Suburban Swimming Roundup: Park Hill South claims conference title

Platte County swept the podium in the 200 individual medley, but the big points couldn’t overcome Kearney in the Suburban Conference Blue Division Swimming and Diving Championships which wrapped up on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Lee’s Summit Aquatic Center in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

The three-day event featured preliminaries on Thursday, Feb. 1, diving on Friday, Feb. 2 and the finals on Saturday, Feb. 3.

The Bulldogs paced the field by nearly 100 points, finishing with 525 to Platte County’s 438.

The Pirates best finish came in the 200 individual medley with Shannon Banark taking the top spot in 2 minutes 16.81 seconds. Sage Nichols followed nearly 20 seconds behind the freshman who holds the fifth-fastest time in the rankings entering the Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships. Lindsey Swindler took the third spot on the podium, finishing in 2:37.61.

Banark added a second-place finish in the 100 butterfly 1:02.12, nearly two seconds behind Kearney’s Morgan Bonderer (1:00.51). Bailey Newell claimed the Pirates other second-place showing by taking silver in the 100 backstroke (1:06.87).

Nichols earned one of the Pirates two third-place efforts, getting bronze in the 500 freestyle (6:08.02). Natalie Wolbert was the other third-place finisher in the 100 freestyle (1:01.48).

The Pirates finished second in two of the three relay events (200 medley, finishing in a dead heat with Belton, tying for second 2:00.81 and 200 freestyle 1:47.19). The team took third in the final relay, the 400 freestyle.

Suburban Gold

The Trojans finished sixth in the seven-team field at the Suburban Conference Gold Division Swimming and Diving Championships.

Park Hill claimed two wins, both coming from senior standout Nani Welsh who topped the field in the 200 freestyle (1:56.56) and the 100 freestyle (53.01).

Arianna Wharton-Walker claimed the next best finish, a third-place showing in the 50 freestyle (25.27) — which was an automatic state cut. With the freestyle success, the Trojans finished third in the 400 freestyle relay (3:46.88).

Suburban Red

Park Hill South won its 17th straight conference title by dominating the field at the Suburban Red Division Swimming and Diving Championships in Independence, Mo.

The Panthers had five first-place finishes — two by Kansas bound Paige Riekhof. She won the 200 freestyle (1:55.00) and set the new Suburban Conference record in the 100 butterfly at 58.50 — the only one in the finals to break 1 minute.

Riekhof joined Emma Clark, Georiga Clark and Sophie Jaeger on the winning 200 medley relay team. The 200 freestyle relay team of the Clarks, Christine Hwang and Riekhof placed second, .21 behind Liberty North.

Georgia Clark won the 200 IM, while younger sister, Emma, came in second place. Georgia Clark added another first-place finish by winning the 100 yard backstroke, while Emma was fourth in the event.

Blue Springs South Triangular

Park Hill South beat Marshall (216-35) and Blue Springs South (185-115) during a triangular on Tuesday, Jan. 23 in Blue Springs, Mo.

The Panthers won seven of the 12 events with four different swimmers winning at least one race.

Senior Paige Riekhof won the 100-yard butterfly with an automatic state time of 1:00.62, but a tick slower than her previous best of 58.65. She won the 200 freestyle — an event she is already qualified for state in — in 2:02.71.

Georgia Clark took first in the 100 backstroke, Emma Clark won the 200 individual medley and Amy Montalbano won the 500 freestyle for Park Hill South.

The 200 medley relay team of Georgia Clark, Emma Clark, Riekhof and Sophia Jaeger took first, while the Clarks, Riekhof and Christine Hwang made up the winning 200 freestyle relay squad. Both teams had state consideration times.