COLUMBIA, Mo. – Lee’s Summit North freshman Anna Hess made a big splash in one of the biggest girls swimming and diving meets of the year.
Hess claimed a pair of top-five finishes and helped two relay teams earn state berths to lead the Broncos to a 14th-place finish.
Blue Springs sophomore Annemarie Rehbein and freshman I’yana Foster also had big meets to help the Wildcats finish 12th.
Blue Springs totaled 76 points, while North had 68. Blue Springs South, which earned five new state berths, was 22nd with 37.5 points. Grain Valley finished 36th with five points, while Marquette of Chesterfield won the team title with 219.
Against a field that is arguably tougher than the state meet because it has powers from each of the two classes, Hess led the Broncos by finishing fourth in the 100-yard backstroke in 58.45 seconds. She also took fifth in 58 seconds, both automatic state qualifying times. Hess also teamed with Olivia Neidt, Madison Goff and Morgan Andersen to help the 200 medley relay team finish 12th (automatic state cut 1:55.65). She anchored the 11th-place 200 freestyle relay (automatic state cut 1:43.54), teaming with Goff, Lillie Zoller and Andersen.
Annica Valmassei also helped the Broncos by capturing second place in diving with an 11-dive score of 419.70.
Blue Springs’ Rehbein claimed the area’s top swimming finish, taking third in the 100 breastroke in an automatic state cut time of 1 minute, 6.89 seconds. She also teamed with Jenna Wright, Sydney Franklin and Foster to finish seventh in both the 200 medley relay (1:53.51) and 400 freestyle relay (3:46.75), both automatic state times.
Foster earned two top 16 finishes in the sprint events, taking 11th in the 100 freestyle (54.46) and 13th in the 50 freestyle (25.14). Shayla Aten also earned points with a 15th-place finish in diving (323.05).
Regi Hecker and Anna Zweerink led the way for Blue Springs South, which earned five new state cuts in Friday’s preliminaries. Hecker qualified for state in both the 50 (25.14) and 100 (54.90) freestyles and Zweerink qualified in the 100 butterfly (1:00.31). They also combined to help the Jaguars qualify for state in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
In Saturday’s finals, Hecker tied for 14th in the 50 freestyle (25.37) and finished 16th in the 100 free (56.59) and Zweerink was 15th in the butterfly (1:02.24).
“Overall Friday was great,” Jaguars coach Errich Oberlander said. “Saturday we showed some fatigue, but fought through and raced hard.
“Kennedy Hecker just missed the 50 freestyle, and Micaela Richards had a huge time drop in the 100 fly to get well under the state consideration time. Amy Pollard also had a strong showing in the 100 free with a big time drop and a state consideration time.”
Hecker, Maelyn MacLean, Kennedy Hecker and Zweerink finished eighth in the 400 free relay (3:50.84) and 12th in the 200 free relay (1:44.13).
Hayden Meyer earned all of Grain Valley’s points by finishing 12th in diving with a score of 332.80.