Platte County, Park Hill swimming claim Suburban League crowns

Platte County waited a long time just to join a conference for swimming and diving, but the Pirates now have a pair of Suburban League Blue Division crowns in the past seven years. On Oct. 24 and 25, Platte County accrued 481 points to best Kearney by just three points during the Suburban League meet held in Gladstone, Mo. The Pirates held on without an individual champion in a swimming event.

However, Platte County swept the diving with the only three entries — a similar formula that helped the Pirates win the Joe Arbisi Tiger Invitational on Oct. 11 in Sedalia, Mo.

Justin Richardson, (298.15) Bryce Bearden (265.15) and Bradley Bearden (252.81) took home gold, silver and bronze, respectively, while scoring crucial points for Platte County, which was without the services of Josh Richardson (illness) in the finals. Josh Richardson posted the fastest qualifying time in the 100-meter butterfly in Friday’s preliminaries (58.57 seconds).

Conner St. Louis placed second in the event (1:07.55) after qualifying second. Josh Richardson posted his fastest time at the Pirates inaugural home invitational at 57.78 just over a second slower than the state cut at 56.49.

After starting the program in the late 1990s, Platte County didn’t have conference competition until moving from the Midland Empire Conference to the Suburban League in 2007. The Pirates won Blue Division crown in 2008 on the strength of two individuals and two relays, which made the Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships cut in six total events.

Only one other event has qualified since after a dramatic drop in required time.

Suburban League Red Division

Park Hill and Park Hill South finished first and second, respectively, in a tightly-contested team standings Oct. 24 and 25 at the league meet at Henley Aquatics Center in Independence, Mo. The Trojans finished with 522½ points besting their rivals by nine (513½).

Park Hill collected eight of the 11 event championships with Park Hill South claiming four. Park Hill South’s Ian Morgan and Park Hill’s Evan Donnelly finished in a dead heat in the 500 freestyle and split the championship and available points after both finished in 4:53.34.

Barry Chang collected two individual titles (200 IM; 159.69 and 100 Backstroke; 54.68) for Park Hill and swam the opening leg of two winning relays (400 freestyle with Evan Donnelly, Jered Weger, and Marcin Globocki 3:17.83; 200 freestyle with Weger, Globocki and Danny Jones 1:30.29).

Globocki also collected two individual titles in the 50 freestyle (21.66) and 100 freestyle (48.52). The junior placed second in the 50 free at state last season with a 21.15-second performance. His fastest time this year 21.63, second-fastest in the state behind Webb City’s Jacob Schultz (21.48) going in to the last-chance qualifying meets set for Nov. 1.

Chang qualified for state in every individual event this season but can only enter two at the state meet. He swam the 200 IM and 100 backstroke last year, earning a spot in the consolation finals in both events.

Travis Colpitts (100 fly; 55.22) and Daniel Miller (100 breast; 1:03.18) were the individual champions for Park Hill South, which also claimed the 200 medley relay (Miller, Colpitts, Ben Milburn and Alexei Milburn) in 1:42.42.