Johnson’s 200 IM swim highlights LHS home opener

Lawrence High School junior swimmer Stephen Johnson reacts to his first-place finish and time in the boys 200 yard individual medley Thursday during a boys triangular meet at LHS.

It’s no secret that the Lawrence High pool tends to produce slower times.

Which is why it was a pleasant surprise for Stephen Johnson, when he looked up at the scoreboard early Wednesday afternoon, to see his fastest 200-yard individual medley time of his career (2:02.58) en route to a first-place finish.

It was the lone event crown for the junior, as the Lions notched second out of three teams in their home triangular. Free State won by 109 points.

“It’s not the greatest pool but this is home,” Johnson said. “I’m way more used to it. It’s almost like a home field advantage. It’s a fun pool to swim in.”

Johnson shaved a few seconds off his previous-fastest time, but is still just shy of his real goal — the school record. Zach Andregg still holds that milestone after clocking a 1:59.77 in the season opener back in 2011.

In addition, Johnson also earned second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 48.56. Both those individual races are among the school records that Johnson has set his eyes on since the moment his career began.

“I’ve been looking at those records since my freshman year,” Johnson said. “There are actually three that I’m looking at right now, which is the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and the 200 IM. I’m within a second on the 200 free, two seconds off in the 100 free and I’m only three seconds off in the 200 IM, and I’ve been dropping so much time off in that. “

Lawrence High School swimmers cheer for LHS junior swimmer Stephen Johnson in the boys 200 yard medley Thursday during a boys triangular meet at LHS.

Johnson was also a part of the Lions’ first-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay, along with junior Alex Heckman, as well as seniors Jared Miller and Patrick Oblon. They sealed second in the 400 freestyle relay with a mark of 3:33.53.

As a team, LHS notched three crowns with Oblon clinching the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.17. Lawrence totaled 181 points, to finish 21 points better than Shawnee Mission North.

“Every year we go through this, I talk about how the pool isn’t a fast pool,” LHS coach Kent McDonald said. “But the guys still shaved off their time. They are getting better and working really hard in practice. They are looking like a swim team now.”

In the final heat of the boys 50 yard freestyle, LHS swimmer Patrick Oblon leaps off the starters block at the top of a group of other swimmers as they head into the water Thursday during a boys triangular meet at LHS.

Free State wins meet

The Firebirds claimed first in all but three events on the day, accumulating 290 total points, for their second meet victory of the young season. Afterward, Free State coach Annette McDonald admitted the difficulties of the pool, though it didn’t hinder the team’s convincing win.

“This pool is more shallow,” McDonald said. “So there isn’t that current catching you and slowing you down. This is just turbulent and it’s shallow on the other end, so it’s hard to turn. Some guys hit the bottom.”

Despite a more difficult pool to swim in, many athletes recorded personal bests as well as event crowns. Senior Jordan Portela claimed the 200 freestyle (1:47.80) and the 100 freestyle (47.39). Senior Evan Yoder won two races as well, with wins in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

Senior Corey Schultz-Bever clocked a 1:07.26 in his first-place finish in the 100 breastroke. Meanwhile, junior Evan Eskilson’s mark of 5:13.33 was good for first in the 500 freestyle. Senior Skylar Eklund took first in diving, scoring 223 points.

FSHS also sealed golds in the first and last relay of the meet earning first in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.

“We looked strong but we have a little work to do,” McDonald said. “The goal is to be strong for league and state. Even though we have some good swimmers, we have to bring the other guys up to. And they are working hard at it.”

Both teams will return to action after the break on Jan. 7 at the Shawnee Mission Northwest Invitational at 3:30 p.m.

Lawrence triangular

Wednesday at LHS

Team scores: Free State 290, Lawrence 181, Shawnee Mission North 160.

FSHS, LHS results

200 medley relay — 1. Jake Viscomi, Corey Schultz-Bever, Jordan Portela, Cameron Hodge, FS, 1:46.03; 2. Evan Eskilson, Sydney Lin, Matthew Wilkus, Dean Stuart, FS, 1:48.98; 3. Treyton Trujillo, Dylan Beierschbach, Will Belemere, Patrick Oblon, L, 1:59.36; 5. Trent Hartman, John Loos, Ben Aldridge, Adam Ziegler, FS, 2:03.52; 6. Jared Miller, Brian Myers, Josh Axlund, Alexander Arnone, L, 2:10.39; 7. Ethan Perrins, Jack Kelsey Finneas Nesbitt-Daly, Eugene Galvez, FS, 2:12.24; 9. Hayden Husman, Reed Pfeifer, Andrew Severn, Devin Van Schmus, L, 2:16.83.

