Blue Springs swimmer Cogan Davis said it’s a “little bit of a rebuilding year” for the Wildcats.
Blue Springs has just one state qualifying time so far in the 2018 season, but it looked strong in Wednesday’s five-team meet. The Wildcats won five out of 12 events en route to a first-place finish Wednesday at the Centennial Pool-Plex.
“It’s early in the season, but we already have double-digit wins and only one loss,” Davis said after the Wildcats improved to 13-2 in dual meets. “We just want to keep boosting that record and get some state times.”
Davis won the 100-yard backstroke and was part of the winning 200 medley relay with Tim Schweizer, Justin Watkins and Arren Jett (1 minute, 51.05 seconds); and capped the meet by joining Gabe Marthaler, Preston Holland and Schweizer in a 400 freestyle relay win (4:11.23).
“It felt good today,” Davis said. “It always feels good to swim at home in front of the hometown crowd. It was good to get a couple of wins. I want to improve in the backstroke and hopefully make it to state and get into the top 16 or top eight.”
Those victories helped give the Wildcats amass 471 points, 170 ahead of second-place St. Joseph Central. Grain Valley was third (284.5), Camdenton was fourth (242) and Smithville was fifth (218).
Jett also was a big part of the win. He was a part of the 200 medley relay and won the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:03.95.
“I haven’t been doing to well in past meets, but I finally got back down to where I need to be,” Jett said. “I looked at the heat sheet and saw that I was second, so it was nice to get my time down and win that one.”
Blue Springs coach Kevin Bigham said Jett and Davis have both been big parts of the team’s success early in the season, and he was pleased with the way they raced Wednesday.
“Cogan has been swimming great lately and has been on in practice,” Bigham said. “He’s made a lot of good changes to his technique and stroke. He’s hungry to get better.
“Arren is one of our captains and has been a great leader. He didn’t have his best meet yesterday (Tuesday at Carthage), but he put that behind him and turned around did great for us today.”
Blue Springs’ other win came from diver Ethan Gutierrez, who had a six-dive score of 257.05. His teammate, Josiah Thomson. was second with 240 points.
Schweizer claimed second in both the 100 breastroke and the 100 butterfly (1:00.94). Justin Watkins took second in the 100 free (59.12), Derek Banta was second in the 500 free (7:23.55), and Gabe Marthaler took second in the 200 individual medley (2:35.33).
The 500 freestyle was dominated by Grain Valley’s Wyatt Huffman, who cruised to a win in 5:34.33. He also won the 200 IM (2:13.66).
“I thought the 500 free was going really good,” Huffman said. “I felt like I did well even though I added some time. I did good for not having much competition. The 200 IM was kind of the same story, but I dropped time. That’s always a good thing.”
Grain Valley’s only other top-three finish came from diver Eli Hendricks (206).
“Grain Valley is really lucky, Kara Liddle is an awesome coach,” Bigham said. “She has a ton of experience and she’s going to lead that program to great things. I have been coaching (Huffman) since he was 11 or 12 years old. He’s just a stud. I think he’ll easily get all-state in Class 1.”