ST. PETERS, Mo. — One day down and one to go in Rockhurst’s quest for a ninth straight Missouri state swimming and diving championship.No team scores are recorded on the first day, but the Hawklets still had a strong preliminary round Friday at the Rec-Plex.“I thought we did a good job,” Rockhurst coach Paul Winkeler said. “We had almost 100 percent time drops. The boys knew they had their work cut out for them. Overall, I’m very proud of our boys and how we did.”As expected, Rockhurst’s Louis Behnen had a good start to the state meet.Behnen, a senior, broke a string of six straight wins by St. Louis swimmers in the first six events on Friday with a victory in the 500-yard freestyle prelim.Behnen had the best seed time coming in but was going up against defending state champion Ryan Baker of Francis Howell. But, Behnen’s time of 4 minutes, 35.46 seconds, bested Baker’s 4:42.90.
By GREG UPTAIN
Special to The Star
“My stroke was right where I want it to be,” Behnen said. “I think I could probably improve my turns a little, but I think that’s just getting used to the pool.”Lee’s Summit senior Zach Knoche was the other area swimmer with the fastest qualifying time, as he went 57.58 in the 100-breaststroke.Other top-three qualifying times for area swimmers on Friday included Lee’s Summit North junior Ethan Bresette (second in the 200-IM), Park Hill South senior Liam Huffman (second in the 100-free), Rockhurst sophomore Alex Albracht (second in the 100-breaststroke), Behnen (third in the 200-free), Liberty North junior Cole Roberts (third in the 50-free), Park Hill South senior Tom Prinslow (third in the 500-free) and Staley junior Nathaniel Vawter (third in the 100-breaststroke).The state meet concludes Saturday at the Rec-Plex with the one-meter diving competition at 9 a.m. and the swimming finals at 3 p.m.