Blue Springs lost the conference title to rival Blue Springs South earlier this month. But the Wildcats set themselves up for a much better finish than the Jaguars at the Missouri State High School Girls Swimming and Diving Championships with a strong performance in Friday’s state preliminaries.
Blue Springs, which finished ninth as a team last year, made the finals in four events and will have three entries in the consolation finals, giving the Wildcats a strong chance to finish in the top 10 again. South advanced in two events, both consolation finals.
“We had a good night,” Blue Springs coach Bill Shalley said. “We want to turn it into a great finals by racing up. All four finalists impressed me with something they did to improve our team performance. Our turn fundamentals could have improved and we will do that today.”
Senior Corinne Rinne and junior Ashley Sturman led the way for Blue Springs Friday. Rinne, the defending state champ in the 100-yard breaststroke, grabbed the top seed in that event with a time of 1 minute, 5.98 seconds. She also made the consolation finals in the 200 individual medley with a 10th-place time of 2:12.77.
Rinne also teamed with Sturman, Leigh Ana Dietiker and Lindsey Meyer to finish fourth in the 200 medley relay in 1:50.73. Those same four also made the consolation finals in the 200 freestyle relay with a 10th-place time of 1:41.89.
Sturman made a pair of finals, taking the No. 2 seed in the 500 freestyle (5:01.46) and No. 5 in the 100 butterfly (57.55).
Meyer also made it back to the consolation finals in the 50 freestyle with a 14th-place time of 25.18 seconds and missed by just four-tenths of a second away from making it in the 100 freestyle in a 19th-place time of 55.07. Dietiker finished 37th in the 100 backstroke (1:04.97).
Kayla Canon earned Blue Springs South’s only individual berth by tying for 15th in the backstroke in 1:00.41. She was also 28th in the breaststroke (1:15.75).
South's Anna Munoz, Sydney Dillon, Kadie Clark and Bailey Barnett made it back in the 400 free relay with a 14th-place time of 3:48.57. The 200 medley relay team of Canon, Clark, Munoz and Taylor Branson finished just less than a second away from advancing, taking 20th in 1:57.3. The 200 free relay of Branson, Dillon, Barnett and Maddie Scott was 21st in 1:44.29.
Lee’s Summit North sophomore standout Haley Hynes appears poised to defend her state titles in the 100 backstroke and 200 IM. Hynes took the top time by nearly 2 seconds in the backstroke at 54.76. She said she will try to go for the backstroke state record of 54.09 set by Wentzville Timberland’s Taylor Wohrley in 2009. Hynes is No. 2 in the IM at 2:06.34, more than a second behind Park Hill South’s Tori Beeler (2:05.07).
North junior Nicole Voss also made it back in the breaststroke with an 11th-place time of 1:09.44. Voss and Hynes also teamed with Kristin Herrick and Jennifer Gray to finish third in the 200 medley relay (1:50.66). Hynes, Gray, Herrick and Sydney Bresette will return in the 200 freestyle relay after a 12th-place time of 1:42.69.