High School Sports

High School Sports

FSHS earns bragging rights

Firebirds finish 6th, Lions 7th at Sunflower League swimming meet

February 7, 2010

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— Although neither team posed much of a threat to Sunflower League champion Shawnee Mission East, the Free State and Lawrence High boys swimming teams waged quite a war between themselves at the league finals on Saturday at Prairie Trail Junior High in Olathe.

Through eight events, the two city schools were separated by just a point. Through 11, the margin was just 10.

However, after the scores for all 12 events were tallied, it was the Firebirds who earned bragging rights over their crosstown rivals. Free State finished in sixth place with 88 points, while LHS finished in seventh with 74.

“That’s pretty much what we’re trying to do every time we see them,” said Free State’s Ethan Fisher. “It always feels nice to beat those guys.”

Fisher contributed mightily toward the cause, finishing with two individual medals (sixth in the 200 IM and third in the 500 freestyle) and a third medal for his role on the Firebirds’ 400 free relay team that finished fourth.

Also key was Nolan Frank. Frank padded Free State’s point-total with a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke. In that one, Frank flirted with the line between second and third throughout the race. Heading into the final turn, he sat third and appeared to be headed for the bronze medal. However, at the wall, Frank slipped his hand ahead of Olathe Northwest’s Mitch Willis to finish in second place, 0.14 seconds ahead of Willis.

“I tied with (Willis) all the way out to the 100th of a point at the beginning of the season,” Frank said. “And I saw we were pretty close during the race. So I just put all I had into that last 25.”

Fisher and Frank were joined by Dalton Munk and Tony Libeer on the 400 free relay.

While the Firebirds had enough points in the middle of the pack to hold off the Lions, LHS was led by a pair of top-three finishes from sophomore Zach Andregg. Andregg took third in the 200 free and second in the 500 free. He also teamed with Kyler Thomann, Adam Edmonds and Nathan Evers to finish sixth in the 400 free relay.

“We had a really good meet,” Andregg said. “A lot of guys dropped time, even if they didn’t make the finals.”

With the league meet representing the final chance for swimmers to qualify for this year’s state tournament (Feb. 19-20 in Topeka), the Lions had hoped to get a few more swimmers into the field before the end of the weekend. They did. Evers (100 butterfly) and Edmonds (100 backstroke) eclipsed state-qualifying times in individual events and the Lions’ 200- and 400-freestyle relays both got through, as well.

“Our two goals coming into this one were to get more guys to state and to place high,” LHS coach Kent McDonald said. “And I thought we did pretty good.”

Saturday’s SFL swim finals had another interesting connection to Lawrence. Olathe East sophomore Ben Bravence, whose family hails from Lawrence, won the 500 freestyle in 4:35. That time broke the meet record of 4:39 set by 2004 Free State High graduate Alex Brundfelt, whose introduction to swimming came courtesy of Bravence’s mother, formerly Heather Green. To strengthen the connection, Bravence swam his record-breaking time in lane three, flanked by swimmers from Lawrence, Fisher in lane two and Andregg in lane four.

“I was thinking about that a little before the race,” Bravence said. “Just how my mom taught (Brundfelt) how to swim and how I had a shot at his record. I’ve been there before this season and I wanted to go faster, but I was still pretty happy.”

Comments

devobrun 5 years, 3 months ago

Nice story, Matt, except: Alex Brunfeldt (note spelling) is my son. I talked to him this afternoon and neither he nor I could ever remember a woman named Heather Green or Bravence.... He learned to swim from Mike Soderling and Brian Barnes at the aquahawks and Annette McDonald at Free State . And then Ray Loose and others at U of Indiana.

Heart warming though.

devobrun 5 years, 3 months ago

Oh, and congratulations to Mr. Bravence. If he threw down a 4:35 in one of those tiny Jr. High school pools as a sophomore, look out!

Now that the state meet is in a full size pool in Topeka, he should go under 4:30.

I just hope he wasn't wearing one of those hi-tech suits that are now banned by FINA. Those dam things have screwed up all the swimming records.

theguy10 5 years, 3 months ago

congrats Free State at another middle of the pack finish!

just like every other sport

Freestater456 5 years, 3 months ago

ummm if you mean that the way i think you do, i would rather take a trip to state for football, sixth place at league in swimming, a state gymnastics title, a second place in state for soccer, and whatever else we've had compared to the pitiful athletics of the lions this year. Don't kid yourself we may have some middle of the pack finishes but we also have some great ones. What has LHS accomplished this year? oh thats right you beat Leavenworth in football. congrats.

theguy10 5 years, 3 months ago

2 years in a row cross country state champs. 2009 state baseball champs, i agree football is bad at lhs, im not going to try to cover that up, but when it comes to winning state lhs is king. not to mention all of the division one and first place athletes...

