It didn’t take long for a pair of Blue Springs South divers and Lee’s Summit North senior swimmer JP Hynes to show they will be forces to be reckoned with this season.
While Hynes won and qualified for state in a pair of individual events and helped two relay teams to wins and state berths, South divers Alex Burt and Micah Currie finished 1-2 and qualified for state in the season-opening Blue Springs South/Rockhurst Invitational Saturday at the Blue Springs Family YMCA.
Rockhurst (313 points) edged North (295) for the team title. Blue Springs South (252) took fifth and Blue Springs (41), which sent only its divers, was 12th in the 14-team meet.
Burt, the defending Class 2 state champion, totaled a score of 317.45 to top Currie’s 262.95 as both punched their tickets to state.
“Our divers proved early that last year's results were no fluke,” Jaguars head coach Errich Oberlander said of Burt and Currie, a fourth-place finisher at state last season. “Our swimmers also had good performances throughout the day. Overall this was a good start to the season against a strong field of competitors.”
Hynes, a senior who sat out the last two seasons at North, made an impressive comeback. He won the 200-yard freestyle in a state-qualifying time of 1 minute, 48 seconds, and won the 50 freestyle in a state time of 22.31 seconds.
Hynes also teamed with Andrew Bennett, Jonah Murray and Jonathan Thomas for a win in the 200 freestyle relay in an automatic state-qualifying time of 1:31.89. The same group also won the 400 freestyle relay in a state time of 3:26.12.
Thomas won the 100 freestyle in a state time of 49.84 and took fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.71). Murray narrowly missed a state time in the 100 butterfly, taking second in 55.75, and he finished third in the 200 individual medley (2:08.36). Bennett finished second to Hynes in the 50 free (22.83) and 100 free (52.52).
Chase Graham led the way for the Blue Springs South swimmers, earning a state berth with a third-place finish in 1:50.49 and missing a state time by just .18 of a second in the 100 butterfly with a third-place finish in 55.77.
South’s Aaron Wedel took second in the breaststroke (1:08.09) and sixth in the 200 free (1:56.46).
Josiah Thomson took third in diving (227.80) and Ethan Gutierrez was fifth (219.70) to lead Blue Springs.