Bonner Springs junior swimmer Ryan Downing is the Hy-Vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. - Bonner Springs junior swimmer Ryan Downing had a fantastic state meet at the Kansas Class 5-1A State Swimming Championships.

Not only did he finish 3rd in the 200-yard Individual Medley, but he also won the 100-yard Breaststroke in record-breaking fashion. Ryan swam the event with a time of 56.28 seconds, which broke a record that stood for 17 years.

That performance earned him Hy-Vee Athlete of the Week honors. Ryan was certainly appreciative of being honored.

“That’s awesome. I mean, I would’ve never thought that I would get an award like that,” Ryan said of winning the award. “That’s more than I ever expected. That’s pretty cool.”

Ryan’s coach recalled the exact moment he was swimming in the water during that event.

“They had the old state record up on the board. And, [I was] looking at his time, looking at him, and knew that he had a good shot at [the record],” Bonner Springs Boys & Girls Swimming Coach Preston Williams said. “He hit that wall and I looked up and I mean, that was [great].”

Coach Williams was certainly hopeful that Ryan would have a great performance in state.

“It was such a cool thing. We definitely knew that he had a chance. He had been very close to that time during the season,” Williams said. “So, that was a big goal. That was, you know, something that he wanted to do that he thought he would be awesome.”

Part of the motivation for Ryan performing so well was that, in his opinion, he under performed the previous year. He just wanted to do better in this year’s state meet.

“Last year, I had a really rough state meet,” Ryan said. “I was in a battle with the flu. And, you know, my head was not in the game. That was really rough. And, just to bounce back from that, it’s really nice being able to know that hard work does really pay off.”

NOTE: This is the last Hy-Vee Athlete of the Week segment for the 2016-2017 school year. The final segment will air this Thursday during the 10 p.m. sportscast.

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Ryan Marshall can be reached at Ryan.Marshall@KSHB.com.

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