Platte County swimming awarded conference title after score change

Platte County unexpectedly ended up with another honor to add to an already record-breaking season. The Pirates were awarded the Suburban League Blue Division team title — the first in program history — this week after officials discovered Kearney made an entry error for its 200-yard freestyle relay team. The mistake wasn’t discovered until well after the meet concluded on Feb. 7 in Gladstone, Mo.

Bob Glasgow, executive Director of the Greater Kansas City Suburban League, met with officials from the Missouri State High School Activities Association before ruling on the disqualification of Kearney’s relay team.

Kearney lost 40 points from its winning team score, while Platte County gained six, pushing the Pirates from second to first by a margin of 13.

The disqualification also gave the 200 freestyle relay title to the Pirates’ team of Hannah Havemeier, Olivia Forrester, Hailee Baer and Lauren Earnest, who finished in 1 minute, 46.70 seconds. Kearney’s disqualified team finished in 1:45.66.

Officials disqualified Platte County’s 200 medley relay, which previously qualified for the Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships in January, on the day of the meet after a swimmer left the block too early. That originally cost the Pirates critical team points in a second-place finish in the Blue Division meet.

In addition to the 200 medley relay team of Earnest, Havemeier, Baer, and Rachel Valentine, Earnest (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke), Forrester (100 breaststroke) and Havemeier (100 butterfly) will compete in individual events at state this weekend in St. Peters, Mo. Valentine went on to earn a state qualifying mark in the 100 breaststroke in a last-chance meet last week.

Platte County sends swimmers to state for the first time since 2003, and previously, only Stephanie Jacobsen reached state as an individual.

Swimming begins on Friday, Feb. 20 with the preliminaries for all swimmers who made the cut. The finals are held on Saturday, Feb. 21 with the top 16 swimmers and relay teams in each event competing.