Platte County finally ended a lengthy state qualifier drought but finding a way to return some events and end an even longer streak could prove difficult.
Last season, the Pirates qualified seven events to the Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships, the first group to compete at state since Drew Cordova went in 2009. They hadn’t sent multiple entries since 2008.
The diving program reached new heights, while a diverse group of swimmers made a late season push to create a memorable trip to the state meet.
Justin Richardson, one of five senior state qualifiers, became the first from Platte County to qualify for state last season and went on to win the Suburban Conference Blue Division championship in 1-meter diving. Bryce Bearden finished second to him in diving but also reached state with his performance in the league meet.
That turned out to be the start of a memorable weekend.
While John Cogdill qualified for state in his junior season the week ahead of the Blue Division championships, junior Caden DeLay (100 breaststroke) and departed senior Nick Kunels (50 freestyle) also made individual cuts. DeLay, Cogdill, Kunels and departed senior Josh Richardson also set the school record in the 200 medley relay to reach state.
Cogdill joined DeLay in the 100 breastroke field at state.
Of that historic group, only DeLay returns with Cogdill not going back out for the team. Only three seniors appear on the roster of 24.
Platte County coach Bret Anderson also hopes to have all-around junior Jerry Orozco and sophomores Alex Beall and Hunter Bowen take a step forward.
Joe Ragone and Baxter Stone are both freshmen but have prior experience and could make an immediate impact.