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Examiner
  • Jaguars go 'all day long'

  • One race into the day, Errich Oberlander sounded the rallying cry to be repeated throughout the day at Saturday’s Suburban Conference Championships.

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  • One race into the day, Errich Oberlander sounded the rallying cry to be repeated throughout the day at Saturday’s Suburban Conference Championships.
    The Blue Springs South girls swimming and diving coach watched his 200-yard medley relay squad dominate the opening event at Lee’s Summit Aquatic Center by darting to first-place time of 1 minute, 50.35 seconds, smashing the Jaguars’ school record by nearly four seconds.
    Oberlander’s an emotional guy and is typically one of the more animated coaches at meets, but after seeing a start like that, he went wild even by his standards.
    “Whoo!” Oberlander screamed after seeing the relay times posted by Kayla Canon, Kailey Paris, Emily Zweerink and Morgan Connors. “All day long! All day long!”
    A couple minutes later, he elatedly greeted his team with a round of high-fives and shouted the Jags’ mantra for the day again, “All day long!”
    That event set up one of the best days in the program’s recent history as the Jags notched 472 points to win their first Big Six title since 2000, halting a 12-year run by Blue Springs. The Wildcats totaled 450 points to finish runner-up and Lee’s Summit North (356) ended third. In the Middle Six Championships, Park Hill South took the title with 578.5 points to hold off second-place Park Hill (494.5). Truman (139) finished fifth.
    On the heels of the 200 medley performance, Connors posted a first-place effort in the 200 freestyle and topped the entire field by more than a second with a time of 1:56.04. In the day’s fourth event, Zweerink took first in the 50 freestyle (24.66), which coupled with Bre Schlenger’s top score of 425.3 in diving gave South four victories in the meet’s first five events.
    “We started the meet so well that we just ran with it after that,” Oberlander said. “After that medley relay, after putting up that huge time ... I said it right after that race was over, all day long. And we did it all day long.”
    Oberlander remained on edge the rest of the day, sporadically pumping his fists after big wins and cringing after near misses. The Wildcats kept it competitive as Ashley Sturman scored a victory in the 500 freestyle (5:22.26) to go with her second-place tally in the 200 freestyle. Blue Springs also took first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:58.33) and Corinne Rinne won the 100 breaststroke (1:07.49) and claimed second in the 200 IM.
    But the Jags just had too much firepower as Connors and Zweerink came in second and third, respectively, in the 100 freestyle, Canon finished runner-up in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke and Allie Steinhauser came in third in diving. South also added a third-place mark in the 400 freestyle relay.
    During the day’s final event, the 400 freestyle relay, Oberlander realized his team only needed to avoid disqualification to clinch the crown. Once his last swimmer entered the water cleanly, he tried to savor the moment. He raised his hand in the air with a smirk on his face and tapped his foot as the final times were posted. Seconds later, his team mobbed him with a familiar echo.
    Page 2 of 2 - “All day long!” they shouted.
    “We have had our eyes on that medley school record since longer than I can remember,” Connors said. “Today, we thought it was going to be a close call but we just crushed it.
    “After that, we were all just so hyped on adrenaline and we had it the whole day.”
    One of the first to greet Oberlander with congratulations was Blue Springs coach Bill Shalley. Many of his swimmers, though visably disappointed, did the same after the Jags received their championship trophy.
    “I think they really got it rolling early and made it hard for us to come back,” Shalley said. “We expected to do a little better than that. They did their job, and we didn’t do ours. Give them credit.”
    Haley Hynes boosted the Broncos, setting two conference records with victories in the 200 IM (2:05.81) and 100 backstroke (55.21) while Felicia Bender won the 100 butterfly (1:00.07).
    Allison Timko gave Truman its top individual mark by finishing 11th in the 100 freestyle (1:08.12).
    MIDDLE SEVEN CHAMPIONSHIPS: Lexi Parsons led William Chrisman with fifth-place medals in the 50 freestyle (28.35) and 100 freestyle (1:04.23) Saturday at Gladstone. Elizabeth Straub added an eighth-place finish in the 50 freestyle (30.26).
    The Bears placed fifth as a team.
     
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