeSalvo won the 200 medley relay in 1:57.45.
LHS won the other two. Miller, Hemphill, Crystal Hendron and Elise Schnose teamed to win the 200 free relay (1:46.07) and the 400 free relay (3:49.41).
"It was very exciting," Hemphill said of the relay's effort. "It gave us all a big rush."
Said Grzenda of the relays, "That's a big wow! What a blast that was. That was superb. I'm just delighted. They really stepped up."
Olathe East claimed the league title with 214 points despite winning just one event. Free State, eighth at league in its inaugural season last year, scored in nine of 12 events to place second with 204 points.
"That was really good," Standish said of the finish. "I am so surprised by that. I think our whole team did very well."
Grzenda wasn't surprised by Free State's placing at all.
"They've been quietly developing a presence," she said. "I'm not stunned by it at all. We knew they were a longshot to win it."
LHS placed fourth with 173 points, two behind Shawnee Mission North.
Next for the city swimmers is the state meet in two weeks in Manhattan.
-- Steve Rottinghaus' phone message number is 832-7152. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org