Brian Ray left the Henley Aquatic Center with his highest finish to date in the Independence Invitational.
The Lee's Summit North coach, in his fourth year at the helm, saw his Broncos post multiple top-10 finishes and that helped them take second place as the 27th annual edition of two-day event wrapped up Saturday afternoon.
The Broncos finished with 245 points, easily clearing Columbia Rock Bridge (200.5) points for runner-up honors. Liberty won with 286.5.
Blue Springs South (155) took seventh, followed by Blue Springs (40) at 14th, William Chrisman (32) was tied for 15th and Truman (14) came in 19th place in the 25-team field.
“I think it is a good showing,” Ray said. “I really like this meet. I like the competition. When you can hold your own and get second place it shows you have potential.”
Lee's Summit North got points in the first event Saturday, winning the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Lance Godard, Daniel Worth, Liam Bresette and Andrew Bennett finished in 1 minute, 38.96 seconds, cutting two seconds off the seed time.
Godard added a victory in the 100 butterfly, winning in 53.26 and blowing away his 57.50 seed time. In fact, he wasn't even in the fastest heat in that event. He added a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke in 53.82, a big drop from his seed time of 1:01.50.
“Lance Godard is starting to make a name for himself,” Ray said. “His backstroke was phenomenal.”
Bresette, the defending state champion in the 500 freestyle, won the event in 4:40.29. In the same event, teammate Johnathan Thomas was sixth and Blue Springs' Matthew Clark took eighth.
Bresette added another win in the 100-yard breaststroke in 59.24, the only swimmer with a sub-1:00 time. Worth came in third in the race for the Broncos.
“I think I did OK,” said Bresette, a state record holder in two events. “The 500 was decent; I was happy with the time. The 100 breast, I swam to see what I can do with it.”
In the final race of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Broncos took second at 3:25.06 behind Liberty. The team featured Godard, Bennett, Thomas and Bresette.
Worth also had a pair of top-10 finishes for the Broncos, taking third in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.11) and seventh in the 100 freestyle (52.07). Andrew Bennett took eighth in the 50 free (24.46).
Blue Springs South's Alex Burt won the 1-meter diving event Friday night with a score of 480.5, easily beating Liberty's Jacob Ahart, who had 344.65. Blue Springs' Ethen Gutierrez and Josiah Thomson finished third and fourth in the event.
Blue Springs South's Chase Graham was third in the 200 IM, while taking sixth place in the 50-yard freestyle. His 200 IM time of 2:05.64 was a state-qualifying mark.
Adam Ryan (200 freestyle, 1:56.64) and Aaron Wedel (50 freestyle, 24.59) each took ninth for South.
All 32 points for William Chrisman came from Daniel Kuropka. The senior took second in the 200 IM, swimming 2:04.66, coming in behind Zach Lorson of Columbia Rock Bridge – a four-time medalist last year at state.
Kuropka added a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly.
The foreign exchange student from Slovakia has qualified for state in three events and set three schools records in the process. He is the first Chrisman swimmer to qualify for state since 2002.
“The first day at practice, I knew right away,” Truman coach Trevor Tomney, who coaches swimmers from Truman, Chrisman and Van Horn, said of his newcomer's talents. “I texted the AD that first practice and he had been in the water for maybe half an hour and said he will probably get to St. Louis, so you better budget for that.”