The allure of sports revolves around their unpredictable nature. They offer arenas in which the unexpected can so often become reality.
Unless, of course, that sport involves the Rockhurst swimming and diving team. Because at some point over the past decade, the Hawklets made their season’s conclusion awfully predictable.
Their dynasty reached 11 seasons Saturday. And it’s as strong as ever.
The Rockhurst swimming team won its 11th straight Missouri state championship Saturday in St. Peters, Mo., breezing to the title behind five victories in the 12 events. The Hawklets totaled 270 points. Park Hill was second with 172.
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“There’s always a lot of pressure to follow up what the guys have already done. They left us a great legacy,” senior Alex Albracht said. “I think what’s been special about this is how we keep it going. Each year is a unique team that still follows the same mold and tradition of excellence.”
Albracht was in the middle of that excellence Saturday, but he enjoyed plenty of help from his teammates. Albracht won the 100-yard breaststroke and placed second in the 200 individual medley.
Sophomore Collin Nill won the 500 freestyle and took fourth in the 200 freestyle. AJ Iseman captured gold in the 100 butterfly before placing third in the 100 backstroke. David Knopke was second in the one-meter diving competition.
It all started Saturday with a state-record performance in the 200 medley relay.
The team of Albracht, Iseman, Ethan Bock and Trevor Weinrich completed the swim in 1 minute, 35.19 seconds, setting a state record and finishing nearly 2 seconds better than runner up St. Louis University High.
Rockhurst later concluded the championship evening with an even more convincing win in the 400 freestyle relay. It was nearly three seconds better than second-place Park Hill. Nill, Bock, Albracht and Iseman made up that relay team.
An accomplished day, to say the least. How good?
“This is probably the best Day 2 we have ever had,” Rockhurst swim coach Paul Winkeler said. “We had a lot of top-line guys really come through and win events.”
It was an accomplished afternoon for the Park Hill Trojans, too.
Park Hill prevented Rockhurst from the relay sweep when it captured gold in the 200 freestyle relay, using a team of Barry Chang, Danny Jones, Jered Weger and Marcin Glebocki.
That made a two-victory day for Glebocki, who won the 50 freestyle a year after he settled for second place in the event. Glebocki was also second in the 100 freestyle.
Chang was another key figure in the Trojans’ second-place team finish. He took third in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 butterfly.
Lee’s Summit North senior Michael Hynes was second in the 50 freestyle before later taking third in the 100 freestyle.
Staley senior Daniel Maynard was fifth in the 200 individual medley.
Lee’s Summit North finished seventh in the team race, and Staley placed 10th.