In recent years, the Blue Springs South swimming and diving teams have consistently been deep and loaded with talented divers.
However, on the boys side, the Jaguars may not have had a better one-two punch than seniors Alex Burt and Micah Currie.
Today, the duo will compete in the Missouri State High School Swimming and Diving Championships as two of the favorites to win the 1-meter diving event in Class 2.
“They are definitely the top two of the same grade and of the same school,” said Missy Jackson, the diving coach for both Blue Springs high schools.
South swimming head coach Errich Oberlander agreed.
“We are usually pretty deep and have three or four guys who are pretty good,” Oberlander said. “But we never had two guys ranked this high up on the potential state leaderboard at one meet at one time.
“They were first and fourth last year, and hopefully, worst-case scenario, we do that again this year, but we hope to do even better this time around (at state).”
In all of the 1-meter diving events that the Jaguars have attended, either Burt or Currie won. Burt, who is the defending Class 2 state diving champion, won at the prestigious COMO Invitational (475.30 points) and broke the Suburban Big Six and school record with 540.40 points at the conference meet a week ago. Currie won the Kansas City Classic this season with 467.85 points.
“I was really happy because he wasn’t feeling the best in warmups,” Jackson said of Burt, who won his third consecutive conference diving title and will sign his letter of intent to dive at Delta State University next Wednesday. “He didn’t sleep the night before. He got to the pool and asked if he could take a nap. I came over and he was snoring. I let him sleep for an hour and 10 minutes. A figured sleep was important and it worked out for him. He was very prepared and calm and shattered the record.”
Added Burt: “We’ve all worked hard together this year. Missy has pushed us to our limits, and it’s really showing with all of us.”
Currie, like Burt, is pleased with the way his season has turned out thus far.
“I think I have improved a lot so far through my years of diving,” said Currie, who finished fourth at state last season. “This season, Missy has been pushing us hard and we have been pushing our teammates.”
The formation of the duo wouldn’t have been possible without the recruiting abilities of Jackson. Currie was a gymnast coming into high school and Burt was a competitor in trampoline events.
“Alex used to do trampoline with my daughter,” Jackson said. “He had good form and I got him to try out here. When I asked him, he told me, ‘I am not wearing a Speedo!’ I said, ‘That’s fine.’ And here we are today.”
Both divers have their own unique style that contrasts with the other. Currie is faster with his twists than Burt, while Burt gets more height on his jumps.
Each of them has a unique dive that not many other high school competitors attempt. Currie has vastly improved with his inward 2 ½ somersault, while Burt has impressed judges with a twister.
“Alex is known for a twister that I haven’t seen in years at state,” Jackson said. “It’s a crowd pleaser. Both of them have a dive that’s worth a 3.0 (degree of difficulty). We just have to work on the easier dives. That’s where we have difficulty. That’s where we can really make some moves.”
After both finished in the top four last year, Burt and Currie said they want to finish 1-2 this time.
“We always push each other to see how well we can do,” Burt said. “I want to repeat (as state champion) and show that my hard work paid off.”
Added Currie: “”Hopefully we can. We will try our best.”