2016 Year in Review: Shawnee Mission East, SM North and Bishop Miege bring home the hardware

The Shawnee Mission North track team brought home one of 12 state championships to the area this year. (Photo courtesy Lisa Ryan)

With four days, sans Saturday, left in 2016, it’s time to countdown the top four moments from the calendar year.

People say 2016 was terrible, but how is that so when Bishop Miege, Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission North combined to bring home 12 state titles?

We’re only going to touch on 10 of them because two of them (hint, hint) will be discussed in depth further later this week.

This calendar year saw Shawnee Mission East swim sweep the Class 6A state titles giving the boys 14 state titles now with eight coming since 2005. The girls have won six of the last seven titles giving them a grand total of 16.

Crissie Blomquist set three school records last year swimming a 1:50.83 200-yard freestyle, a 4:56.27 500-yard freestyle and was a part of the 400-yard free relay that finished in 3:37.16. Sarah Allegri swam a 55.65 in the 100-yard back to set a school record, as well. Aiden Holbrook set a boys school record swimming the 500 in 4:39.63.

Bishop Miege joined the Lancers in sweeping state titles for sports this calendar year as the Stag basketball teams and soccer teams did just that.

The girls basketball team capped off a 25-0 season with their third-straight title, while the boys won their first title since 2010.

If predictions go according to plan, 2017 should be similar for SM East swimming and Miege hoops.

The accomplishment of winning both state titles is quite a feat considering how many strong programs there are across the metro and rest of the state.

Not saying it isn’t possible to do again once the calendar rolls over, it’s just more difficult. The Miege boys needed overtime to defeat Basehor-Linwood this year, while the girls won their first title since 2003 when it was Class 5-1A.

Soccer has been dominated by Rose Hill the past two years before 2016 on the boys side and a combination of Topeka-Hayden and Trinity on the girls side.

However, Miege has dominated football as the Stags won their third-straight title. After dropping the opener to Blue Valley, Bishop Miege won their next 12 games in convincing fashion. Something tells 2017 will finish in a similar manner.

The football title capped off a fantastic year for Landry Weber, who won three titles alone with basketball and track being the others.

Jafar Armstrong was the fastest man in Class 4A as he pulled a Usain Bolt sweeping the 100-meter dash (10.83 seconds), 200-meter (22.13) and 4×100-meter relay (42.70). I think Mizzou is going to be happy with that speed.

SM North also won a track title, narrowly edging Sunflower League foe Lawrence by two points. The Indians held a one-point advantage heading into the final race and needed to beat the Lions by a single place to maintain their lead. Lawrence finished fifth while SM took fourth and the title.

And finally, the SM East boys won what would be coach Ermanno Ritschl’s final state title in his 20-year coaching career.

Ritschl won nine state titles — seven with the boys and two with the girls.

See, 2016 wasn’t so bad. Come back the rest of the week as we count down the best moments of the year.