With one major goal already accomplished, Tim Schweizer of Blue Springs can enjoy the rest of his high-school swimming season.
Schweizer recorded a state-qualifying time in just his second meet of the season during a four-team event Wednesday at the Blue Springs YMCA. Already a three-time qualifier, the senior secured another trip to the Class 2 state meet in November in the 100-yard breaststroke with a winning time of 1 minute, 3.16 seconds.
“It was just wishful thinking really,” Schweizer said of making a state cut so soon. “Last season I was able to do it at the first meet and I was just hoping I could do it again. Now I don’t have stress about that, and I can focus on bigger meets like conference and state.”
That wasn’t enough to top host Blue Springs South, but it was close. South edged the Wildcats 610-607 in the team race, which wasn’t decided until the Jaguars took the two top places in the meet-ending 400 freestyle relay. Warrensburg took third with 411 points, followed by Grain Valley with 297.
Schweizer was a little stressed coming into Wednesday’s meet because his sprint times in practice “weren’t quite there.” What he needed was a push, and he got that and then some with Blue Springs South’s George Bahr and Grain Valley’s Wyatt Huffman flanking him. Schweizer led from the start, but he had to dig in over the final 25 yards to hold off his two rivals and eclipse the 1:04.19 qualifying time.
Huffman finished second in 1:05.59, followed by Bahr at 1:06.60.
“I think having some good competition next to me is what really pushed me,” Schweizer said. “And we’re all good friends, so it was just fun racing with them.”
Schweizer, who also won the 50 freestyle and swam on Blue Springs’ first-place 200 medley relay team, was one of two Wildcats to earn state cuts. Josiah Thomson took first in 1-meter diving with a 283.45 final score, well above the 230 qualifying standard in that event. Runner-up Eli Hendricks of Grain Valley posted a 250.05 and also qualified.
Like Schweizer, Thomson, a junior and three-time state qualifier, hoped to get his state cut out of the way early.
“I was kind of setting a goal to qualify my first meet, but that didn’t happen because I failed a dive,” Thomson said. “So I’m just proud I got that score and when I qualified I was pretty happy.”
Cogan Davis was also a double winner for Blue Springs, taking the 100 butterfly in 58.93 seconds and 100 backstroke in 1:00.52. Davis also swam the 200 IM relay along with Grayden Peoples, who won the 500 freestyle in 5:16.88.
“Not disappointed at all,” Blue Springs coach Kevin Bigham said. “South’s one of the top programs in the state. We were just happy we were able to compete and keep it so close.”
Bahr was South’s lone champion, taking the 200 freestyle in 1:55.13. But the Jaguars depth and dominance in the relays kept them ahead of the Wildcats. South also took the 200 freestyle relay to go along with its 1-2 finish in the 400 free relay.
“I was pretty happy with the way we swam today,” South coach Errich Oberlander said. “We’ve hit practice pretty hard this week – we had a three-hour practice on Monday. They should be tired and a little beat up, but I was pretty happy with the way they swam all day.”