Still out of breath from swimming the final leg of the last relay, Stephen Johnson cracked a smile.
Not only had the senior Lawrence High swimmer carried his team to a win in the event — first taking off into the pool with the Lions about a second behind — he’d already won two others, including the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke.
“Got the school record in it, too,” Johnson said of his backstroke time of 54.75, nearly 10 seconds faster than the next closest finisher at the Indoor Aquatic Center.
On a day the Lions finished third — Free State won the quadrangular, edging out Shawnee Mission North with a total of 402 points — no individual found more success than the senior.
All things considered, his focus was impressive.
Johnson entered the day knowing he had another meet — a club meet in Texas — taking place in the near future. Lions coach Kent McDonald noted even though Wednesday's quad might not have been as big as the one to come, Johnson still wanted to do his best.
Certainly the results echoed that sentiment, as did the words of the senior poolside after the final event.
“It’s more about keeping everything in perspective,” Johnson said. “It didn’t stop me from going fast and stop me from focusing on our team. Great day."
As a team, though, it was Free State who came out on top.
Needing a solid finish in a down-to-the-wire competition against Shawnee Mission North, the Firebirds received a big boost in addition to their top squad, which finished the 400-yard freestyle relay in third.
“As far as someone shining, I’ve got to tell you that 400 free relay, the B-team, that’s what won the meet for us,” said Firebirds coach Annette McDonald. “We already knew we had third. It was them coming in (fifth) place that made the difference.”
That group, made up of Jack Thomas, Nichola Burket, Reece Gray and Brady Flynn, finished with a time of 4:08.59, less than one-and-a-half seconds ahead of Shawnee Mission North's sixth place team. That kept the Firebirds ahead in the standings, as they held their top spot on the leaderboard for much of the day.
Perhaps the biggest individual performer of the group, though, didn’t participate in the final relay.
“The freshman. How exciting is he?” McDonald said of Free State's Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck. “He has his eyes set on something higher. He really wants to swim faster times.”
Sirimongkhon-Dyck found himself in several unfamiliar positions on Wednesday. Normally a mainstay in the 100 breaststroke, an event he’d won twice earlier this year, the Free-State freshman instead took on the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.
The purpose, said Annette McDonald, was to help develop his versatility and see where he fits best. Sirimongkhon-Dyck, a team-player as described by his coach, was up to the task.
The freshman won both events, taking the butterfly by more than a second and the individual medley by more than three.
"I was feeling pretty iffy today,” Sirimongkhon-Dyck said. “But my 100 fly felt very nice.”
Free State quadrangular
Wednesday at Indoor Aquatic Center
Team scores: Free State 402, Shawnee Mission North 398, Lawrence High 384, Olathe West 92.
FSHS, LHS results (top 10)
200 medley relay — 2. John Loos, Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Jake Viscomi, Chad Anderson, FS, 1:49.34; 2. Alex Heckman, Stephen Johnson, Luis Torres, Zimmer Bellemere, L, 1:50.04; 4. Finn Van Dyke, Ben Aldridge, Reece Gray, Brady Flynn, FS, 1:59.72; 5. Braden Augustine, Dylan Bierschbach, Sam Phillips, Luke Dunlap, L, 2:02.18; 7. David Stuart, Zach Bollinger, Aiden Holt, Jack Thomas, FS, 2:10.61; 10. Christopher Woodward, Tanner Erwin, Aiden Basore, Miles Kingsley, FS, 2:20.86.
200 freestyle — 2. Tyler Jones, L, 1:57.86; 3. Chad Anderson, FS, 1:58.85, 4. John Loos, FS, 2:05.97; 5. Finn Van Dyke, FS, 2:06.59; 6. Trenton Hartman, FS, 2:08.32; 9. Nathan Stoddard, L, 2:19.78.
