Lawrence High sophomore Izaiah Bowie knows this is his final opportunity.
His hopes of making the state tournament in the one-meter dive will ride on his performance at the Sunflower League Swimming and Diving Championships this weekend at Olathe California Trail Middle School. Prelims for swimmers begin at 5 p.m. today and for divers at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
“It’s pretty filled with pressure,” Bowie said. “I want to make state, but I know it’s going to take a lot. I got really close at one meet. I was six points off. I’m hoping at this last meet I get it.”
The Lions relay teams also hope for a strong showing at the meet to solidify a spot in the state tournament. Lawrence’s relay teams in the 200-yard medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle have times that have earned state consideration but need to shave a few seconds to guarantee a spot.
“I feel like we’re going to drop a good amount of time because we’re all ready, and we all want it, which is I think the biggest part is that we all want it,” said senior Tim Schraad, who is on all of the relay teams and has earned state consideration in the 100 butterfly.
Senior Caleb Axlund is close to a state consideration time in the 200 individual medley, while senior Darren Rawlings has a shot to qualify in the 50 free.
“There’s always some guys who really drop time and really just have the race of the season,” LHS coach Kent McDonald said. “There’s some other people that get all nervous and worked up over it, and they don’t do as well. We hope for the first type. The guys are ready. I think they’ll swim very well.”
Free State High has qualified for state with all three of its relay teams and boasts some of the top swimmers in the league.
Senior Canaan Campbell is the No. 1 seed in the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke, while freshman Jordan Portela leads the pack in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, and junior Josh Terrell owns the top seed in the 200 individual medley.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Campbell said. “I can’t wait to see what I can do and see myself take that next step before I reach state and perform there.”
Free State is expected to be one of the top teams at the meet, along with Shawnee Mission East and Olathe East.