FSHS senior Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck aims to end career on high note at state swim; LHS relay team going for school record

photo by: Courtesy photo

Senior Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck poses for a photo during a Free State swim practice before the start of the 2020-21 season. Sirimongkhon-Dyck, who a three-time state competitor, is a captain on the team this year. Photo courtesy of FSHS swim.

Free State senior Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck never thought this day would come.

After 11 years of swimming at a competitive level, including the last four at FSHS, Friday will be his last in the pool. One way or another, Sirimongkhon-Dyck will conclude his swimming career at the Class 6A state meet at the Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center.

“I’m nervous (and) I’m excited,” Sirimongkhon-Dyck said. “It’s just all really weird because I’ve been to state every year. I remember my seniors during their final meet. I was like, ‘This won’t be me one day.'”

“And here I am,” Sirimongkhon-Dyck added.

While the finality of it all might be hard to comprehend, Sirimongkhon-Dyck has a chance to go out on top.

In both of his individual events, Sirimongkhon-Dyck is the final heat and is considered a top-three seed. He’s in the third lane of the 100 breaststroke with a seed time of 59.32. Shawnee Mission South senior Owen Krussow and Shawnee Mission East junior Evan Deedy both have seed times in the 58-second mark.

Sirimongkhon-Dyck is also slated to be in the third lane in the final heat of the 100 butterfly, with a seed time of 51.39. Olathe East junior Micah Leslie and Blue Valley northwest senior Caleb Leslie have faster seed times than Sirimongkhon-Dyck by less than a full second.

Sirimongkhon-Dyck, who is also competing in two relay races, said it would mean a lot to end his career with a state crown.

“It would be one of my happiest days,” Sirimongkhon-Dyck said.

Sirimongkhon-Dyck is expecting a battle in both of individual events, especially after winning a Sunflower League title in the 100 breaststroke. Nearly two weeks ago, Sirimongkhon-Dyck won the 100 breast with a time of 59.32 to narrowly edge out Krussow’s mark of 59.61.

“I barely out-touched him,” Sirimongkhon-Dyck said. “I looked forward to racing him again.”

Sirimongkhon-Dyck said that there isn’t much he can do training wise to shave off even more time this week, especially with FSHS not being able to have practice on Monday or Tuesday. He wants to make progress, but there is a fine balance of not practicing too much as well.

Yet, Sirimongkhon-Dyck has really been working for this moment for all four years. He’s been competing in breaststroke since he was a freshman, demonstrating a knack for the tough event from his very first day as a high school swimmer.

Sirimongkhon-Dyck also credits former FSHS swimmer Chad Anderson for pushing him in that particular event during his first two seasons.

“I think to be good at breaststroke you just need good rhythm,” Sirimongkhon-Dyck said. “Because we basically went (around) the same time, I always used (Anderson) to push me and I think I pushed him.”

Perhaps more important than his job as the team’s breakstroker, Sirimongkhon-Dyck has really embraced his leadership position during his senior season. Sirimongkhon-Dyck expects fellow senior, Finn VanDyke, to do well in the 100 and 200 freestyle this weekend.

Sirimongkhon-Dyck also believes some underclassmen will rise to the occasion for the Firebirds, specifically during relay events.

“We’ve been working on our relay exchanges,” Sirimongkhon-Dyck said. “So that’ll help.”

photo by: Chance Parker

Lawrence senior Trenton Snyder competes in the boys swim dual against Free State Thursday afternoon at Lawrence High School on Dec. 10, 2020.

Lawrence relay going for school record

While state titles and high podium finishes are often the main focus, Lawrence High’s 200 freestyle relay team has a different objective at this week’s state meet.

“We want to get the school record,” said Lawrence sophomore Maximilian Whittaker, who is the anchor of that relay team.

Sophomore Christopher Oral is the leadoff swimmer of that quartet, while senior Andrew Augustine serves as the second leg. Senior Trenton Snyder is the third leg of a relay squad that has been together for much of the 2020-21 campaign.

It was only recently that taking down the school record even seemed possible. LHS posted a time of 1:31.98 to finish fourth in the 200 freestyle relay at the Sunflower League meet. Whittaker said the relay team needs to just shave off another second for the record.

“We went really fast and we realized that we were actually really close,” Whittaker said. “Two of them are seniors and that’s something they want to leave behind in their senior years.”

Shaving more than a second off the total time will be difficult after missing practice time on Monday and Tuesday due to weather. Still, this group has made strides all year and the chemistry has especially grown.

“All of us really want to get this time,” Whittaker said. “All of us really feel it’s important. It’s all equally important among us.”

Whittaker is also competing in the 400 freestyle relay. His individual events are the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. He has a seed time of 23.09 in the former and a seed time of 49.29 in the latter event.

After not competing to his standards at the state meet last year, Whittaker expects to have better results this weekend due to his growth as a swimmer.

“Last year was super exciting because it was my first time going,” Whittaker said. “This year, the idea of how I can get a medal or I can get a podium. I can leave more of a mark on the season that I did last year, and it’s really cool to think that.”

Local swimmers for both schools will look to end their season on a high note at the state swim meet on Friday. The diving preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m., while the swim and dive finals are slated to start at 4:15 p.m.

Class 6A state swim meet

Friday at Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center

Free State/Lawrence seed times

200-yard medley relay: Lawrence 1:48.39; Free State 1:40.51.

200 freestyle: Ryan Christian, LHS, 1:54.54; Finn VanDyke, FS, 1:52.15.

200 IM: Dawson Bonnell, FS, 2:08.30; Giuliano Lule-Paredes, LHS, 2:07.18.

50 freestyle: Maximilian Whittaker, LHS, 23.09; Christopher Oral, LHS, 22.70.

Diving: Elliot Ahlvers, FS; Salvador Good, LHS; Michael Leonard, FS; Keyan Crawford, LHS.

100 butterfly: Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FS, 51.39.

100 freestyle: Christopher Oral, LHS, 50.30; Finn VanDyke, FS, 50.02; Maximilian Whittaker, LHS, 49.29.

500 freestyle: Ryan Christian, LHS, 5:19.42; Dawson Bonnell, FS, 5:17.33; Giuliano Lule-Paredes, LHS, 5:10.41.

200 freestyle relay: Lawrence, 1:31.98; Free State, 1:32.35.

100 backstroke: Max Bates, FS, 58.23; Alexander Moore, FS, 57.53.

100 breaststroke: Riley Sirimongkhon-Dyck, FS, 59.32.

400 freestyle relay: Free State, 3:36.36; Lawrence, 3:26.32.


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