Top-10 relay finish highlights Bonner Springs boys’ first trip to state
It was a historic weekend in the water for the Bonner Springs High School boys swimming team.
For the first time in program history, the Braves competed at the state championships.
Once at the Class 5-1A state meet, which took place Friday and Saturday at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka, the Braves weren’t simply happy to be there. They made their presence felt.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Jonathan Price, Tyler Dubin, Ryan Cook and Blaine Edmondson placed 10th in a season-best time of 1 minute, 38.40 seconds. The squad entered the meet seeded 15th, but they jumped three places during the preliminaries and advanced to the finals.
BSHS coach Lynn LaNoue was excited to see the squad record its fastest two races of the season on the biggest stage.
“The guys gave a season best performance during prelims with a time of 1:39.00 and advanced three places from 15th to 12th and made it to finals,” LaNoue said. “At finals, they turned in another season best with a time of 1:38.40 and advanced two more places to finish 10th overall.”
LaNoue said the team had emphasized the 200 freestyle relay as the race it could have the most success with at state. In the process, LaNoue pointed to the team-first mentality of Ethan Hook.
“In the days leading up to the state meet, the team members decided to have a swim-off to see who would actually swim at the state meet. They did this because a few of the guys were evenly matched,” LaNoue said. “Though Ethan Hook was on the squad which made the state qualifying time, he gave up his spot on the squad to Jonathan Price based on their swim-off because he and the rest of the team wanted to be sure the best of the team was represented at state.”
While Price swam on the 200 freestyle relay, Hook claimed a position on the 200 medley relay that also raced at state.
The medley relay, which also included Dubin, Cook and Edmondson, finished 22nd in 2:01.39, just off of their season best time of 2:00.09. It was a performance that LaNoue said set the tone for the 200 freestyle relay’s eventual success.
“Though (they) did not have their best time for the season, they did manage to move up two places based on their seed time,” LaNoue said. “I had a feeling then that it would be a good meet for the guys. Advancing to the state meet is one thing, having the mindset of not being intimidated by the setting is quite another — I have seen this happen too many times. I was worried about this because the team has not sent anyone or a relay to the state meet for a number of years. When they advanced and came close to a season best time, I had a gut feeling they were going to be up for the race they wanted to focus on — the 200 free relay.”
Edmondson was the lone Brave competing in an individual event. He was seeded 29th in the 50 freestyle and finished 27th in 24.50, slightly off from his season best time of 24.44.
Ultimately, Bonner Springs finished 25th in the team standings. Blue Valley won the state title.
“I am very excited for them and happy they were able to swim their best at the state meet,” LaNoue said. “I wish I could tell you they achieved all their goals, but I can’t. What I can tell you is this past weekend they faced a challenge none of them had faced before, they came together as a team to deal with that challenge and they were not found lacking (when) dealing with that challenge. They are excited of how they dealt with that challenge, and I believe the returning members of the team have a new clarity of what they are capable of rising to. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with these young men.”