Platte County scored only 12 points in an elite 31-team field Saturday, Jan. 7, but the Pirates added two more qualifiers for the Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships.
The strong competition brought out some of Platte County’s best performances this season, starting in the 200-yard medley relay. The Pirates’ team of Bailey Newell, Rachel Valentine, Hannah Havemeier and Hailee Baer started off with a state cut in preliminaries to reach the B final.
Platte County’s time of 1 minute, 58.21 seconds not only put the Pirates in position to score team points in the meet but also returned the group to state. They swam 2:02.20 in the finals dropping from 11th-fastest in preliminaries to a 16th-place finish.
The medley relay has now qualified for state in three consecutive seasons.
Havemeier also made the B final in the 100 breaststroke and then posted a state cut in the final. She qualified 15th out of preliminaries but lowered her time to 1:12.23 in the finals to place 12th and post her state cut.
This marks Havemeier’s first qualification in the event, although she made state in the 100 butterfly last season. She placed 20th in the C final of that event in the COMO Invitational, one of three C final finishes that didn’t earn points for the Pirates.
Valentine (23rd, 100 breaststroke) and Baer (21st, 200 individual medley) were the other C final qualifiers for Platte County.
The last of the team points for Platte County came from Skylear Perkins in the 1-meter diving competition. She didn’t approach her season best of 335.50, but her score of 311.95 placed her 12th out of 60 divers at the meet, earning five points.
Platte County’s 12 points put the Pirates 28th in the 31-team field.
Prior to the meet, only Valentine had made a state cut this season. She qualified in the 100 breaststroke in early December to reach state in the event for a third straight year.
Last year, Valentine posted the 14th best qualifying time at state to set the school record in 1:09.57. She finished 16th overall and became just the second swimmer for the Pirates to earn honorable mention all-state honors.
Park Hill South and Park Hill dominated the eight-team field Saturday, Jan. 7 in Gladstone, Mo., but Park Hill South remained unbeaten on the season, running away with the team title.
Behind victories in six of 12 events, Park Hill South racked up 463 points to beat the Trojans by more than 100. Park Hill came in 16 points in front of third-place Staley.
Paige Riekhof and Georgia Clark continued their standout seasons with two wins apiece for Park Hill South. Riekhof topped the 200 freestyle field with a tight win over Park Hill standout Nani Welsh, who also had the Trojans’ only individual win.
Riekhof’s other win came in the 100 butterfly (58.66).
Clark dominated the 100 backstroke with the only sub-1 minute time, while also leading a 1-2 finish for the Panthers in the 200 individual medley. Kirsten Aken finished second in the medley with Park Hill’s Emma Will in third place.
Welsh’s win came in a 100 freestyle with Park Hill South senior Allison Garrett in second and Park Hill’s Brooklyn Pierce in third. Garrett did top the 100 breaststroke field, coming in ahead of Aken and Park Hill’s Sophia Lane.
Park Hill did win both the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay, while Park Hill South closed the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay (Clark, Riekhof, Garrett and Aken).
Park Hill South’s runner-up finishes also included Taylor Young (1-meter diving) and Nadya McCullough (50 freestyle). Park Hill’s Abigail Culp was second in the 500 freestyle.