Park Hill South swimming wins 16th consecutive conference title

Park Hill South continued an almost unimaginable streak Saturday, Feb. 4 in Independence, Mo. The Panthers topped the Suburban Conference Red Division standings at Henley Aquatic Center to win their 16th consecutive league title — a streak dating back to before some of the current swimmers were born.

With 565 points, Park Hill South easily outdistanced Liberty North (second place) and Liberty (third place) for the title.

The Panthers won seven of 12 events, including a sweep of the three relays, and posted a pair of 1-2-3 finishes in a dominant effort. They even added one more event to their long list of qualifiers for the upcoming Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships.

Paige Riekhof led the way for Park Hill South with victories in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 56.40 seconds) and 100 butterfly (58.59). She also swam on the Panthers’ victorious 200 medley relay with Peyton Wiewel, Kirsten Aken and Nadya McCullough and 400 freestyle relay with Sophie Jaeger, Allison Garrett and Georgia Clark.

Garrett and Clark had the other two individual wins for Park Hill South, which has dominated the Red Division in recent years.

In the 200 individual medley, Clark finished first in 2:08.16 to win by more than 6 seconds with teammates Garrett and Aken in second and third. Garrett then won the 100 breaststroke with Aken and Alexis Colpitts right behind her in another top-three sweep for the Panthers.
Colpitts’ time of 1:13.20 gave her a qualifying mark for state in the event.

In addition to the wins, Clark (100 backstroke) and Taylor Young (1-meter diving) also had runner-up showings for Park Hill South. Young is the Panthers’ lone state qualifier in diving having finished 20th at state as a freshman — the best placement for a freshman last season.

Behind standout Tori Beeler and others, Park Hill South posted three straight third-place finishes at state from 2014-2016. The Panthers will be in search of another state trophy this year from Friday to Saturday, Feb. 17-18 at Rec-Plex in St. Peters, Mo.