200 individual medley — 1. Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FS, 2:12.12; 3. Alex Heckman, L, 2:16.66; 4. Ben Aldridge, FS, 2:25.50; 5. Luis Torres, L, 2:35.62; 8. Aiden Basore, FS, 2:55.56.
50 freestyle — 1. Stephen Johnson, L, 22.44; 3. Dean Stuart, FS, 24.41; 5. Braden Augustine, L, 25.88; 6. Luke Dunlap, L, 25.98; 7. David Stuart, FS, 26.05; 10. Dylan Bierschbach, L, 26.74.
One-meter diving — 1. Hamund Christensen, L, 186.85; 2. Carson Juhl, FS, 185.55; 4. Salvador Good, L, 152.80; 6. Patrick Steinbach, L, 135.85; 7. Keaton Stramburg, FS, 121.15; 9. Reece Gray, FS, 114.75; 10. Jordan Hauber, FS, 94.00.
100 butterfly — 1. Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FS, 58.22; 2. Jake Viscomi, FS, 59.36; 3. Treyton Trujillo, L, 1:02.03; 4. Luis Torres, L, 1:03.34; 7. Giovani Lule-Paredes, L, 1:10.85; 9. Reece Gray, FS, 1:16.26; 10. Sam Phillips, L, 1:16.95.
100 freestyle — 1. Alex Heckman, L, 51.32; 4. Dean Stuart, FS, 55.47; 5. Brady Flynn, FS, 57.19; 7. Zimmer Bellemere, L, 57.76.
500 freestyle — 1. Tyler Jones, L, 5:16.33; 3. John Loos, FS, 5:41.91; 4. Trenton Hartman, FS, 6:06.25; 5. Nathan Stoddard, L, 6:19.85; 8. Niels Braaten, FS, 7:01.18; 9. J.J. Smith, L, 7:21.71.
200 freestyle relay — 2. Jake Viscomi, Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Dean Stuart, Chad Anderson FS, 1:37.23; 3. Ben Aldridge, David Stuart, Brady Flynn, Trenton Hartman, FS, 1:45.03; 5. Treyton Trujillo, Andrew Severn, Zimmer Bellemere, Tyler Jones, L, 1:46.00; 7. Dylan Bierschbach, Luke Dunlap, Sam Phillips, Nathan Stoddard, L, 1:50.90; 8. Zach Bollinger, Nicholas Burket, Tanner Erwin, Aiden Holt, FS, 1:54.97; 9. Christopher Woodward, Billy Moon, Ricardo Oliveira, Miles Kingsley, FS, 1:58.25; 10. Davis Reed, Will Damron, Trevor Blackbourn, Logan Grose, 1:59.55.
100 backstroke — 1. Stephen Johnson, L, 54.75; 2. Jake Viscomi, FS, 1:03.45; 3. Finn Van Dyke, 1:07.50; 5. Braden Augustine, L, 1:11.08; 10. David Stuart, 1:18.37.
100 breaststroke — 2. Chad Anderson, FS, 1:07.80; 4. Ben Aldridge, FS, 1:13.39; 5. Dylan Bierschbach, L, 1:13.77; 7. Giovani Lule-Paredes, L, 1:18.51; 8. Andrew Severn, L, 1:19.38; 10. Logan Grose, L, 1:19.65.
400 freestyle relay — 1. Alex Heckman, Treyton Trujillo, Braden Augustine, Stephen Johnson, L, 3:34.93; 3. John Loos, Trenton Hartman, Finn Van Dyke, Dean Stuart, FS, 3:45.71; 4. Tyler Jones, Zimmer Bellemere, Giovani Lule-Paredes, Luis Torres, L, 3:57.09; 5. Jack Thomas, Nicholas Burket, Reece Gray, Brady Flynn, FS, 4:08.59. 8. Nathan Stoddard, Ike Phillips, Andrew Ybarra, Luke Dunlap, L, 4:22.64; 9. Trevor Blackbourn, Jordan Schoepf, Chase Reed, J.J. Smith, L, 4:53.16.