ST. PETERS, Mo. — Alex Beall made the most of his last time swimming for Platte County.
The senior helped set two state records and added an all-state medal on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the MSHSAA Class 1 State Swimming and Diving Championships held at the St. Peters Rec-Plex.
Beall’s final career tally five school record and while he isn’t in the Caden DeLay stratosphere, Beall became the face of the Pirates this year filling in a leadership role for the Missouri State swimmer who graduated last year.
“Caden was an amazing leader and he is one of my best friends,” Beall said. “To see him on a travel team for a D-1 school is a lot to live up to and it is hard to explain. It is scary to follow something like that.”
The meet was the final one for Beall who will join the U.S. Marine Corps in January, following graduation the month prior.
Beall earned an all-state medal in the 100-yard backstroke by placing sixth (53.95 seconds), while also earning honorable mention all-state honors for a 14th-place showing in the 100 freestyle (49.87).
“The last race, it wasn’t my race,” Beall said of the 100 backstroke, which Cape Girardeau Central’s Jacob Bening won in a new state record 50.89. “My race was the finals in conference (where he won and set a new Suburban Conference Blue Division record) and I’m happy with that.”
He then joined sophomore Ryan Dye and juniors Rhett Spell and Baxter Stone on the 200 medley relay that was 10th in the consolation finals and the time of 1:42.30 was a new school record.
“The medley was really close at conference, we had a two second drop,” Stone said. “Shoot, we are close, so we might be able to get it. Getting a school record is something I have been chasing for a while. All of them got on there last year, it is exciting for me to be up there with it.”
On the final race of the day, Spell, Dye, junior Joe Ragone and Beall swam 3:24.48 to take 11th place in the 400 freestyle relay — also setting a new school record again. That team broke the mark — which was set in 2008 — twice this season.
Platte County had the 200 freestyle relay qualify for state and they took 20th place.
“Having those guys swim as well as they did in the relays makes me feel really good,” said Platte County coach Bret Anderson, whose team finished 16th in Class 1. “I felt like they were swimming for each other. Our guys do that all the time. They worry more about each other than their own swims. About half-way through the year, they realized that they didn't need Caden to be successful. They were doing on their own. They realized that they were good.”
Stone was 11th in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.09) and Spell was 12th in the 50 freestyle, a three-spot jump in the consolation finals from the prelims.