Platte County swimming Banark sets school record in freshman debut

Shannon Banark didn’t take long to make a noticeable impact.

In a season-opening meet, the Platte County freshman posted consideration cuts for the Class 1 Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships in both of her individual events. She did so with a school record time of 2 minutes, 19.88 seconds in the 200-yard individual medley in a meet with Park Hill and Pembroke Hill on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Platte County Community Center North.

Banark’s time in her first IM swim for Platte County smashed the previous mark of 2:23.56 that Hannah Havemeier set just last season.

Platte County defeated Pembroke Hill 183-173 and lost to Park Hill 222-141 in the three-team event. Maddie Klippenstein, a freshman, posted the Pirates’ lone individual victory, winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:21.86.

However, Banark became the first beneficiary of the state’s new two class system.

Just like in the boys season, consideration cuts have been added to automatic qualifying standards to ensure a full 32 entrants for all state events. The top non-auto times will be used to fill the fields at the end of the season, increasing the chances for many swimmers of making a cut.

In addition, Banark finished second in the IM and 100 freestyle at 58.59 for her other consideration cut. Platte County’s 200 medley relay of senior Bailey Newell, sophomore Lindsey Swindler, Klippenstein and Banark (2:03.60) and the 400 freestyle relay of senior Riley Schmidt, freshman Sage Nichols, Swindler and Banark (4:23.97) also posted consideration cuts.

Park Hill took two of the relays and won eight of 12 events, while Pembroke Hill took the top three spots in 1-meter diving to score a big portion of its points.

Nani Welsh, Park Hill’s all-state senior, posted automatic qualifying cuts with victories in the 100 freestyle (54.43) and 200 IM (2:15.01). Abigail Culp (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle) and Emma Will (100 butterfly and 100 backstroke) were the Trojans’ other individual winners.

Park Hill’s 200 medley relay of Will, Welsh, Emily Fickenscher and Arian Wharton-Walker posted an automatic state qualifying cut at 1:57.17.

Park Hill South triangular

The hosts posted six automatic state cuts and won 11 of 12 individual events in a season-opening meet with Bishop LeBlond and St. Joseph Central on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Park Hill District Aquatic Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Park Hill South senior Paige Riekhof (200 IM and 100 butterfly) and junior Georgia Clark (200 freestyle and 500 freestyle) won two individual events with automatic cuts. Taylor Young, a junior, also earned her second straight state berth in 1-meter diving with a score of 259.80 as the lone competitor.

Christine Hwang (50 freestyle), Peyton Wiewel (100 backstroke) and Emma Clark (200 breaststroke) also won individual events.

Park Hill South’s 200 medley relay team of Riekhof, Wiewel, Emma Clark and Hwang posted an automatic state cut at 1:56.39. The Panthers’ 200 freestyle (Emma Clark, Georgia Clark, Nadya McCullough and Abbie Day) and 400 freestyle (Riekhof, Georgia Clark, Hwang and Day) were also victorious and posted consideration cuts, just off of the automatic standards.

Park Hill Relays

Park Hill South used a unique four-team meet to add more state cuts and improve another.

In a relays-only event Saturday, Dec. 3 at Park Hill Aquatic Center in Kansas City, Mo., Park Hill South won seven of 12 events with victories in the 200 medley (Georgia Clark, Emma Clark, Riekhof and Hwang) bettering their state time from four days earlier and the 400 freestyle team of Hwang, Day, Riekhof and Emma Clark hitting the mark at 3:48.88 in wins.

Park Hill South also won the 3x200 IM (Day, Wiewel and Georgia Clark), 3x50 butterfly (Eliana Rosario, Paige Snider and Nadja Jacimovic), 4x400 medley (Georgia Clark, Emma Clark, Reikhof and Day) and 3x100 breaststroke (Georgia Clark, Sophie Jaegar and McCullough). Georgia Clark posted an individual state cut in the 100 backstroke as the lead leg of the 400 medley relay, posting a split of 1:01.67 to give the Panthers a commanding lead on the way to a 24-second victory.

Park Hill’s lone win came from Welsh, Fickenscher and Culp in the 3x200 freestyle relay.