ST. PETERS, Mo. – For this year’s Class 2 Missouri High School Boys Swimming and Diving Championships, Liam Bresette went back to an old favorite and tried a new event on for size.
And the Lee’s Summit North senior accomplished something he just missed out on last year – capturing multiple individual titles at the same state meet.
One year after winning the 500-yard freestyle and finishing second in the 200 individual medley, Bresette recaptured the 200 freestyle title he won in 2015 and later added a 100 freestyle gold medal to his collection at Saturday’s Class 2 finals at the St. Peters Rec-Plex.
“It’s definitely one of my top events,” Bresette said of the 200 freestyle. “Last year, I just wanted to try something else. This year, I just wanted to bring it back.”
Bresette’s time of 1 minute, 37.04 seconds broke his own 200 freestyle state record of 1:38.15 that came during his win in 2015.
“It was just a lot of speed work,” said Bresette, who finished his high school career with five individual state titles after sitting out his freshman season. “My whole technique for that race was to kind of wait that first 100 and then go on that second 100. I knew if I wanted to get the record, I just had to take it out.”
In his first foray into the 100 freestyle ever at the state level, all Bresette did was swim a 44.56 to break a seven-year-old record previously held by Rockhurst’s Matthew Margritier.
“I liked it. I was a lot happier with that race. It felt good,” Bresette said. “It was great competition going in and it was definitely cool to do it.”
It was a triumphant way to cap off a brilliant high school career for the Arizona State commit.
“We talked at the beginning of the season and he said his goal was to set the 200 record and the 100 record again,” Lee’s Summit North coach Brian Ray said. “And he did it in great, great style. He’s a great leader and a great swimmer.”
Bresette is a great leader for the all of the Broncos, but especially for their other individual state champion, freshman Daniel Worth, who won the 100 breaststroke.
“He’s my next door neighbor, so he’s been with me, guiding me, since the beginning,” Worth said. “He was kind of my inspiration to start swimming. Every day, he takes me to morning practices, brings me home, takes me to school. He really just helps guide me through everything, through swimming and life.”
Worth swam a 57.07 in the 100 breaststroke to narrowly edge Lee’s Summit senior Andy Huffman (57.10) in a photo finish.
“Andy Huffman has really been a leader to me, one of my really good friends,” said Worth, who also earned all-state status with an eighth-place finish in the 200 individual medley (1:54.82). “He’s really guided me and helped me, so it was fun to race him.”
Lee’s Summit North’s other title Saturday came in the 200 medley relay. The team of junior Grant Godard, Worth, freshman Lance Godard and Bresette won that race in a time of 1:34.96.
Lee’s Summit North finished third in the team standings to match the 2013 team for the school’s highest-ever finish. The Broncos, who were just 22 points behind champion Columbia Rock Bridge (243) and 16 behind St. Louis University High (237), did all of this damage with just seven athletes on its list of state qualifiers.
“We may not be the biggest team, but we’re definitely one of the strongest,” Bresette said. “We have a bunch of raw talent and we’ll only just get better from here.”
Lance Godard earned a pair of individual all-state honors for North, taking second in the 100 butterfly (51.99) and seventh in the 200 IM (1:54.82). Grant Godard took fourth in the 100 backstroke (52.73). North also claimed third in the 400 freestyle relay (3:11.51) and sixth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:29.48).
Blue Springs South couldn’t match its second-place finish from a year ago, as it only mustered 68.5 points to finish 14th.
“Losing 12 seniors obviously was a big deal,” Jaguars coach Errich Oberlander said. “Honestly, I hate to use this word, but I think we’re kind of overachieving this year, considering all the guys I lost and I had my smallest team ever (20) in my tenure at South.”
But, Blue Springs South did have one athlete bring home a first-place medal.
Junior Alex Burt ascended from a sixth-place finish last year to the top spot in the one-meter diving competition.
“It was a lot of practice and blowing out the dives I wasn’t necessarily the greatest at, but worked hard at perfecting,” he said. “The offseason helped a lot. It helped me gain some new dives I didn’t have last year.”
Burt totaled 465.30 points to win by more than 51 points. He was joined on the medal stand by his teammate, junior Micah Currie, who finished fourth with 396.35 points.
“We help push each other back and forth,” Burt said. “It’s always a competition to see who can do the better dives and see who can do the best.”
Chase Graham claimed a pair of all-state finishes for South, taking seventh in both the 200 freestyle (1:45.61) and 500 freestyle (4:48.00). Adam Ryan tied for 15th in the 50 freestyle (23.00).
The Jaguars also took 15th in the 200 freestyle relay (1:32.55) and 15th in the 400 freestyle relay (3:23.80).
For Blue Springs, sophomore Tim Schweizer won the consolation final in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.71) to finish ninth and Josiah Thomson was 15th in diving. The Wildcats also took 15th in the 200 medley relay (1:43.77) to finish 25th as a team with 22 points.