High School Sports

High School Sports

Broken records: Free State swims to second at state

Free State sophomore Courtney Caldwell stares into the pool while waiting for the start of the 100 yard freestyle race during the 2013 Kansas 6A state swimming and diving championships, held Saturday in Topeka.

Free State sophomore Courtney Caldwell stares into the pool while waiting for the start of the 100 yard freestyle race during the 2013 Kansas 6A state swimming and diving championships, held Saturday in Topeka.

May 18, 2013, 11:44 p.m. Updated May 19, 2013, 11:13 a.m.


— On a day she had one of the best individual swimming performances in school history, Free State High’s Courtney Caldwell was happiest with one of her relays — and how her teammates responded to adversity in the middle of a race.

Broken goggles weren’t enough to slow down the Firebirds’ 200 free relay team of Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Eliza Anderson, Cierra Campbell and Caldwell during Saturday’s state finals at Capitol Federal Natatorium. They set a Class 6A record with a time of 1:36.94.

It was just part of a banner day for Free State, which took second in the team standings with 295 points, trailing only Shawnee Mission East (404).

“The girls are incredibly talented, and they are very connected,” FSHS coach Annette McDonald said. “The team aspect came through.”

Especially in the 200 free relay.

Just as Anderson was stepping up to swim the second leg, her goggles snapped right down the middle — one piece going one direction and the other flying the other way.

Seconds before she had to jump in, Anderson screamed back to Caldwell, who ripped her own goggles off and tossed them ahead. Anderson caught them just in time to stretch them over her eyes and jump in the pool.

“It gives you such an adrenaline rush,” Anderson said, “so I think it was really good … in a bad way.”

Though the goggles fit tight on Anderson — she was worried she might snap those as well — she managed to complete her leg before handing the eyewear back to Caldwell so she could use it for the anchor leg.

Free State’s time was nearly a second better than the previous record set by Blue Valley North in 2009 (1:37.71).

After the group of four celebrated poolside, they made their way back to McDonald, who told them, “That’s so incredible,” before giving each relay member a hug.

“She was so proud. She always is,” Caldwell said. “She’s always happy with what we do.”

The coach had plenty of reason to be proud of Caldwell, who was the first Free State swimmer ever to win the 6A “Athlete of the Meet” honor.

The sophomore smashed a pair of her own 6A records that she set Friday in winning a pair of individual events. In the 50 free, she dropped her time from 23.29 to 23.05 seconds, and in the 100 free, she improved from a 50.88 Friday to a 50.43 Saturday.

“Any time you’re dropping tenths of seconds … people don’t understand, that’s huge. That was a huge drop,” McDonald said. “I think she’s really pleased, because that’s the whole goal, is to continue dropping time.”

Gretchen Frick was the top performer for Lawrence High, finishing second in the 200 IM and third in the 500 free.

The junior was seeded sixth in the 200 IM before putting up a time of 2:08.99 — her best mark since last season.

“I knew that everyone else in the heat would be going out really fast,” Frick said, “and I would just have to swim really fast at the beginning of the race.”

Frick also posted a season-best time in the 500 free (5:07.43).

LHS placed eighth with 138 points.

“I think that’s really good, considering how few people we have at state and how few people we had in the finals,” Frick said. “We beat a lot of people that we didn’t know that we could.”

Other top-five finishes from LHS came from the 200 medley relay team of Annie Odrowski, Hannah Lee, Nicole Oblon and Miranda Rohn (fourth) and Heather Cistola in the 100 fly (fifth).

Free State’s other top-five efforts were the 400 free relay team of Campbell, Anderson, Lucy Sirimongkhon-Dyck, and Caldwell (first), Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck in the 50 free (third), Campbell in the 200 free (fourth) and 500 free (fifth), Anderson in the 100 back (fifth) and the 200 medley relay team of Lucy Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Kat LaFever, Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck and Alexa Malik (fifth).

Free State will have high expectations again next season, since none of the Firebirds’ state swimmers were seniors.

“It’s only up from here,” Campbell said.

Added Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck: “I think that maybe next year, or even the next year, we can win state.”

Free State’s Caldwell and Campbell and Lawrence High’s Frick each earned first-team all-state honors.

