ST. PETERS, Mo. – Blue Springs South and Lee’s Summit North are in good position to make noise in Saturday’s finals.
South earned seven berths into the top eight, while North had six berths – including three top seeds, two by senior Ethan Bresette – in Friday’s Missouri State High School Boys Swimming and Diving State Championships at the St. Peters Rec-Plex.
The Jaguars also have a top seed, as senior sprinter Connor Gregston turned in the top time in the 100-yard freestyle in 46.62 seconds, nearly a full second faster than his seed time. Gregston also made the finals of the 50 freestyle with a third-place time of 21.4 seconds.
Fellow south senior Jack Pluenneke also earned finals berths in two events. He will enter as the sixth seed in the 200 individual medley after a time of 1:56.48 Friday. He also qualified seventh in the 500 freestyle in 4:47.47, more than 2 seconds faster than his seed time.
Connor Dillon will join Gregston in the 50 freestyle final with an eighth-place time of 21.9, just four one-hundreths of a second ahead of the ninth-place finisher, Ryan Duffy of Staley.
The Jaguars also qualified their 200 and 400 freestyle relay squads. Dominic Baber, Pluenneke, Dillon and Gregston posted the fifth-best time in both the 200 (1:29.46) and 400 (3:15.47) relays.
Bresette will lead the way for North, scoring top seeds in both the 200 IM (1:51.91) and 500 freestyle (4:35.54). He also teamed with Michael Hynes, Thomas Reilly and James White to take first in the 400 free relay (3:11.59). Bresette also anchored the third-place 200 free relay (1:28.41) with Hynes, Zach Littell and White.
Hynes also made a pair of individual finals, taking fourth in the 100 free (47.20) and fifth in the 200 free (1:43.83).
The Broncos also earned five spots in the consolation finals, including two by White (13th in both the 50 and 100 freestyles). Zach Littell (13th) and Josh Littell (16th) advanced in the 100 butterfly, and Thomas Faulkenberry made the second day in the 100 backstroke (16th).
Blue Springs will send one person to the finals, as Jacob Raines turned in the sixth-best time in the 100 breaststroke in 1:00.05. Raines, Drew Coleman, Reagan Jett and Quinn Aylward are the second alternate behind North in the 200 medley relay after a time of 1:42.47. Raines also took 21st in the 200 IM.
Blue Springs’ Michael Melichar was 21st in the 100 free and 25th in the 200 free, while Ben Duvall was 22nd in the 500 free and 26th in the 200 free.