The Blue Springs boys swimming and diving team’s depth not only earned the Wildcats another Suburban Big Six title Saturday despite just one event win, it also was good enough to overcome their coach’s clerical error.

The Blue Springs boys swimming and diving team’s depth not only earned the Wildcats another Suburban Big Six title Saturday despite just one event win, it also was good enough to overcome their coach’s clerical error.

The Wildcats claimed their 15th straight conference championship by outlasting Blue Springs South at Henley Aquatic Center, 457-449, finishing with a fourth-place showing to the Jaguars’ second in the 400-yard freestyle relay to hold off a late charge from South.

Lee’s Summit North topped Liberty for third, 386-335, with Lee’s Summit (145) and Raymore-Peculiar (117) rounding out the field.

Blue Springs’ win came in Saturday’s first event, as Drew Coleman, Jacob Raines, Zac Lindberg and Corey Schweppe claimed the 400-yard medley relay in 1 minute, 42.44 seconds. But another relay almost loomed larger for the Wildcats.

The 200 free relay was disqualified after Friday’s preliminaries because coach Bill Shalley said he made a lineup switch and forgot to make the appropriate change in the submitted lineup.

“Literally, I could say it was all the kids,” Shalley said. “They got my back on this, especially the seniors.”

In essence, it was all the kids who contributed. After a pair of divers placed Friday, the Wildcats had 24 top-eight finishers in the eight individual swimming events among a plethora of placers. The best example came in the 100 breaststroke, where Raines (1:03.78) finished more than three seconds behind Lee’s Summit repeat winner Zach Knoche but led a 2-3-4-9-11 finish by Blue Springs swimmers.

Raines marked the lone runner-up finish, but thirds included Michael Melichar in the 200 free, Reagan Jett in the 100 butterfly and Jackson McArthur in the 100 breast.

“It’s all about depth,” said Riley Ludwig, whose top contribution was a sixth in the 500 free. “We always knew that, going into the year.”

“We knew (the breaststroke) was going to be our strength. We just had breaststrokers coming out of the woodwork that we weren’t expecting.”

“It started out at practice,” added Schweppe, “and we showed it today at conference.”

Shalley said working with a team that isn’t blessed with many frontrunners but has plenty of solid competitors can involve plenty of research.

“You’ve got to find a way that they fit together, how they fit in a meet,” he said. “It’s a lot of heat sheet studies. You’ve gotta know where kids can go and how (a meet) can shape up.”

No matter how it happens, winning a league title certainly never gets old.

“It’s different kids every year,” said Shalley, who will take his squad to the state championships on Nov. 9 and 10 in St. Peters. “We’ve got so many good young kids in the league and so many good young coaches. We’re lucky.”

Blue Springs South got a diving win from James Poole (399.55 finals score), while Jack Pluenneke touched the wall first in the 500 free (4:50.7). Runner-up finishes came from the Jaguars’ 200 medley relay (1:43.81) and 400 free relay (3:18.26), Pluenneke in the 200 individual medley (1:58.04), Lucas Munoz in the 100 butterfly (55.7) and 500 free (4:53.67), Brent Henderson in the 100 back (57.36).

In all, the Jaguars had 17 top-eight individual placers. But South coach Errich Oberlander said the big key in pushing Blue Springs to the final event was how the Jaguars improved on their seedings for the finals.

“That’s the closest we’ve been to (Blue Springs) since I’ve been here,” said Oberlander, who’s in his seventh season with the program, “maybe the closest since 1999.

“Every single guy moved up (Saturday) from (Friday). That’s what we talked about – just beat somebody that beat you yesterday. We had a 50-point gap to make up, and we made up 48.”

Lee’s Summit North’s Ethan Bresette was a quadruple-winner, winning the 200 IM in a meet-record 1:57.28 and the 100 fly in 53.28. He also anchored the winning 200 free relay (1:30.01, with Michael Hynes, Zach Littell and James White) and the 400 free relay (3:17.76, with Hynes, Josh Littell and Thomas Reilly). Other wins for the Broncos came from Hynes in the 200 free (1:48.84) and Reilly in the 100 back (56.11).

Park Hill South won the Middle Six meet with 514 points, followed by Park Hill (438), Lee’s Summit West (432), St. Joseph Central (239) and Truman (151).

Truman’s top individual placer was Jack Knipp, who took fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:00.99). Derrick Linhardt took eighth in the 200 IM and 100 fly.