Roy Wedge All-Metro cross county runner of the year, all state.. etc

Albert Minnis All-Metro baseball player of the year, all state, city player of the year

both of those kids led lawrence high to a STATE TITLE, not a 6th place in league finish or just a taste of state with a "trip" have fun going free state, LHS will have fun WINNING

Freestater456 5 years, 3 months ago

How many state titles has LHS had since the split? About as many as Free State I'm pretty sure. You act like LHS owns Free State when I think everyone knows that isn't true. Lets be honest LHS all around sucks. The sports, the academics, the facilities.... they just don't compare. The money sports are basketball and football. While our basketball team is not great, LHS sucks at both. Plus Albert is a tool. Forget tradition, this is a new era.

theguy10 5 years, 3 months ago

tool or not i just proved that lhs wins, and constantly spits out big time athletes

Freestater456 5 years, 3 months ago

And Free State wins just as much. I don't see how you can say we always finish middle of the pack because we don't. You're ignorant because of your love for that ridiculous excuse of a school. And spits out big time athletes?? The only person who is actually making some big noise in college right now is Christian Ballard. Yeah Dorian Green is playing basketball in college but its Colorado State. Ballard is at Iowa, Ryan Murphy is at KU, Morningstar is at KU, Chantay will be playing for KSU next year. Compare the "big time athletes" that have come out of FSHS and LHS in recent years and you'll see that you're making yourself look like a fool.

theguy10 5 years, 3 months ago

roy wedge is one of the best cross country runners in the country, albert minnis is going to a premiere baseball program, one of the winningest collegiate baseball programs in the history of college baseball, if he does not go pro out of high school, dorian green is a top 10 scoring freshman in the country colorado state or not, lhs has had 3 mlb baseball players by the names of kevin hooper, lee stevens, and steve jeltz. Have any free staters played professional sports? Oh by the way Danny Manning ring a bell? oh yeah he was a Lion too

Freestater456 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm talking about RECENTLY!!!! Back then there was one high school. Dorian plays against awful teams, Albert isn't that great I've seen him play multiple times, and I won't argue about Roy he's a great runner. But like I was saying I'm talking about recent years.... since the split. Obviously Danny didn't feel too much allegiance to LHS since he sent his kids to Free State. We can argue this all you want but the fact of the matter is that LHS had its glory years when there was one high school. Those days are long gone.

Freestater456 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm talking about RECENTLY!!!! Back then there was one high school. Dorian plays against awful teams, Albert isn't that great I've seen him play multiple times, and I won't argue about Roy he's a great runner. But like I was saying I'm talking about recent years.... since the split. Obviously Danny didn't feel too much allegiance to LHS since he sent his kids to Free State. We can argue this all you want but the fact of the matter is that LHS had its glory years when there was one high school. Those days are long gone.

MIke Mallory 5 years, 3 months ago

3 major sports, football, basketball and baseball, 2008 state champs girls basketball, 2009 state champs baseball. free state has 0 state championships in the major sports, and oh year, I think its about 103 total state championships, we have no room for banners, , 456 you have no clue

Freestater456 5 years, 3 months ago

I can't deal with you people bringing up the years before the split. There was ONE school. If there was still one school, there would be a ton of state championships won in this town. You guys haven't done anything super special since the split and you hate Free State because we are responsible for that. Oh yeahhh, we were the 2006 baseball state champs, so check your facts.... because you have no clue

theguy10 5 years, 3 months ago

how are you going to bring up a 2006 state championship in baseball when lhs won it last year. I agree free state is better as a whole in sports right now. But when it comes down to winning a state title lhs gets it done. Free state comes up in the middle of the pack having a "good year" when you are a lion there is no good year. It is either bad, lhs football. or a "great year" lhs baseball 2009, lhs cross country 2008, 2009. 2008 girls basketball. I will give you guys the girls gymnastics anyday. And a good year in football. Win state and maybe Freestate will one day be on the same level as LHS.

Freestater456 5 years, 3 months ago

Also girls swimming state champs last year for Free State. I brought up the 2006 baseball state championship because your intelligent little friend there decided to say that Free State had no state championships in the three major sports. I was just pointing that out to him. And since the split Free State and Loser High have been on the same level. Yeah you guys have the tradition, congratulations. You can keep your old, long gone tradition and I'll enjoy being part of building Free State's traditions. I would rather be a Firebird than a Lion any day.

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