Park Hill South takes 2nd at Ozark Invitational

Amanda Sullivan
Special to the Citizen

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Park Hill and Park Hill South boys swim teams competed in the Ozark Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14, and returned home satisfied with the results.

Park Hill South’s team placed second in the invitational, and Park Hill placed fourth.

“We had a lot of the best times for the year, so I’m happy with how it went,” South head coach Tim Busenhart said of his team.

The Rockhurst Hawklets earned the team gold, but Busenhart said the team traveled to focus more on schools in its class. The Panthers also swam in a meet on Friday evening before competing in Saturday’s 10-hour meet.

“We were a little sluggish — we swam in a meet that lasted over three hours (on Friday), so that was a little tiring,” Busenhart said. “We ended up where I thought we would end up — second place. Rockhurst is really good, but they weren’t really our focus since they’re not in our class. Our focus was seeing the other competition in our class.”

The Panthers left their mark on the invitational, starting with junior transfer Ethan Roach.

Roach headlined the team’s performance with golds in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke.

Junior diver Greyson Langer brought home a gold of his own in the 1-meter diving competition.

Several others brought home medals for South — the Panthers had top-three finishes in 10 events.

“Overall, for the weekend, we did really, really well between both of (the meets),” Busenhart said.

Park Hill’s fourth place was a piece of satisfaction for assistant coach David Gourley.

AMANDA SULLIVAN/Special to the Citizen  Park Hill’s Eli Stammler competes in the butterfly event on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Ozark Invitational in Ozark, Mo.

AMANDA SULLIVAN/Special to the Citizen

Park Hill’s Eli Stammler competes in the butterfly event on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Ozark Invitational in Ozark, Mo.

Gourley said he was proud of the team’s performance and improvements.

While the Trojans didn’t take home any top-3 medals, their consistency of top 10 times brought them success.

“We saw some best times and some improvements out of some of our athletes, so it went really well,” Gourley said.

Placing higher in the tournament was a sweet moment for the Trojans because in the week leading up to it, Gourley said the Park Hill Aquatic Center had a water main break. 

A meet on Tuesday, Sept. 10, was cancelled and the team practiced at a different location.

The next meet for the Panthers is at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Lee’s Summit Aquatic Center. Park Hill South competed against Rockhurst on Tuesday, Sept. 17, but results were not available by press time.

The Trojans will compete at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Gladstone Community Center in the North Kansas City Invitational. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, Park Hill hosts Kearney at the Park Hill Aquatic Center.

Independence Invitational

Platte County took fourth place at the two-day Independence Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14 at the Henley Aquatic Center.

The Pirates had 182 points, coming in behind Lee’s Summit North (345), Columbia Rock Bridge (227) and Liberty (222).

The best finish for the Pirates came from Ryan Dye, Baxter Stone, Joe Ragone and Rhett Spell. The team took second in the 200-yard medley relay.

Central Quad

Platte County swept the three other teams at a quad on Sept. 11 against St. Joseph Central, Savannah and Smithville.

The Pirates beat Smithville, 141-115; 157-77 against Savannah and 160-130 against Central.

Baxter Stone had a part in both of the Pirates’ first-place finish.  He won the 200-yard freestyle (1:59.95) and joined Ryan Dye, Joe Ragone and Rhett Spell in winning the 400 freestyle with a 22-second cushion over runner-up Central.

Stone was second in the 100 freestyle, with Dye taking third in the same race. Platte County went 2-3 in the 500 freestyle (Mateo Herrera/Regan Koch) and 200 IM (Ragone/Collin Burton).

Brice Bills was third in the 100 butterfly and Ragone was third in the 100 backstroke. Platte County was third in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay.

Platte County hosted a meet on Tuesday, Sept. 17 with Smithville, Park Hill and Kansas City East. Results from that event were not available by press time. The next meet for Bret Anderson’s Pirates will be on Wednesday, Sept. 25 facing Belton at the Belton Community Center starting at 5 p.m.