Blue Springs claims first invitational title since 2010

By The Examiner staff

The Blue Springs boys swimming and diving team got its 2020 season off to a big start.

The Wildcats won six events on the way to claiming the title in the Joplin Outdoor Invitational, their first invitational meet championship since 2010.

Blue Springs totaled 467 points to outdistance runner-up Webb City (339.5).

Senior Gabe Marthaler led the way for the Wildcats with a hand in three of the six event victories. He captured first in the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 18.28 seconds, and also prevailed in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.94.

Marthaler also teamed with Larry Baldwin, Will Harris and Jack Johnson to win the 200 medley relay in 1:47.84.

Baldwin claimed the other individual win, taking first in the 100 backstroke (1:01.48), topping teammate Johnson (1:04.10). Baldwin also led off the winning 200 freestyle relay team (1:38.33), which also featured Will Smalley, Derek Banta and Johnson.

The Wildcats took three of the top four spots in diving, with senior Josuah Thomson dominating with a score of 421.90. J.J. Davis (352.10) took third and Blake Nieman (323.15) was fourth.

Smalley took second in the 50 free (23.64), Harris was the 100 butterfly runner-up (1:01.96) and Banta was second in the 500 freestyle (5:48.35).

JAGUARS PREVAIL: The Blue Springs South boys swimming and diving team honored its seven seniors Tuesday with a quick victory.

The Jaguars defeated Grain Valley 201-76 and beat Marshall 216-10 at the Blue Springs South Aquatics Center. Grain Valley topped Marshall 142-18.

“We had a nice quick meet and got to recognize our seniors in the process,” Jaguars coach Errich Oberlander said. “Some really good performances with George Bahr and James Price just missing on some state qualifying times and scores.”

Seniors Danny Blocker, Luke Fournier, Ryan Griffel, Sam Harding, Landon Luke, Chason Smith and Will St. Louis were honored.

South won all 12 events with Bahr and Carter McIntosh each winning two events. Bahr won the 500-yard freestyle in a state consideration time of 5 minutes, 6.48 seconds. He also prevailed in the 200 freestyle in 1:53.74.

Price nearly earned a state cut with a win in diving with a score of 246.35.

McIntosh won the 50 freestyle (24.38) and 100 backstroke (1:07.56). Other winners for South were Luke (100 freestyle, 58.27), Jacob Suchman (100 breaststroke, 1:16.71), Brady Gilburn (100 butterfly, 1:01.12), Sawyer Jackson (200 IM, 2:32.46) and all three relays.

Jordan Jarman led Grain Valley with second-place finishes in the butterfly (1:14.61) and 50 freestyle (24.85). Evan Reich was second in the 200 free (2:20.33) and third in the 100 free (1:01.37), and Riley Fangman was second in the 100 backstroke (1:21.19) and third in the 500 (6:10.93) for the Eagles.

BRONCOS FALL: Lee’s Summit North fell to a pair of state powers in a three-team meet Wednesday at the Lee’s Summit Aquatics Center.

North fell 187-112 to crosstown rival Lee’s Summit West and 183-122 to Rockhurst. West also edged Rockhurst 153.5-150.5 while earning several automatic state cuts.

Daniel Worth claimed a win in the 100-yard breaststroke (58.77), took second in the 100 freestyle (47.50) and teamed with Alder Harding, Clayton Adkins and Grant Idoux for a win in the 200 medley relay (1:38.00). Ben Luna took second in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.23) and third in the 200 IM (2:05.03).

West’s Leo Kurucz earned automatic state cuts with wins in the 200 freestyle (1:47.47) and 100 butterfly (54.64). He also teamed with Caleb Ellis, Blake Lilly and Jesse Ailshire to set a school record in the 200 free relay (1:29.27) and edge North’s Worth, Harding, Idoux and Adkins (1:29.40).

Ellis earned automatic state cuts with wins in the 50 (21.87) and 100 (47.36) freestyles.