State Relay Winner Alayna Henage Verbals to Kansas

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Alayna Henage, a junior at Parkway South High School in Missouri, has verbally committed to the University of Kansas for the class of 2024.

I chose The University of Kansas because of the amazing coaching staff, amazing teammates, and the incredible support system at Kansas. The team was so welcoming and I really enjoyed my time there. I also know that Kansas is a place where I can set goals and work hard to achieve them. I truly loved the University of Kansas, which is where I choose to give my verbal commitment! Go Jayhawks!! ROCK CHALK!!”

At the 2022 Missouri Girls State Championship for Class 2, Henage was part of the winning 200 medley relay and 200 free relays. In the medley, Henage swam the breast leg in 29.65, and she swam the third leg of the free relay in 24.00. At the same meet, Henage placed 2nd in the 100 breast in 1:03.74, and 4th in the 200 IM in 2:06.11.

Henage also swims club for Parkway Swim Club. At the 2022 USA Swimming Futures Championships, she finished in the top 20 in both the 100- and 200-meter breast. She has a 2023 Futures cut in the LCM 100 breast, and 2021 Futures cut in the SCY 100 and 200 breast, and the SCY 200 IM.

Best short-course times:

100 breast: 1:03.60
200 breast: 2:20.90
200 IM: 2:04.92

The University of Kansas is a member of Big 12 conference. At the 2022 Women’s Big 12 Championships, Kansas placed 2nd out of 5 teams, behind the University of Texas. If Henage had swum at that meet, she would’ve made the C-final in the 100 breast, 200 breast, and 200 IM with her best times.

Henage has the potential to make her mark as a breaststroker for the team. Kate Steward and Dannie Dilsaver, the only two Kansas women to make the A-final of the 100 breast at the 2022 Big 12 Champs, have both graduated, leaving Henage to potentially join Emma Walker and Katie Stonehocker (who will be seniors next year) for the climb to the top of the program. Both Walker and Stonehocker made the C-final of the 100 breast last year at conference championships, and both swam times within a couple of tenths of Henage’s best time. The 200 breast had similar ranks to the 100 breast, and both Walker and Stonehocker are within a couple of seconds of Henage’s best time.

However, if both Walker and Stonehocker graduate before Henage joins, she’ll be part of a young breaststroke program, which gives her the opportunity to start off near the top of the team and stay there. 

There is one current freshman breaststroker who hasn’t yet had the chance to race at a conference championship–Aidan Howze. Her best times prior to joining the team were 1:04.74 in the 100 breast and 2:20.22 in the 200 breast. So far, the only commitment for the Kansas women’s team for the class of 2028 is Henage, though the class of 2027 includes breaststrokers Gracyn O’Mara, Ryan Johnston, and Halle McCullough.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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