In the inaugural Platte County Invitational, the Pirates senior won the 100-yard breaststroke — one of two individual titles in the program’s first home meet. Junior Justin Richardson won the 100 butterfly to pick up the Pirates’ other gold medal.
“I felt nothing but excitement because I cut time, and I did get first,” said Jeans, who finished in 1 minute 12.98 seconds, good for a 1.5 second margin of victory. “It meant the world to me. I was so nervous beforehand about getting (disqualified) and ruining the point system for the team. I knew I had to get first. I had everything to lose and nothing to gain.”
Platte County finished second in the eight-team standings with 409 points — 52 behind champions the junior varsity from state powerhouse Rockhurst.
Richardson outraced everyone in the top-flight heat for the butterfly in a personal-best 57.78. His time plummeted in an event he didn’t start the season swimming, and he now sits about a second away from the Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships qualifying mark of 56.49.
Platte County last had a qualifier in 2010 when Drew Cordova made the trip.
“It felt amazing,” said Richardson, now benefiting like the rest of his teammates with increased practice time since the competition pool at the community center opened this past summer to provide a true home venue for the program. “I’ve been trying to drop time. I finally found something I was able to drop time with. It’s just one step closer to state, which is my ultimate goal this year.”
Platte County previously hosted a quad at the brand-new natatorium in the tax-payer funded expansion to the YMCA-run building. All winners now hold the meet record in a facility still in the infancy of its competition utilization.
“I told them I would be running around doing a lot of stuff,” Platte County coach Bret Anderson said. “A lot of the things they would be doing on their own. I’ve got a pretty mature group that can take care of themselves. They kind of coached themselves, took care of themselves. At a meet, I don’t have to do a lot of work.”