South takes Northland swimming invite title; Park Hill nabs state spots

Park Hill South came away with the Northland Invitational title without winning an individual event Saturday, Aug. 22 at the Park Hill District Aquatic Center, but it was rival Park Hill who lit up the stop watch. The Panthers earned 303 points to beat out Liberty North by 15 for the top spot in the 12-team field. Liberty took third with 282 points, while Park Hill came in fourth, 29½ points back of Park Hill South, which finished just outside the top 10 at last year’s Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships.

Park Hill South’s top finishers were freshman Jackson Garrett and sophomore Cody Beeler. Garrett took third in the 100-yard backstroke (58.50 seconds), while Garret matched that finish in the 100 breastroke (1:04.86).

Both narrowly missed hitting state cuts in the season’s first meet.

Park Hill, which finished second at state last year, posted seven state qualifying times, including two apiece for Marcin Glebocki and Danny Jones in individual events.

The returning state champion in the 50 freestyle, Glebocki won the 100 freestyle in 47.78 second and came in second in the 200 freestyle (1:48.21). Jones, a junior, made it back to state in the 100 butterfly, posting a time of 54.90. He placed 15th at state in that event last year.

Jones also placed third in the 200 individual medley, his 2:05.87 good enough to top the state standard. Jered Weger made the only other individual state cut, placing fourth in the 500 freestyle at 5:05.00. Glebocki, Jones and Weger also swam on victorious 200 and 400 freestyle relays, which also qualified for state. Sean Cogley swam the other leg on the 200 relay, while Daniel Spielhagen was part of the 400 relay team.

Platte County finished seventh and will continue searching for the program’s first state qualifier since 2010.

Pirates senior Nick Kunels earned the highest finish in the swimming events, coming in fourth in the 50 freestyle (23.40). He missed the state cut by just under a half second (22.99). The best finish for Platte County came on the diving board with Justin Richardson taking second and teammate Bryce Bearden coming in just behind him.

John Cogdill placed fifth in 100 breaststroke and sixth in the 100 butterfly for Platte County. He also swam on the sixth place 200 medley relay with Korey Presnell, Josh Richardson and Kunels. The 400 freestyle relay of Josh Richardson, Presnell, Kunels and Bailey Shepherd also placed sixth.