Wichita boys State 6A swimming championship Feb 17-19 was nothing short of historic. East High senior swimmer Drayden Bell placed first in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. This wasn’t the first time he took home top honors in both of those races. Bell ended his high school career with four-straight state titles in the 50 freestyle and three state titles in the 100freestyle
This came after just weeks before, bell, East’s captain shattered two city-league records.
Bell dominated, breaking a decade-long record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:41:64 and another in the 100 breaststroke with his blazing time of 57:57.
Kapaun Mt. Carmel ended East High’s 13-year city-league champion streak. However, Bell was still the meet’s standout.
Bell, a 2022 University of Alabama commit, took home the meet’s top individual award, another accolade in an incredibly decorated career for the Aces. In addition to his top athletic honors in swimming, Bell has four 6A Swimming Scholastic All-American honors.
Bell credits his success to paying attention to detail and always looking for tweaks in his technique that can shave a tenth of a second off his time, which can make all the difference in a swimming competition.
Bell was not always an avid swimmer. For most of his childhood, he viewed swimming as just a recreational activity shared with his friends at the Wichita Swim Club.
Drayden grew up playing pretty much every sport — basketball, flag football, soccer, tennis, golf, track. However, towards his teenage years, he noticed he began to separate himself from the competition and he decided he wanted to stick to the pool.
“He’s the most unique swimmer that I’ve ever had the chance to work with,” said Coach Joe Hutchinson in an interview last year.“ Drayden is special because he could be great at just about any stroke. The fact that he’s that well-rounded of an athlete is very rare.”
Even away from sports, Drayden maintains a 4.0 GPA and says he is naturally talented at playing the drums and piano. Upon enrollment to Alabama, Bell will major in Kinesiology with an area of study focused on Exercise Science.