Lindsay Meyer made the most of her opportunities for redemption Saturday in the Kansas City Classic.
After a gaffe that nullified Blue Springs’ second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, Meyer raced to second in the 50-yard freestyle and fourth in 100 free in state-qualifying times and anchored the Wildcats’ winning 200 free relay, helping Blue Springs take fourth out of 24 schools in the finals at the Henley Aquatic Center.
Park Hill South won with 299 points, followed by Springfield Kickapoo with 251, while St. Teresa’s Academy edged Blue Springs for the third-place trophy, 176-174. Lee’s Summit North finished in a three-way tie for 12th (97), while Blue Springs South was 19th (17) and Truman 23rd (4) thanks to their divers.
While waiting for her anchor leg in the medley relay, Meyer slipped off her block and false started. The Blue Springs junior recovered well enough to clock a 24.74 split and complete Wildcats’ time of 1 minute, 53.02 seconds, which easily would have been second-best if the false start hadn’t disqualified them.
“After that, I just put it behind me and focused on the 50,” Meyer said. “After the 50 I was really happy and tried to cheer on my teammates.”
Three events later Meyer clocked 24.93 in the 50 free, trailing only St. Teresa’s Andie Round and also good enough to qualify for U.S. Swimming sectionals. In the 100 free she clocked 55.26 for fourth.
The same quartet as the medley relay – Leigh Ana Dietiker, Corinne Rinne, Ashley Sturman and Meyer – swam the 200 free relay, and Sturman tracked down her Park Hill South counterpart to give Meyer a virtual tie to start her leg. Meyer’s split of 24.21 gave Blue Springs first in 1:42.17, .76 of a second ahead of Park Hill South.
“It gave me a chance to make up for the medley relay,” Meyer said. “I just had the adrenaline and was ready to go and win for my girls.”
While Blue Springs coach Bill Shalley admitted the 34 points from the medley relay would have been nice, he certainly appreciated how Meyer responded, as well as his team’s overall effort.
“It happens. They swam a good time, even with the horrible start,” Shalley said of the medley relay. “It was an aggressive mistake; I can live with that. I was happy with how she bounced back and swam. She moved on, and we had great leadership.”
Sturman, also a junior, cruised to two wins in the 200 free (1:57.59) and 500 free (5:17.35), topping Park Hill’s Madison Heydinger by 2.45 and 3.69 seconds, respectively, in those events. However, the relay was most gratifying, Sturman said.
“I really enjoy the relays,” she said. “The team part is the best part. My goal is to give them the lead. We always switch (the order) up, just to see which works best.
“I was really happy with the 200 free. My goal is kick it out with the back and then break away, which is what I did. The 500, I wanted to go fast, but I’m pretty happy with my time.”
Mariah Hagerty also gave Blue Springs a first, winning Saturday morning’s 1-meter diving with a 366.45 point total. Rinne added a second in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.02) and third in the 200 individual medley (2:17.81), while Dietiker was 14th in the 100 backstroke and Marie Kurucz 15th in the 500 free.
“I’m really seeing them start to turn the corner the last three weeks,” Shalley said. “I was really happy with Ashley. She had to go back-to-back real quick (500 free to 200 free relay), and she set a lifetime-best in her 50 (24.95) to help us. She caught the Park Hill South girls and gave Lindsay a great start. I was pleased with that, the racing attitude – and the girls had fun.”
Haley Hynes led Lee’s Summit North by winning 100 back (56.36) and 100 butterfly (58.18). Both of the sophomore’s times won by more than 2 seconds. Nicole Voss was fifth in the 100 breast (1:09.58) and 11th in the 200 IM for the Broncos, Kristin Herrick took 12th in the 100 fly and 15th in the 100 breast and Regan Riley took 13th in the 500 free.
Blue Springs South’s Allie Steinhauser took second in diving (349.9), while Truman’s Sarah Mancini was 13th (250.4). Lexi Parsons led William Chrisman by finishing 23rd in the 50 free.