In a meet filled with several top teams from around the Kansas City area on the Missouri side, it was Rock Bridge from Columbia that came out on top on Saturday at the Independence Invitational at the Henley Aquatic Center.
With 349 points, five total wins and a bevy of swimmers in the top six of most events, the Bruins were a tough act to catch by the Kansas City schools represented.
Still, some of the top teams in the Southland managed to stay on Rock Bridge’s heals throughout the Invitational.
Lee’s Summit North’s second-place finish of 300 points allowed the Broncos to be in the mix until the last race — the 400-yard freestyle relay, which they won with the foursome of Josh Littell, Brady Benefiel, Thomas Faulkenberry and Michael Hynes with a time of 3 minutes, 34.03 seconds.
The Broncos also took home first place in the 200-yard freestyle relay, with a time of 1:32:66, featuring the same four swimmers.
Josh Littell captured the only individual win for Lee’s Summit North on Saturday, winning the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 53.22.
Lee’s Summit North also won the diving competition on Friday, when Brennen Dooley’s total score of 372.50 points bested a pack of competitors from Blue Springs South who were right on his heels.
Blue Springs South had an impressive showing of their own on Saturday, putting together a third-place team performance of 260 points.
The dominant swimmer for Blue Springs South was Dominic Baber, who notched two victories. Baber edged out Garrett Spencer of Lee’s Summit West by .03 of a second to win the 100-yard freestyle.
Baber was also the only swimmer to finish under 23 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.99 seconds, which helped move the Jaguars up the standings. Kevin Schlenger, Noah Hardin and Josh Gouldsmith finished in the top four in one-meter diving on Friday, which helped Blue Springs South jump ahead of some teams.
Lee’s Summit West finished the meet with the overall score of 212 points, which put them at fourth place among the 19 teams competing. Nik Ekborg-Ott was one of the top placers for the Titans with his time of 23.54 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, which placed third. Garrett Spencer almost pulled out a win over Dominic Baber, but finished in second place.
Raytown placed seventh in the meet with 115 points, just edging out Raymore-Peculiar, which ended up with 114 points. The top swimmer for Raytown was Tristen Caudle, who finished in third place in both the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. In the 500 free, Caudle (5:13.82) was beat out by two swimmers from Rock Bridge.
Lee’s Summit finished ninth as a team, but still had a strong swimmer. Sam Drew was the top Tiger on Saturday, finishing in third place in the 100 backstroke and fourth place in the 100 butterfly.
Truman. the host school, finished 12th place in their invitational.