The highlights have been rather plentiful for the Rockhurst High School swimming team over the past decade. After all, the Hawklets claimed their 11th straight Missouri state championship over the weekend in St. Peters. Mo.
In other words, when Rockhurst swim coach Paul Winkeler ranks Saturday’s state-meet performance, he has a lot of options from which to choose.
Which made his description all the more meaningful.
“This is probably the best Day 2 we have ever had,” Winkeler said. “We had a lot of top-line guys really come through and win events. Each championship is so different because it involves a different senior class that wants to have it for themselves. That’s why this one was different.”
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Alex Albracht, AJ Iseman and Collin Nill were atop the list of top-line performers.
Nill won the 500-yard freestyle and placed fourth in the 200 freestyle. Iseman won the 100 butterfly and later took third in the 100 backstroke.
Albracht’s victory in the 100 breaststroke was perhaps the most satisfying of them all. He was barely out-touched at the wall in the same event last season and settled for second place.
“I had the heartbreak story last year,” Albracht said. “I really wanted to finish my high school career like this. With the way AJ and Collin had solid swims, I wanted to deliver, too.”
Albracht, Iseman and Nill may have led the way, but a bevy of other swimmers helped fill in the gaps for the team victory.
A team of Albracht, Iseman, Ethan Bock and Trevor Weinrich set a new state record with their victory in the 200 medley relay, which came in 1 minute, 35.19 seconds.
Nill, Bock, Albracht and Iseman won the 400 freestyle relay.
Rockhurst junior David Knopke took third in the one-meter diving competition, and senior Zach Cook was fifth.
“I think this year we had a lot of star power, but we also had everyone find a way to incorporate themselves into the group and contribute,” Albracht said. “Those are the guys who put us over the top to help open the meet up.”
Rockhurst owned the top of the podium Saturday, along with second-place Park Hill, but it was a successful day for other local swimmers, too.
Lee’s Summit North senior Michael Hynes was second in the 50 freestyle before later taking third in the 100 freestyle. The Broncos placed third in the 200 freestyle relay, fifth in the 200 medley relay and took 10th in the final team standings.
Lee’s Summit West junior Garret Spencer placed eighth in the 100 freestyle.
Blue Springs South was fourth in the 200 freestyle relay, and Raytown was eighth in the same race.
Blue Springs South sophomore Kevin Schlenger placed eighth in diving.