Suburban swimming roundup: Panthers take 5th at COMO Invitational

Park Hill South posted a top-five finish and Platte County saw an automatic state qualifying time cut made during the COMO Invitational held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 4-5 at the Mizzou Aquatic Center in Columbia.

In a field of 30-plus teams from all over the state of Missouri, the Panthers racked up 160½ points and came in fifth, one spot behind Liberty North. St. Louis schools Marquette (first) and Cor Jesu Academy (third) and Columbia Rock Bridge (second) rounded out the top five.

Submitted photo  Park Hill South’s Georgia Clark won the 200 IM on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the COMO ßInvitational.

Submitted photo

Park Hill South’s Georgia Clark won the 200 IM on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the COMO ßInvitational.

Platte County finished 21st in the standings.

Iowa signee Georgia Clark won the 200-yard individual medley (2:08.37) and added a runner-up finish in the 100 backstroke (56.72) for Park Hill South.

Clark was seeded fifth after prelims in the 200 IM, but dropped nearly three seconds off her time to pick up the win. In the backstroke, she dropped nearly three seconds as well after being seeded sixth going into the ‘A’ finals

Park Hill South got a runner-up finish from senior Taylor Young, who was second in the 1-meter diving with 395.25 points.

In the 50 freestyle, Platte County’s Shannon Banark was third (24.98), while Park Hill South’s Christine Hwang (25.07) tied for fourth with Blue Spring South’s Raegan Hecker. In that same race, Sophia Jaeger (12th), Lola Reuscher (15th) and Amelia Lee (24th) all placed for the Panthers.

There were 150 swimmers that competed in that race.

In the 200 medley relay, Park Hill South got a fifth-place showing from the team of Georgia Clark, Emma Clark, Alexis Colpitts and Hwang. Platte County’s team of Banark, Maddie Klippenstein, Julia Blanchard and Ashlyn Pope was 19th.

South’s team of Reuscher, Lee, Jaeger and Hwang was sixth in the 200 freestyle relay. In the 400 freestyle relay, Park Hill South took eighth. Reuscher, Emma Clark, Georgia Clark and Jaeger comprised the team.

Banark, a sophomore, added an 11th-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly, while Park Hill South’s Sydney Staebell took 24th.

Hwang was 14th in a field of 143 in the 100 freestyle.

Klippenstein, a sophomore, was 16th in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.67 in prelims) to earn her automatic spot at the state meet. Colpitts was 23rd, while Natalie Maris was 15th for Park Hill South in the race.

Staebell (19th), Emma Clark (21st) and Maris (22nd) competed in the 200 IM that Georgia Clark won. In the 100 backstroke, Emma Clark was 13th and Kaitlyn Morris was 20th.

Ozark Invitational

Park Hill trekked to southwest Missouri on Saturday, Jan. 5 to take part in the Ozark Invitational at Hickory Hills Middle School in Springfield and brought home a title.

The Trojans had 332 points, easily beating Springfield Glendale (278) and Poplar Bluff (204).

Senior Brooklyn Pierce won a pair of individual events and was part of a winning relay team for Park Hill. She won the 50-yard freestyle (24.92) and took first in the 100 butterfly (59.34), a race where teammates Emily Fickenscher (sixth) and Arielle Janssens (seventh) also placed.

In the 400 freestyle relay, Pierce, Abigail Culp, Emma Will and Janssens finished in 3:45.98, posting nearly a 16-second victory against runner-up Glendale.

Culp added a first in the 200 freestyle (2:01.88), with Fickenscher taking eighth. Culp, a senior and Missouri-St. Louis signee, was second in the 500 freestyle (5:29.53) and teammate Emma Owen, a freshman, was seventh.

Will had a pair of seconds (200 IM and 100 backstroke), while Janssens as third in the 200 IM.

Pierce, Culp, Will and Fickenscher was second in the 200 medley relay (1:56.87).

The 200 freestyle relay team of Elissa Woods, Emily Wickerham, Grace Hagner and Janssens was fifth, while Maggie Redinger was seventh in the 100 breaststroke.