When a swimming and diving team exceeds its coach’s expectations, you know it’s had a good meet.
Hosting the KC Classic Saturday at Henley Aquatic Center in Independence featuring teams from all over the city and as far away as Springfield, Blue Springs finished fourth in the team standings with 198 points thanks to several of its best performances of the season.
“Heading into a meet you kind of project what you think will happen, and our guys went above and beyond,” Blue Springs coach Kevin Bigham said. “Our guys continue to impress me. I’m really excited with how we performed today.”
The boys 200-yard medley relay of Cogan Davis, Tim Schweizer, Shaun Van Hoesen and Sam Aubuchon finished second with a state-qualifying time of 1 minute, 44.78 seconds, and Schweizer qualified for state in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.24) on the way to a fourth-place showing to lead the way for the Wildcats.
“The (200 medley relay) was our first automatic state qualifier of the year in a relay,” Bigham said. “That just shows how much the guys have improved all season and how hard they have been working.”
The 200 medley relay team swam more than a second faster than its preliminary time and moved up two spots from Friday.
“That was a great showing for us,” said Aubuchon, who swam the anchor leg. “We haven’t qualified for state before the conference meet in this relay in my previous three years, so it’s really awesome to be able to do that today. After Tim swam the breaststroke (on the second leg), I looked up and saw we were in third place and that pumped me up. All of us swam our best times.”
Schweizer took more than 0.75 seconds off his preliminary time in the 100 breaststroke and moved up one place in the standings.
“It was a personal-best time for me,” he said. “I had a lot of energy going into the race. I think I have a lot of room for improvement, so I’m looking forward to keep on dropping the time. Rather than tapering for conference, I’ll taper for state, so that’s where my (fastest swim) should come.”
Van Hoesen medaled in two events for the Wildcats, taking sixth in both the 200 individual medley (2:09.75) and 100 breaststroke (1:05.91).
“Our relay performance gave us momentum for the rest of the meet,” Van Hoesen said. “I was really happy to medal in both events. I did way better than last year. I finished in the top 16 last year, so to get sixth in both events is a big improvement.”
Davis marked Blue Springs’ other swimming medalist as he took seventh in the 100 backstroke (59.85), while in diving Josiah Thomson (357.60 points) garnered sixth and Ethan Gutierrez (349.85) seventh.
Blue Springs South dominated the diving portion of the meet with Alex Burt (511.15) winning the event and Micah Currie (452.15) taking second. South, which only sent its divers, finished 13th with 37 points.
William Chrisman’s Daniel Kuropka continued a stellar season for the Bears with third-place performances in both the 200 individual medley (2:05.48) and 100 butterfly (54.88). His time in the 100 butterfly marked his fastest of the season. His 32 points allowed Chrisman to finish 14th as a team.
“I’m happy with how I swam,” Kuropka said. “The times were around my best. I felt pretty good in the pool and there are a lot of pretty quick guys here.”
Truman finished 17th with all its points coming from its 11th-place 200 medley relay of Woody Bradshaw, Shuri Holland, Aaron Holloway and Carson Moon.
Rockhurst (375.5) topped Park Hill (315) and Lee’s Summit (268) for the team title.