PC swimming debuts new home with quad

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Swimmers prepare to enter the water during Platte County's home quad with St. Pius X, Raytown and St. Joseph Central on Sept. 23 at Platte County Community Center North. It was the first home meet in the Pirates program's history. A lot of factors came together before Platte County’s first true home swim meet.

Members of the team have made several adjustments after the permanent move to the Platte County Community Center North this season following the recent multi-million-dollar expansion of the facility thanks to a cooperative agreement between the city, county and school district. The Pirates have been practicing in the new competition pool located just a short trip from the high school since the beginning of the season, but they hosted St. Joseph Central, Raytown and St. Pius X in a quad Tuesday afternoon for the first home competition in program history.

Final results were not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

“It’s the first time to represent Platte County at our home,” Platte County senior swimmer Jon Jeans said ahead of the meet. “It just brings pride to everybody. I’m pretty nervous about it because it my first time swimming in front of my peers. I’m very nervous, but I’m pumped to beat everybody. Everybody is going to be energetic. I just can’t wait for it.”

Platte County coach Bret Anderson also spent significant time preparing for the opening quad.

The long-time coach needs to master the electronic timing software used, and staff at the YMCA have helped bring him up to speed. In addition to the quad, Platte County hosts a home invitational Oct. 4.

“For myself, there’s quite a bit of nervousness,” Anderson said. “I’ve found out that everything will work out. There’s a lot of people that are willing to help out. … I’m glad to have them there because they have a lot of knowledge, and they are extremely helpful. A lot of parents are offering a lot of help. I’m going to use every resource available.”

Platte County now takes advantage of the eight-lane pool that features an adjustable bulkhead that converts the pool from yards to meters.

The move has meant more pool time for the team. Previously the team commuted by bus to Leavenworth, Kan., to the Leavenworth Community Center. The lack of commute has given the Pirates nearly an hour longer each day in the pool.

“We’ve been progressing really well,” Platte County senior swimmer Jorge Orozco said. “We’ve got a good sense of what it means to be a swimmer. We’ve had a lot more time to prepare. Coming straight here and practicing has been a big improvement. It gets us more prepared for fighting.”

For now, the focus remains on trying to qualify an event for this year’s Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships. Platte County hasn’t sent a representative since Drew Cordova made the cut in 2010.

Platte County earned a 10th-place finish at the North Kansas City Invitational on Saturday. The Pirates earned 89 points on the day, 220 behind winner Park Hill’s 309 team points. John Cogdill’s ninth-place finish in the 200-meter individual medley (2:16.33) was the best finish for Platte County in the swimming portion, while Justin Richardson claimed fifth in the 1-meter diving event.