FSHS swimmers value depth, too

By now, Free State High’s youngest swimmers truly understand.

The Firebirds’ upperclassmen have dropped the knowledge in their ears every time they think of it, hoping the message gets in their heads and remains trapped somewhere underneath their swimming caps.

The most experienced members of the FSHS team have seen even the most talented individuals only get them so far the past few years. So now that the postseason is here, they let it be known it’s time to compliment those top-three finishers with depth.

Friday at the Sunflower League Prelims, the Firebirds proved that is their focus by securing not only numerous top-six finishes (which placed them in this afternoon’s championship heats at Mission Trail Middle School), but also seventh- through 12th-place finishes (which earned them berths in the consolation finals).

“That’s where the points come from — seven through 12,” said FSHS senior captain Kate McCurdy, who qualified seventh in the 200 IM and fifth in the 500 free. “You can only get so many in the top six. It’s like super-important. All the freshmen, I don’t even know if they know (how important it is). So we have to talk it up a lot. I know when I was a freshman, you don’t realize it’s so important. It’s so different from club, where it doesn’t matter at all where you place — it’s just your time.”

Of course, none of the Firebirds are knocking the ability of their teammates to finish first — sophomore Cierra Campbell qualified first in the 200 free and 500 free, junior Courtney Caldwell led the 50 free and 100 fly and FSHS qualified first in the 200 and 400 free relays. But they took a lot of pride in all those consolation finals berths: freshman Carter Stacey (seventh, 200 free), freshman Kara Krannawitter (12th, 200 IM), junior Alexa Malik (12th, 50 free; seventh, 100 free), sophomore Anna McCurdy (10th, 100 fly; 11th, 500 free), freshman Simone Herlihy (ninth, 100 back), junior Kat LaFever (seventh, 100 breast) and sophomore Trenna Soderling, (12th, 100 breast).

“We’ve gotten second at everything for three years. So we’re done with that,” Kate McCurdy said, before adding her message for the team’s youngest swimmers. “You guys have three more years to do this, but I don’t.”

As stressful as that may sound for ninth-graders, Kate’s younger sister, Anna, said tension doesn’t mount when they’re competing, because the team’s leaders make sure everybody feels loose.

“They’ve been pretty upbeat and positive and just keeping us all laughing,” the sophomore said. “We’re dancing back in the warmup area.”

That energy helps the swimmers take pride in contributing, too.

“Last year I didn’t even make (consolation) finals,” Anna added. “This year I’m in both of them (100 fly and 500 free), which I think’s gonna help the team a lot if I can move up a little and actually score some points.”

Qualifying for today’s races meant a great deal to Lawrence High’s swimmers, too.

Freshman Brittany Archer began the evening with a 12th-place swim in the 200 free and later qualified seventh in the 500 free.

LHS, like rival Free State, landed championship berths in all three relay races. Archer, who swam on the 200 free relay (fifth) with juniors Hannah Lee, Nicole Kelly and Nicole Oblon, said the night’s final race, the 400 free relay, was amazing. The Lions slashed 10 seconds off their season-best time in that one by switching up their order. Oblon, Archer, Lee and freshman Mary Reed-Weston qualified fourth and finished in 3:53.48.

“All of us, this entire season, we’ve wanted to go under 1:00,” Archer said, “and this time it just clicked. All of us on one day, we were able to do it.”

Sunflower League Prelims

Friday at Mission Trail Middle School, Olathe

City results

(Top 6 = A-final; top 12 = B-final)

200 medley relay — 3. Free State, Lucy Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Kara Krannawitter, Cierra Campbell, Simone Herlihy, 1:55.32; 6. Lawrence, Hannah Lee, Mary Reed-Weston, Alex Ginsberg, Nicole Oblon, 2:01.99.

200 free — 1. Campbell, FS, 1:58.93; 3. Eliza Anderson, FS, 1:59.76; 7. Carter Stacey, FS, 2:06.26; 12. Brittany Archer, LHS, 2:10.71; 16. Genevieve Voigt, LHS, 2:16.97; 17. Zoe Prather, FS, 2:17.44; 28. Meg Peterson, LHS, 2:32.91; 39. Naomi Dale, LHS, 2:48.1.

200 IM — 3. Reed-Weston, LHS, 2:17.31; 5. L. Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FS, 2:20.15; 7. Kate McCurdy, FS, 2:21.12; 12. Krannawitter, FS, 2:23.74; 13. Charlotte Crandall, FS, 2:29.52; 21. Vanessa Hernandez, LHS, 2:48.04; 28. Abbie Treff, LHS, 3:09.62; 30. Andrea Summey, LHS, 3:15.41.

50 free — 1. Courtney Caldwell, FS, 23.81; 3. Sydney Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FS, 24.88; 12. Alexa Malik, FS, 26.4; 19. Linda Liu, FS, 27.79; 21. Nicole Kelly, LHS, 27.95; 39. Taylor Schoepf, LHS, 30.92; 40. Christa Griffin, LHS, 31.75; 42. Chandler Sells, LHS, 32.07.

100 fly — 1. Caldwell, FS, 57.1; 10. Anna McCurdy, FS, 1:05.59; 14. Rowan Pinsky, FS, 1:09.23; 15. Ginsberg, LHS, 1:09.56; 19. Lee, LHS, 1:11.35; 23. Chloe Riedemann, FS, 1:15.28; 32. Abbie Treff, LHS, 1:29.26; 33. Summey, LHS, 1:29.78.

100 free — 2. S. Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FS, 55.71; 4. Herlihy, FS, 56.03; 7. Malik, FS, 58.03; 12. Oblon, LHS, 59.18; 16. Liu, FS, 1:01.53; 21. Kelly, LHS, 1:02.32; 25. Voigt, LHS, 1:04.04; 32. Mereith Von Feldt, LHS, 1:05.78.

500 free — 1. Campbell, FS, 5:19.66; 5. K. McCurdy, FS, 5:34.63; 7. Archer, LHS, 5:40.24;11. A. McCurdy, FS, 5:45.91; 13. Pinsky, FS, 5:55.34; 22. Mary Wroten, LHS, 6:57.02; 30. Kimberly Myers, LHS, 7:44.52.

200 free relay — 1. FS, Herlihy, Anderson S. Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Caldwell, 1:39.39; 5. LHS, Lee, Kelly, Archer, Oblon, 1:48.56.

100 back — 2. Anderson, FS, 1:00.13; 6. L. Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FS, 1:03.26; 9. Herligy, FS, 1:04.02. 15. Stacey, FS, 1:06.1; 20. Von Feldt, LHS, 1;11.35; 32. Schoepf, LHS, 1:20.97; 39. Sells, LHS, 1:29.53.

100 breast — 4. Reed-Weston, LHS, 1:11.19; 5. Krannawitter, FS, 1:11.87; 7. Kat LaFever, FS, 1:13.85; 12. Trenna Soderling, FS, 1:16.34; 15. Riley Koch, FS, 1:19.07; 19. Ginsberg, LHS, 1:20.15; 27. Hernandez, LHS, 1:24.15; 31. Wroten, LHS, 1:27.07.

400 free relay — 1. FS, Campbell, Anderson, L. Sirimongkhon-Dyck, Caldwell, 3:38.67; 4. LHS, Oblon, Archer, Lee, Reed-Weston, 3:53.48.