Lawrence High junior Carmen Braden captures state title in 200 freestyle

photo by: Carter Gaskins

In this file photo, Lawrence High's Carmen Braden competes in the 500-yard freestyle during the 6A state swim meet at Capitol Federal Natatorium on May 18, 2019.

Lawrence High junior Carmen Braden completed her meteoric rise as a high school swimmer by capturing an individual state title in the 200 freestyle during Friday’s Class 6A state swim meet at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka.

In just her second season competing at the high school level as a swimmer, Braden won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.96. She edged out Blue Valley sophomore Caroline Orr, who finished as runner-up with a time of 1:58.15.

Braden’s victory was a massive leap from her previous showing at state — a 14th-place finish in the event as a freshman in 2019. There was not a 2020 girls swimming season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the state meet, Braden credited her work ethic for her growth as a swimmer. She would even put in extra practice time when she thought she had a bad session.

Braden’s state crown helped Lawrence High’s girls swim and dive team finish in third place overall. The Lions, who won the state title in 2019 and entered the meet as defending champs, scored a total of 228 points.

Blue Valley West won the state title with 375 points. Shawnee Mission East came in second with 230.

Lawrence’s all-senior relay team — Iris Sherron, Mara Manolescu, Aubrey Fischer and Madi Heckman — finished in third place in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.88. Fischer was the only other individual to earn a top-three finish for LHS; she took third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 58.36.

Free State’s girls swim and dive squad was led by sophomore Lolly Hindman, who finished in the top three in two events in her state debut. She was runner-up in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.84, and she took third in the 100 backstroke with a 59.56.

As a team, FSHS finished eighth with 148 points.

Class 6A state swim meet

Friday at Capitol Federal Natatorium

Team scores: 1. Blue Valley West 375; 2. SM East 230; 3. Lawrence 228; 4. Blue Valley North 178; 5. Wichita East 164; 6. Blue Valley 153; 7. Blue Valley NW 152; 8. Free State 148; 9. Manhattan 106; 10. SM South 100; 11. Washburn Rural 60; 12. Olathe East 57; 13. Olathe North 55; 14. Derby 49; 15. Olathe West 47.

200-yard medley relay: 3. Lawrence (Iris Sherron, Mara Manolescu, Aubrey Fischer, Madi Heckman), 1:53.88; 4. Free State (Lolly Hindman, Mina Khosh, Liza Engelbrecht, Silvia Liu), 1:54.09.

200 freestyle: 1. Carmen Braden, LHS, 1:57.96; 11. Molly Nuckolls, FS, 2:05.96; 13. Emma Day, FS, 2:07.21; 20. Abi Jones, LHS, 2:12.93.

200 IM: 7. Ali Jones, LHS, 2:16.16; 10. Iris Sherron, LHS, 2:22.41.

50 freestyle: 4. Madi Heckman, LHS, 24.74; 19. Abbey Hossler, FS, 26.86; 20. Silvia Liu, FS, 26.93.

Diving: 10. Emily Brandt, LHS, 307.26; 17. Meara Kingery, FS, 203.19.

100 butterfly: 2. Lolly Hindman, FS, 57.84; 3. Aubrey Fischer, LHS, 58.36; 5. Liza Engelbrecht, FS, 59.33.

100 freestyle: 5. Madi Heckman, LHS, 55.67; 16. Silvia Liu, FS, 57.81.

500 freestyle: 4. Carmen Braden, LHS, 5:20.51; 11. Molly Nuckolls, FS, 5:38.42; 15. Emma Day, FS, 5:46.58; 19. Nisa Kay Khosh, FS, 5:56.50.

200 freestyle relay: 4. Lawrence (Madi Heckman, Lillian Derby, Ali Jones, Carmen Braden), 1:42.12; 13. Free State (Abbey Hossler, Olivia Romero, Molly Nuckolls, Emma Day), 1:48.84.

100 backstroke: 3. Loly Hindman, FS59.56; 4. Aubrey Fischer, LHS, 59.59; 5. Liza Engelbrecht, FS, 1:00.18; 19. Iris Sherron, LHS, 1:04.27; 21. Abbey Hossler, FS, 1:06.37; 24. Abi Jones, LHS, 1:08.03.

100 breaststroke: 6. Ali Jones, LHS, 1:09.55; 13. Mara Manolescu, LHS, 1:13.99; 20. Mina Khosh, FS, 1:16.57.

400 freestyle relay: 4. Free State (Liza Engelbrecht, Emma Day, Silvia Liu, Lolly Hindman), 3:44.61; 5. Lawrence (Carmen Braden, Iris Sherron, Ali Jones, Aubrey Fischer), 3:45.12.

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