Platte County came agonizingly close to taking the team title at its annual home invitational.
In a bunched finish at the top, the Pirates finished four points behind champion St. Joseph Central but three points ahead of third-place Belton on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Platte County Community Center North. The usual suspects continued to shine at the Platte County Invitational, but the Pirates also received big contributions from the rest of the roster, including a big boost from the diving team.
Five on Platte County’s roster boast previous Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships experience, and the Pirates entered with three events qualified this season. That list grew by one Saturday, thanks to another impressive performance from senior Hannah Havemeier.
Continuing her strong push in recent weeks, Havemeier recorded victories in the 100-yard breaststroke (1 minute, 10.55 seconds) and the 100 butterfly. She made a state cut in the breaststroke to join senior teammate Rachel Valentine as a qualifier in that event, while just missing a state time in the butterfly.
Havemeier already qualified for state in the 100 backstroke then set a new school record in the 200 individual medley (2:23.56) on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at Platte County Community Center North, breaking the mark teammate Hailee Baer set last season.
Platte County’s 200 medley relay has also made the state cut, and the group of Havemeier, Valentine, Hailee Baer and Bailey Newell won the event in the Platte County Invitational in 2:02.97 — more than 4 seconds off the season best.
Valentine finished third in the 100 breaststroke for Platte County behind Havemeier and St. Joseph Central standout Audrey Schank. Baer was fourth in the 100 butterfly in another bunched finish for the Pirates.
Platte County’s Riley Schmidt (third, 200 freestyle), Alison Boydston (third, 100 backstroke), Baer (fourth, 200 IM) and Olivia Forrester (fifth, 200 IM) also scored big points. Skyler Perkins and Abigail Newman were 2-3 in the final diving standings in a field of just six.
As the season comes to a close, Platte County has just two meets left, including the Suburban Conference Blue Division Championships scheduled for Feb. 2-4. The Pirates could also use the “last-chance meet” to try and add late state qualifiers.
Last season, Havemeier, Valentine and Forrester all competed at state in the 100 breaststroke. Valentine posted the 14th best preliminary time in the event with a school record time to become the first Platte County swimmer to reach the consolation final of an event since Stephanie Jacobsen in 2002.
The medley relay team of Havemeier, Valentine, Baer and Newell also went to state last year. Platte County has now qualified that event in three consecutive seasons.