No area swimmers stood at the top of the podium last year at the Missouri state girls swimming and diving tournament.
By BILL HESTER
Special to The Star
That should not be the case Saturday at the St. Peters Rec-Plex if Friday’s preliminary round is any indication.
It was an impressive day overall for area swimmers with four top times in individual events and another first place in a relay. The top eight swimmers in each event advanced to Saturday’s championship round. The ninth through 16th swimmers will compete in the consolation round.
Lee’s Summit North freshman sensation Haley Hynes won both of her individual races. Hynes had the fastest time by over a second in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 4.89 seconds). Hynes also won the 100-yard backstroke in 55.27. Saturday’s final in the 100-yard backstroke could well be a duel between two area swimmers, as Park Hill senior Lauren Shaw was second (55.71). Third place finisher Trey Ross of MICDS was a distant third in 57.58 seconds.
Shaw and Corinne Rinne will also enter the finals with top seeds. Shaw won the 100-yard freestyle (51.63) while Rinne, a senior from Blue Springs, won the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.48).
Park Hill South got the prelims off on the right foot with a win in the 200-yard medley relay, breaking the 1:50 mark by .01 of a second.
Several other Kansas City swimmers advanced in two individual events. Liberty sophomore Dreya Curnow was second in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle.
St. Teresa’s Rose Hutchison, Blue Springs’ Ashley Sturman and Notre Dame de Sion’s Meghan Kearney also advanced in two individual events. Hutchison was fifth in the 200-yard freestyle and eighth in the 100-yard freestyle. Sturman was seventh in the 200-yard freestyle and sixth in the 500-yard freestyle, while Kearney was fifth in the 200-yard IM and eighth in the 100-yard butterfly.
Notre Dame de Sion, which had more qualifiers (20) than any school in the meet, qualified to the finals in three relays. It was third in the 400-yard freestyle relay, fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay and eighth in the 200-yard medley relay.
Several area teams hope to be in the mix for top finishes as a team. The sixth place finish by Blue Springs last year was the only top 10 finish among area schools. Area schools have not brought home a team trophy (top three finish) since Blue Springs won the state title in 2009.
Diving competition starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. The swimming finals begin at 3 p.m.