200 freestyle — 1. Jordan Portela, FS, 1:47.80; 2. Alex Heckman, L, 1:55.98; 3. Aidan Goertz, FS, 2:06.71; 5. Jakob Busch, L, 2:14.65; 7. Finneas Nesbitt-Daly, FS, 2:24.74; 10. Luke Dunlap, L, 2:32.58; 11. Jadon Ballinger, FS, 2:34.57; 12. Zimmer Bellemere, L, 2:34.94.

200 individual medley — 1. Stephen Johnson, L, 2:02.58; 2. Evan Eskilson, FS, 2:02.71; 3. Matthew Wilkus, FS, 2:18.59; 5. Ben Aldridge, FS, 2:23.24; 6. John Loos, FS, 2:27.68; 7. Brian Myers, L, 2:43.63; 9. Dylan Bierschbach, L, 2:51.54.

50 freestyle — 1. Patrick Oblon, L, 24.17; 2. Aidan Goertz, FS, 24.36; 3. Cameron Hodge, FS, 24.84; 6. Sydney Lin, FS, 25.67; 7. Stuart Dean, FS, 25.69; 8. Jared Miler, L, 26.23; 9. Adam Ziegler, FS, 26.45.

One-meter diving — 1. Skylar Eklund, FS, 223; 2. Anton Martinez, L, 193; 3. Carson Juhl, FS, 1:52.70.

100 butterfly — 1. Evan Yoder, FS, 53.84; 2. Alex Heckman, L, 56.21; 3. Jake Viscomi, FS, 1:03.64; 4. Treyton Trujillo, L, 1:09.93; 5. Eugene Galvez, FS, 1:11.71; 6. Finneas Nesbitt-Daly, FS, 1:11.93.

100 freestyle — 1. Jordan Portela, FS, 47.39; 2. Stephen Johnson, L, 48.56; 3. Corey Schultz-Bever, FS, 55.44; 4. Cameron Hodge, FS, 55.83; 5. Adam Ziegler, FS, 57.19; 8. Stuart Dean, FS, 57.89; 9. Hayden Husman, L, 1:00.61; 10. Garrett Prescott, L, 1:00.96; 13. Zimmer Bellemere, L, 1:05.21; 14. Luke Dunlap, L, 1:06.10.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Alex Heckman, Jared Miller, Patrick Oblon, Stephen Johnson, L, 1:34.26; 2. Aidan Goertz, Cameron Hodge, Sydney Lin, Evan Yoder, FS, 1:37.19; 4. Matthew Wilkus, Chad Anderson, Adam Ziegler, Dean Stuart, FS, 1:41.82; 6. Will Bellemere, Anton Grundstrom, Garrett Prescott, Brian Myers, L, 1:52.08; 7. Dylan Bierschbach, Luke Dunlap, Noah Kucza, Jakob Busch, L, 1:54.81; 8. Devin Van Schmus, Andrew Severn, Sam Phillips, Alexander Arnone, L, 1:54.99; 9. Giovanni Booth, David Stuart, Christopher Woodard, Atticus VonHolton, FS, 1:57.63; 10. Ethan Perrins, Trent Hartman, Declan Forth, Jack Kelsey, FS, 1:59.15.

100 backstroke — 1. Evan Yoder, FS, 58.27; 2. Jake Viscomi, FS, 1:03.55; 4. Christopher Woodward, FS, 1:17; 5. Trent Hartman, FS, 1:18.15; 7. Josh Axlund, L, 1:20.33; 8. Hayden Husman, L, 1:21.03; 10. David Stuart, FS, 1:27.94; 13. Cameron Walters, L, 1:34.74; 14. Braden Augustine, L, 1:35.27; 16. Luis Torres, L, 1:38.71.

100 breaststroke — 1. Corey Schultz-Bever, FS, 1:07.26; 3. Matthew Wilkus, FS, 1:11.14; 5. Sydney Lin, FS, 1:12.31; 6. Chad Anderson, FS, 1:14.23; 7. Dylan Bierschbach, L, 1:16.39; 9. Atticus Von Holton, FS, 1:21.35; 10. Brian Myers, L, 1:23.12; 13. Reed Pfeifer, L, 1:25.31; 15. Logan Grose, L, 1:26.22.

400 freestyle relay — Evan Yoder, Evan Eskilson, Corey Schultz-Bever, Jordan Portela, FS, 3:24.93; 2. Patrick Oblon, Jakob Busch, Alex Heckman, Stephen Johnson, L, 3:33.53; 3. Jake Viscomi, Ben Aldridge, Aidan Goertz, Chad ANderson, FS, 3:48.98; 5. Noah Kucza, Treyton Trujillo, Garrett Prescott, Will Bellemere, L, 4:12.