In 5-1A, Bishop Seabury placed fourth with 142 team points.

The Seahawks were led by Phoebe Grabill, who won the 200 free and 500 free.

Class 6A

Team results

Shawnee Mission East 404, Free State 295, Blue Valley Northwest 252, Blue Valley North 183, Olathe East 170, Olathe Northwest 161, Topeka-Washburn Rural 160, Lawrence 138, Wichita East 95, Wichita North 69, Shawnee Mission Northwest 62, Blue Valley West 51, Blue Valley 50, Topeka 48, Shawnee Mission North 47, Shawnee Mission West 46, Manhattan 43, Derby 23, Olathe North 15, Hutchinson 4, Wichita Northwest 3, Wichita Heights 2, Olathe South 1.

City results

200 medley relay — 4. Lawrence (Annie Odrowski, Hannah Lee, Nicole Oblon, Miranda Rohn) 1:54.63; 5. Free State (Lucy Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Kat LaFever, Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Alexa Malik) 1:55.40.

200 free — 4. Cierra Campbell, FSHS, 1:55.82; 6. Heather Cistola, LHS, 1:58.96; 7. Eliza Anderson, FSHS, 1:59.28; 16. Annie Odrowski, LHS, 2:09.16.

200 IM — 2. Gretchen Frick, LHS, 2:08.99; 8. Lucy Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FSHS, 2:16.93; 11. Kate McCurdy, FSHS, 2:20.37.

50 free — 1. Courtney Caldwell, FSHS, 23.05; 3. Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FSHS, 24.64; 15. Alexa Malik, FSHS, 25.93.

100 fly — 5. Heather Cistola, LHS, 1:00.07; 10. Miranda Rohn, LHS, 1:02.45.

100 free — 1. Courtney Caldwell, FSHS, 50.43; 7. Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FSHS, 54.93.

500 free — 3. Gretchen Frick, LHS, 5:07.43; 5. Cierra Campbell, FSHS, 5:09.09; 16. Anna McCurdy, FSHS, 5:45.81.

200 free relay — 1. Free State (Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Eliza Anderson, Cierra Campbell, Courtney Caldwell) 1:36.94; 11. Lawrence (Nicole Oblon, Hannah Lee, Annie Odrowski, Miranda Rohn) 1:46.93.

100 back — 5. Eliza Anderson, FSHS, 59.46; 7. Lucy Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FSHS, 1:00.22.

100 breast — 15. Kat LaFever, FSHS, 1:15.78.

400 free relay — 1. Free State (Cierra Campbell, Eliza Anderson, Lucy Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Courtney Caldwell) 3:34.39; 6. Lawrence (Gretchen Frick, Nicole Oblon, Miranda Rohn, Heather Cistola) 3:46.63.

Class 5-1A

Team results

Blue Valley Southwest 326, Aquinas 234, Wichita Trinity 183, Seabury 142, St. James Academy 120, Andover 116, Emporia 116, Newton 105, Winfield 82, Carroll 80, Wichita Independent 68, Great Bend 61, Topeka West 53.5, Andover Central 51, Coffeyville 51, SM South 51, Salina Central 49, Kapaun 44, Salina South 40, Maize South 37, Hayden 36, Shawnee Heights 34, Smoky Valley 26.5, Paola 21, SE-Cherokee 19, McPherson 12, Miege 8, El Dorado 7, KC Piper 7, Bonner Springs 4, Parsons 3, St. Paul 2, Mill Valley 2, Seaman 1.

Seabury results

200 medley relay — 4. Seabury (Phoebe Grabill, Elizabeth Padgett, Maddie McCaffrey, Emma Stilgenbauer) 1:56.83.

200 free — 1. Phoebe Grabill, 1:54.31.

200 IM — 8. Maddie McCaffrey, 2:29.79.

50 free — 9. Elizabeth Padgett, 25.41.

100 free — 9. Elizabeth Padgett, Seabury, 57.48; 11. Emma Stilgenbauer, Seabury, 58.20.

500 free — 1. Phoebe Grabill, 5:04.22.

200 free relay — 4. Seabury (Elizabeth Padgett, Emilie Padgett, Emma Stilgenbauer, Phoebe Grabill) 1:45.45.

100 back — 10. Emma Stilgenbauer, :06.20.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.