In the span of about 30 minutes, Noah Witzki went from having no state titles in swimming to being a two-time champion.
Witzki, a Liberty junior, thumbed his nose at last year’s third and fifth-place finishes with state titles in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly at Saturday’s Missouri Class 2 Boys Swimming and Diving Championships at the St. Peters Rec-Plex. The two events he won were separated a 20-minute break for all competitors.
“I’m so exhilarated by it. It’s really crazy,” Witzki said. “It’s really nice to know that my hard work has paid off. I’m really happy with what I’ve done.”
As expected, Liam Bresette also swam his way to two individual titles on Saturday. Bresette, a Lee’s Summit North senior won state titles in the 200-free and 100-free and established new state records in each event.
Never miss a local story.
“It was just a lot of speed work,” said Bresette, who is a Arizona State recruit. “I’m very satisfied.”
Of the nine individual events at the Class 2 meet, six were won by athletes from the Kansas City area.
Blue Springs South junior Alex Burt began the day with a victory in the 1-meter diving competition. His 465.30 points were enough to easily outdistance Trevor Fischer of Eureka (413.95).
“It was a lot of practice and blowing out the dives I wasn’t necessarily the greatest at, but worked hard at perfecting,” Burt said. “The offseason helped a lot. It helped me gain some new dives I didn’t have last year.”
And Lee’s Summit North freshman Daniel Worth captured the day’s final individual title in the 100-yard breaststroke. His time of 57.07 seconds edged Lee’s Summit senior Andy Huffman’s 57.10.
“Andy Huffman has really been a leader to me, one of my really good friends,” Worth said. “He’s really guided me and helped me, so it was fun to race him.”
The Lee’s Summit North 200-medley relay team of junior Grant Godard, Worth, freshman Lance Godard and Bresette also won a state title.
“The only drawback to that was after medals I had to run to the waiting room (for the 200-free),” Bresette said. “No warm-up, no warm-down. It was very hard to do. I was definitely tired, but I had to get it done.”
The Broncos also had the area’s best team finish at third place: Lee’s Summit North amassed 221 points, falling short of Columbia Rock Bridge (243) and St. Louis University High (237).
“This is a great example of quality,” Broncos coach Brian Ray said. “We had seven guys total, six guys in the finals. To be able to pull a third-place finish, they carried this meet.”
Added Bresette: “We may not be the biggest team, but we’re definitely one of the strongest.”
Bresette’s two titles and two records also came in two completely different events than the ones he won titles in last year (the 500-free and 200-individual medley).
“Last year, I just wanted to try something else,” he said. “This year, I just wanted to bring it back.”
Bring it back is exactly what Bresette did.
“We talked at the beginning of the season, and he said his goal was to set the 200 record and the 100 record again (which he first set in 2015),” Ray said. “And he did it in great, great style.”