ST. PETERS, Mo. – The amenities at the Lee's Summit North boys swimming and diving team's hotel weren't quite up to snuff.
“We didn't have a bathtub at our hotel, so we couldn't take an ice bath or anything,” Broncos sophomore Daniel Worth said.
Despite that bit of adversity, Worth won a pair of individual state titles and was part of two more title-winning relay teams to lead Lee's Summit North to a fourth-place team finish Friday morning at the Class 2 Missouri State High School Boys Swimming and Diving Championships at the St. Peters-Rec-Plex.
“It's always good to bring home a trophy from state. Always,” Broncos coach Brian Ray said of finishing in the top four despite taking only 10 swimmers and no divers.
Worth won the title in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1 minute, 50.18 seconds, as he just edged past Lindbergh's Tyler Lewis, who checked in at 1:50.58.
“I knew Tyler Lewis would be coming, so that was really scary,” Worth said. “I swam a really good race yesterday, but I let up at the end because I knew I wanted to save energy for today.”
Worth followed that up by repeating as champion of the 100-breaststroke with a time of 55.12. That broke the Class 2 record – the fourth of the day for Worth – but it missed out on the state's meet oldest mark, the overall breaststroke time of 54.78 by SLUH's Jeff Commings in 1991.
“I'm really happy with four Class 2 records. That's really cool,” Worth said. “But, I would have loved to have broken that overall record in the 100 breast. That was the goal overall for the season.”
Worth, junior Andrew Bennett, and seniors J.P. Hynes and Grant Godard comprised the Broncos' two record-breaking relay teams, the 200 medley (1:33.24) and the 200 freestyle (1:33.42).
“We've been training for it all year,” Ray said. “We have this great pool of talent and we had to capitalize on it. It was just a great group of guys that were able to pull it off.”
But, it was a disqualification of the their 400 freestyle relay team in Thursday's preliminaries that left the Broncos shorter of what their team finish could have been.
“Obviously, it hurt. Not having those points and people in the water, it was a little demoralizing, but they're a strong team, they're mentally tough and they were able to still swim their best today,” Ray said.
Hynes finished his high school career with a pair of runner-up finishes in the 50 free (20.92) and 100 free (45.82).
Jonah Murray also earned all-state honors, taking seventh in the 200 IM (2:01.60) and 14th in the 100 butterfly (53.80). Godard took seventh in the 100 backstroke (52.96) and eighth in the 100 free.
Blue Springs South, which finished 13th with 66 points, had just one swimmer make any championship heats. That swimmer, senior Chase Graham, finished eighth in both the 100 butterfly (53.70) and 500 freestyle (4:58.77). Aaron Wedel was 16th in the 500 free (5:07.10) and teamed with Graham, Thomas Branson and Josh Hafner to finish 14th in the 200 free relay (1:32.56). Wedel, Graham, Branson and Matthew Clark also took 14th in the 400 free relay (3:23.40).
“He came in as a freshman on fire and he's never let up all four years now,” Jaguars coach Errich Oberlander said of Graham. “He's a really good kid, a hard worker, and has really led our team for probably the last couple years, not just this year.”
In the Class 2 one-meter diving finals on Thursday night, Blue Springs South senior Alex Burt scored 488.30 points, which was 23 more points than he did in winning last year's state title, but came in second because of a stellar performance by Francis Howell North freshman Logan Schelfaut (503.55).
“I did everything I could in the meet,” Burt said. “I could have done better, but I still performed the best I could. The competition was definitely there this year. Everybody performed pretty well.”
Burt's fellow senior teammate Micah Currie compiled 453.65 points to finish fifth.
“I think I did pretty good,” Currie said. “I improved by 50 points from last year, so it was a lot better.”
Blue Springs, which did not have a swimmer during Friday's championship or consolation heat, got all 11 of its team points from its two sophomore divers, as Josiah Thomson (394.10) and Ethan Gutierrez (392.90) finished back-to-back in 11th and 12th place, respectively. Cogan Davis had the Wildcats’ highest finish in Thursday’s prelims, taking 19th in the 100 backstroke (56.01).
CLASS 1: Grain Valley junior Wyatt Huffman is poised to earn the first state team points for boys swimming in school history.
Huffman swam the 16th-best time (1:03.36) in the 100-yard breaststroke to earn a spot in the consolation finals Saturday in Friday’s Class 1 preliminaries.
Huffman narrowly missed making the second day in the 100 butterfly, finishing 20th in 55.93 seconds.
The Eagles also have a chance to earn points in diving with Eli Hendricks and Lane Jackson competing this morning.