Some of Blue Springs’ top swimmers weren’t happy with their times in their individual events during a dual against rival Blue Springs South Thursday, but they still got the job done.
Shaedyn Read, Annemarie Rehbein and Gracie Lefholz each won two events to help the Wildcats earn a 182-131 victory at the Blue Springs Family YMCA.
Blue Springs won 10 of the 12 events and that trio was a part of eight of those victories. Read, a senior, won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2 minutes, 5.73 seconds. She also took the 100 free in 56.22 seconds.
“I did OK, but I didn’t swim my best,” said Read, who finished fourth in the 500 freestyle at state last year. “But we got the team win and that’s what matters most.
“We’re in the middle of training right now and we just got done with finals. So, this isn’t the best time to swim our best times.”
Rehbein said she felt the same way. The sophomore, who was an all-state swimmer in the 100 breaststroke last season, took first in that event in 1:11.05. She also won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:25.02.
“I think we’ve been doing well this year,” Rehbein said. “I think this meet is to see where we are as a team.
“I think I did OK, and I think it was good to see that I was close to my state cut,” Rehbein said. “It just showed me that I need to work hard.”
Blue Springs coach Kevin Bigham said it was all about getting in the right mindset for Rehbein.
“Annmarie can be so much better once she believes it,” Bigham said. “Once she realizes how talented she is and how great of a swimmer she is, the sky is the limit. She’s a stud. Once she’s at the end of her high school career, I think people will look at her as one of the best to ever come through the program.”
Rehbein and Read also were a part of the first-place 200 medley relay team (1:58.56) with Jenna Wright and Lefholz. They both were on the first-place 400 free relay squad (3:59.47) with Wright and Carson Ludwig.
“We’re trying to get the state cut, but we missed it,” Read said.
Added Rehbein: “We definitely have room for improvement, but for us to come together as a team and come close is a good thing.”
Lefholz also was a big part of the Wildcats’ win as she finished first in the 100 butterfly (1:08.27) and won the 500 free (5:56.43).
“I did what I wanted. I just wanted to go out and win them,” Lefholz said of her individual events. “Both of them were back to back, so that was tiring.”
Other winners for the Wildcats were Katie Garten (252.00) in diving and Wright in the 100 backstroke (1:02.88).
“I am happy with how they competed, but I think we were all expecting faster times,” Bigham said. “We’re working really hard but we’re pretty broken down. It’s not an excuse. We need to be a little more aggressive and do better with the pre-race preparation. We have a ways to go to be where we want to at the end of the year.
“Jenna Wright raced in the 100 backstroke just like we do in practice. I would say her backstroke was the standout swim of the meet for me. Her head position was the best I have ever seen it. Her turnover was better and she’s getting her rotation down.”
Jaguars coach Errich Oberlander said he also was pleased with the way his young team competed. He had some of his top swimmers try some events they normally don’t swim.
“I thought we swam pretty well today,” Oberlander said. “We had a nice hour and a half long practice before the meet. It was good to see those girls come out and race after having a practice. We’re focused on (the COMO Invitational in Columbia) after Christmas.
“I hate to say this word, but some of my worst breaststrokers I had in the breaststroke today. I like to have my kids swim every event at least once during the season. The little meets like this when we are swimming against friendly competition, is a good time to do that. A lot of them had best times in their off events.”
Regi Hecker was the Jaguars’ top swimmer Thursday as she took first in the 50 free (25.75) and second in the 500 free (6:09.27). She was also a part of the first-place 200 free relay team (1:47.14) with Maelyn MacLean, Gabby Fournier and Anna Zweerink. That same team took second in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:00.92.
“It was the first time this season that I broke in the 25s (in the 50 free), which makes me happy,” Hecker said. “We had practice at 8 a.m. before the meet so we were all kind of tired.”