The final entries came in, and the new two class system yielded the biggest Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships’ contingent yet for Platte County.
In all, five individuals in eight events and all three relays will travel this weekend at Rec-Plex in St. Peters, Mo. The Pirates will compete in Class 1 with a chance to score some big points based off the rankings going into the meet.
With the division of teams, the state added consideration cuts to the qualifying system, assuring 32 entrants in each event.
Caden DeLay — a senior and three-time state qualifier — leads Platte County, ranked No. 3 in the 100-yard breaststroke and No. 6 in the 50 freestyle. Last season, he placed 16th in the consolation final of the breaststroke to become just the second swimmer in program history to score a state point.
In addition, Platte County junior Alex Beall ranks No. 10 in the backstroke as the only other automatic qualifier for the Pirates.
The key to scoring points will be with the relays with each swimmer limited to two individual events. Platte County’s 200 medley team, an automatic qualifier, has the fifth-fastest time in the field, while the 200 freestyle (15th) and/or 400 freestyle (17th) could push for a top 16 preliminary time.
Isaac Cook, a sophomore, ranks No. 10 in 1-meter diving for Class 1 despite not having an auto qualifying score during the season. He will become the first diver in Platte County history to compete at state after an entry error disqualified Bryce Bearden in 2015.
Park Hill South will also be in Class 1 relying on one star and three relays.
Jackson Garrett, a junior and three-time state qualifier, goes into state at No. 2 in the 100 backstroke and No. 10 in the 100 freestyle. He already has six all-state performances in his career with the Panthers, who finished 14th a year ago with one class in state and one a state trophy as recently as 2011 (fourth).
Overall, Park Hill South has 23 total entries at state this season, including four other individual events ranked in the top 16.
Zander Livingston, a freshman, goes into the meet 11th in the 500 freestyle and 15th in the 200 freestyle along with freshman Clell Burdiss (No. 15, 500 freestyle) and senior Isaac Smith (16th, 100 freestyle). The Panthers’ 200 medley (ninth), 200 freestyle (sixth) and 400 freestyle (seventh) relays all have strong qualifying marks.
In Class 2, Park Hill will have 15 state events.
Only sophomore Jordan Timmerman (14th, 100 freestyle), 200 freestyle relay (seventh), senior Zack O’Conor (13th, 100 breaststroke) and 400 freestyle relay (10th) rank in the top 16 going into preliminaries. The Trojans — runners-up in the Suburban Conference Gold Division — finished 18th at state last year after being fourth in 2015 and second in 2014.
MISSOURI STATE SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIERS
1-meter diving — 27. Mark Foster, so., Park Hill; 200 medley relay — 19. Park Hill; 200 freestyle — 23. Alex Dunlevy, so., Park Hill; 29. Sam Duesterhaus, jr., Park Hill; 30. Jacob Fickenscher, fr., Park Hill; 200 IM —29. Patrick Lee, jr., Park Hill; 100 butterfly — 22. Nick Dieffenbach, jr., Park Hill; 100 freestyle — 14. Jordan Timmerman, so., Park Hill; 23. Hunter Dieffenbach, jr., Park Hill; 500 freestyle — 20. Alex Dunlevy, so., Park Hill; 23. Jacob Fickenscher, fr., Park Hill; 28. Sam Duesterhaus, jr., Park Hill; 200 freestyle relay — 7. Park Hill; 100 breaststroke — 13. Zack O’Conor, sr., Park Hill; 400 freestyle relay — 10. Park Hill
1-meter diving — 10. Isaac Cook, so., Platte County; 200 medley relay — 5. Platte County; 9. Park Hill South; 200 freestyle — 15. Zander Livingston, fr., Park Hill South; 200 IM — 22. Chris Wissmann, fr., Park Hill South; 23. Finn Hefferren, fr., Park Hill South; 50 freestyle — 6. Caden DeLay, sr., Platte County; 23. Isaac Smith, sr., Park Hill South; 26. Isaac Lee, jr., Park Hill South; 100 butterfly — 22. Chris Wissmann, fr., Park Hill South; 24. Cody Beeler, sr., Park Hill South; 100 freestyle — 10. Jackson Garrett, jr., Park Hill South; 16. Isaac Smith, sr., Park Hill South; 26. Jerry Orozco, sr., Platte County; 27. Isaac Lee, jr., Park Hill South; 31. Alex Beall, jr., Platte County; 500 freestyle — 11. Zander Livingston, fr., Park Hill South; 16. Clell Burdiss, fr., Park Hill South; 19. Zane Reavley, fr., Park Hill South; 27. Fletcher Burns, so., Park Hill South; 200 freestyle relay — 6. Park Hill South; 15. Platte County; 100 backstroke — 2. Jackson Garrett, jr., Park Hill South; 10. Alex Beall, jr., Platte County; 21. Fletcher Burns, so., Park Hill South; 23. Nate Shaw, fr., Park Hill South; 28. Jerry Orozco, sr., Platte County; 100 breaststroke — 3. Caden DeLay, sr., Platte County; 17. Cody Beeler, sr., Park Hill South; 29. Baxter Stone, so., Platte County; 400 freestyle relay — 7. Park Hill South; 17. Platte County