Olathe The four swimmers on Free State High’s 200-yard medley relay team entered Saturday afternoon’s Sunflower League Championship with a plan.
Canaan Campbell, Jordan Portela, Josh Terrell and Jack Ziegler knew what time splits they wanted and executed them to perfection. They raced past their opponents and the clock when they set a Sunflower League record with a time of 1:37.65.
“(I was) a little surprised at the medley relay’s time,” said FSHS coach Annette McDonald. The Firebirds topped Olathe East’s record time of 1:39.23 in 2011. “I thought it was going to be a little slower, by like half a second. But when I saw that 37 (seconds), I was just like, ‘Whoa!’ And they were like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what the plan was.’”
The record-breaking first race set the tone as the Firebirds took third in the league at California Trail Middle School.
“The guys really stepped up the second day, performed really well,” McDonald said. “First day was good, a couple of hiccups with seventh-places, but they came back strong for the rest of the meet, scored a lot of points, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Campbell won the 500-yard freestyle by 22 seconds and the 100-yard backstroke. Portela, who tired after the medley relay, stretched to a victory in the 200-yard freestyle. Later, he showed his usual speed in his win during the 100-yard butterfly, falling .66 seconds short of the league record.
“Canaan and Jordan did so impressive,” said Terrell, who took second place in the 100-yard breaststroke despite breaking the league record and also finished second in the 200-yard individual medley. “We’re doing awesome right now. I’m really happy with everything that’s going on.”
Portela added: “I was really happy with it. I was trying to get some of the records, but I’ll try to get them at state. I was pleased with my weekend.”
Senior Hunter Robinson clinched a spot in the state tournament with season-best times in the 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard butterfly. Junior Nolan Stoppel also qualified for the state tournament in the 50-yard freestyle.
“It kind of feels like I’ll be going out on top,” Robinson said. “I’ll be able to go to state, do my best there, and then I’ll be done. So I’m looking forward to it.”
Lawrence High didn’t have any individual racers qualify for the finals on Saturday, but its 200-yard freestyle relay team qualified for the state tournament with a time of 1:36.55.
“They’re happy,” LHS coach Kent McDonald said about the relay team featuring Caleb Axlund, Chase Odgers, Tim Schraad and Darren Rawlings. “They’ve worked really hard. They’re all seniors. They wanted to do it, they deserve to do it, and they did it, so it was fun. We led the whole way, kind of had to hold off (Olathe North). It was a good win for us.”
The Lions won all of the consolation relays, taking eighth place in the league.
Both schools will compete in Free State’s Last Chance Meet on Thursday.
Sunflower League Finals
Saturday at California Trail Middle School
Team scores: Shawnee Mission East 409, Olathe East 274, Free State 223, Shawnee Mission South 130, Olathe South 92, Shawnee Mission North 72, Olathe North 47, Lawrence 42, Olathe Northwest 37, Shawnee Mission West 35, Shawnee Mission Northwest 26, Leavenworth 8.
Free State Results
200 Medley Relay: 1. Canaan Campbell, Josh Terrell, Jordan Portela, Jack Ziegler, 1:37.65.
200 Freestyle: 1. Jordan Portela, 1:45.80. 10. Cooper Schmiedeler, 1:57.05
200 IM: 2. Josh Terrell, 1:59.06. 12. Zachary Denny, 2:19.86.
50 Freestyle: 5. Jack Ziegler, 22.65. t-7. Nolan Stoppel, 22.85.
100 Butterfly: 1. Jordan Portela, 51.77. 8. Hunter Robinson, 58.04.
100 Freestyle: 10. Jack Ziegler, 51.76.
500 Freestyle: 1. Canaan Campbell, 4:46.08. 7. Zachary Denny, 5:13.97. 9. Evan Yoder, 5:25.53.
200 Freestyle Relay: 3. Hunter Robinson, Brandon Bunting, Nolan Stoppel, Jack Ziegler, 1:32.57
100 Backstroke: 1. Canaan Campbell, 53.08. 10. Ethan Kallenberger, 1:00.59.
100 Breaststroke: 2. Josh Terrell, 59.02. 7. Hunter Robinson, 1:05.28. 10. Kyle Yoder, 1:07.29. 12. Evan Yoder, 1:07.92.
400 Freestyle Relay: 3. Canaan Campbell, Nolan Stoppel, Josh Terrell, Jordan Portela, 3:17.58.
200 Medley Relay: 7. Caleb Axlund, Kiefer Stellwagon, Tim Schraad, Darren Rawlings, 1:52.18
200 Freestyle Relay: 7. Caleb Axlund, Chase Odgers, Tim Schraad, Darren Rawlings, 1:36.55
400 Freestyle Relay: 7. Caleb Axlund, Darren Rawlings, Chase Odgers, Tim Schraad, 3:38.36