Record Worth-y: Broncos senior dominates in Big Eight meet

By Michael Smith
The Examiner
Lee's Summit North senior Daniel Worth swims to a victory in the 100-yard butterfly in the Suburban Big Eight Championships Saturday at Lee's Summit Aquatic Center. Worth broke the conference record with a time of 48.18 seconds and also won the 100-yard breaststroke to help the Broncos finish second as a team.

Lee’s Summit North senior Daniel Worth has accomplished a lot in his time with the swim team.

He holds the state record for the 100-yard breaststroke and has multiple individual state championships to his name.That’s why he challenged himself to swim in different events this season after committing to the breaststroke and 200 individual medley during his first three years.

On Saturday, he swam in the 100-yard butterfly and took first place with a time of 48.18 seconds and he dominated the 100 breaststroke and helped the 200 medley relay team take first as the Broncos took second in the Suburban Big Eight Conference Championships Saturday at the Lee’s Summit Aquatic Center.

Blue Springs South's George Bahr swims to a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle in the Suburban Big Eight Championships Saturday at Lee's Summit Aquatic Center. Bahr had the Jaguars' top finish as they finished fifth as a team.

The Broncos finished with 337 points, 201 points behind first-place Lee’s Summit West. Blue Springs South took fifth (223) and Blue Springs was seventh (163).

“I broke the conference record and school record in the 100 fly, so it wasn’t too bad,” Worth said. “I was .15 (of a second) off breaking the state record, so hopefully I can break that record at state.

“Although, I haven’t 100 percent decided on what second event I will swim. There are other events I can do like the 50 free, so we’ll see.”

Worth made it look easy in the 100 breaststroke, too, finishing in 54.10 seconds, 4.2 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Connor Bichshel of Lee’s Summit West. He also teamed up with Alder Harding, Clayton Adkins and Kyle Forlow in the 200 medley relay, winning with a time of 1:34.29. That same foursome just missed out on winning the 200 free relay as well, finishing in 1:26.34. West won with a time of 1:25.84.

“Sprinting is something we pride ourselves on in this program.” North coach Thomas Faulkenberry said. “It was a disappointing loss (in the 200 free relay), but tip your cap to West. That’s a young, talented team over there. I am excited to have a rematch with them at state.”

With the state meet less than two weeks away, Worth has set his goals high for his individual events after breaking the conference 100 butterfly record and holding the overall state 100 breaststroke record and Class 2 state record in the 200 IM.

“Just because the state record is there, that doesn’t mean the national record isn’t,” Worth said. “That’s always there on my mind.

“I was about a second faster (in the breaststroke) than I was last year at this meet. I would like to finish in 51 seconds at state, the national record is 51.16. That’s pretty crazy, but it’s on my radar.”

North head coach Thomas Faulkenberry credited Worth with some of the success the Broncos have had as a team, noting the senior’s leadership.

“I love his ambition and love how he’s turned into an emotional leader for us,” he said. “He brings the guys up with him and gets the relay teams hyped up when they need to be.”

Lee's Summit North's Kyle Forlow, center, pumps his fist as he checks the board to see he has won the 50-yard freestyle in the Suburban Big Eight Championships Saturday at Lee's Summit Aquatic Center. Forlow's win helped the Broncos finish second behind Lee's Summit West.

Forlow could be an X-factor for the Broncos heading into the state meet as he was able to show what he could do Saturday. He won the 50 free (21.50), edging out second place Jesse Ailshire of West (21.85). He finished behind Ailshire (47.99) to take second in the 100 free at 48.53.

“I felt all right, but definitely not as good as I did yesterday,” Forlow said. “My 50 was pretty nice, though, and our medley was good.

“It’s going to be a tough race (at state). I think the 50 free is going to be close. I want to get first or second in the 50 (free).”

Faulkenberry said Forlow has taken a big leap this season to emerge as one of the team’s top swimmers.

“Kyle had a big turnaround last season and decided this is something he could be good at and something he wanted to buy into,” Faulkenberry said. “He did a whole bunch of work in the offseason, especially in the weight room. He just went out there and got it done today.”

Other Broncos to finish in the top four include Grant Idoux in the 100 free (fourth, 49.01); the 400 free relay team of Collin Meyer, Seth Bishop, Idoux and Ben Luna (fourth, 3:26.03); Adkins in the 50 free (fourth, 22.40); and Luna in the 200 IM (fourth, 2:03.30).

For Blue Springs South, George Bahr had the most successful day individually, placing second in the 500 freestyle (4:44.97) and third in the 200 free (1:45.51). He also teamed with Ryan Griffel, Landon Luke and Luke Fournier to take fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:41.79).

Blue Springs South's Ryan Griffel competes in the 100-yard backstroke in the Suburban Big Eight Championships Saturday at Lee's Summit Aquatic Center. Griffel and the Jaguars finished fifth as a team.

“I think I did good since I had a rough practice before this meet,” Bahr said. “I dropped a couple of seconds (in both races) and dropped some seconds from last year. I had some really good competition here.”

Last season, Bahr just missed out on making the all-state list, taking 17th in the 200 free. This season, he aims to make it into the top 16.

“There is no second day this year, you just have one shot,” Bahr said. “I am just going to let it rip and see what place I can get. I think I have a shot to make the top eight in the 500.”

The other top four finishes for the Jaguars was diver James Price (third, 436.55) and the 200 free relay team of Carter McIntosh, Luke, Fournier and Broedy Gilburn (third, 1:32.13).

Blue Springs senior Josiah Thomson dominated diving, winning by more than 40 points with a score of 514.25. JJ Davis finished fourth at 421.20.

Gabe Marthaler was Blue Springs’ top individual swimmer, taking eighth in the 100 free (1:04.92).

Blue Springs South's Ben Luna swims the breaststroke leg of the 200-yard individual medley in the Suburban Big Eight Championships Saturday at Lee's Summit Aquatic Center. Luna and the Jaguars finished fifth as a team.