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Weary Wildcats claim win in four-team meet

By The Examiner staff

Despite being in the toughest part of the season for training, the Blue Springs boys swimming and diving team still managed to dominate a four-team meet Wednesday.

The Wildcats totaled 657 points to outdistance Grain Valley (372), Truman (208) and William Chrisman (27) at Henley Aquatic Center.

"The guys are dead and broken down from our toughest training cycle of the season but they stepped up, swam a bunch of best times and led us to our best regular season start since 2006,” Blue Springs coach Kevin Bigham said of his team’s 13-1 dual record. “At the end of the day you can't complain about that.

"Really excited to see some season bests from John Bellinghausen, Jack Johnson, and Gabe Marthaler."

Johnson claimed a pair of wins to lead the Wildcats. He won the 100-yard backstroke in 1 minute, 3.36 seconds and the 50 freestyle in 24.59 seconds. He also teamed with Will Smalley, Caleb Franklin and Larry Baldwin for a win in the 400 freestyle relay (3:55.04) and anchored the 200 medley relay win (1:57.81) with Baldwin, Franklin and Will Harris.

Marthaler (1:06.50) and Bellinghausen (1:11.70) finished 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke, and both teamed with Smalley and Derek Banta for a win in the 200 freestyle relay (1:44.21).

Banta won the 200 individual medley (2:23.51); Harris prevailed in the 100 butterfly (1:02.61); and Smalley took first in the 100 free (54.77).

Isaac Burd led Grain Valley with a win in the 200 freestyle (2:02.53) over Marthaler (2:06.91) and took second in the 100 free (54.93). Grain Valley’s Eli Hendricks won diving (181.71).

Hayden Cox earned Truman’s lone win, prevailing in the 500 freestyle in 5:30.97.

Chrisman’s Joseph Bartosik took fifth in the 100 free (1:04.18) and sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:30.24).

JAGUARS TAKE SECOND: Despite swimming many off events, Blue Springs South fared well against a pair of state powers Tuesday.

The Jaguars totaled 514 points to finish behind Rockhurst (743) but ahead of Kearney (430), Grain Valley (247) and Marshall (6) at the Blue Springs South Aquatic Center.

“This was a fun meet for us because we swam almost all off events because we have another meet on Thursday where we will be swimming mostly our best events,” Jaguars coach Errich Oberlander said. “We got to see one of the best teams in Class 2 in Rockhurst and one of the perennial powerhouses in Class 1 in Kearney and we were very competitive all evening.”

James Price claimed South’s lone victory, winning diving with an automatic state qualifying score of 256.15. Eli Hendricks of Grain Valley also had an automatic state cut of 248.20 to finish second.

Ryan Griffel claimed second in the 200-yard individual medley in a state consideration time of 2 minutes, 17.72 seconds, and he was fifth in the 500 freestyle (5:40.70).

George Bahr finished second in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.72) and took third in the 100 free (51.31), both in state consideration times. Luke Fournier took third in the 100 butterfly (1:04.62).

Jordan Jarman had Grain Valley’s best swimming finish, taking sixth in the 100 backstroke (1:06.85).