Park Hill understands the slim margins of the Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships.
During the past two seasons, the Trojans have reached unprecedented success with back-to-back top-four team finishes against the state’s best. However, they dropped from second in the final standings in 2014 to fourth last season despite two more state championship performances.
Park Hill lost two all-state seniors but have plenty of reason to expect another trophy-winning season.
Danny Jones, Sean Cogley, Daniel Spielhagen, Evan Donnelly and Thor Mardis — all seniors — return with state experience. Jones won three medals, including swimming on the state champion 200-yard freestyle relay with Cogley. Jones and Spielhagen were on the third-place 400 freestyle relay that finished just more than a tenth of a second out of second place.
Jones now has eight state medals to his credit and won three last year, including a 15th-place finish in the 100 butterfly.
Donnelly made the consolation final of the 500 freestyle and placed 14th and medaled for the third straight time in that event. In addition, Mardis qualified for state, and freshmen Jordan Timmerman, Alex Dunleavy and Mark Foster have the potential to qualify in their first season, according to coach Karl Haley.
Park Hill’s losses were significant in two-time 50 freestyle state champion Marcin Glebocki, who finished his career with 12 state medals. Along with Jered Weger, he helped the 200 freestyle relay to a second straight state title. Both also swam on the 400 relay.
Weger also earned all-state honors in the 200 and 100 freestyle.