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Prep swimming & diving roundup: Wildcats sweep five-team field

By The Examiner staff

The Blue Springs girls swimming and diving team only garnered one victory in Wednesday’s meet but had enough depth to sweep a tough five-team field.

The Wildcats edged Columbia Rock Bridge (98-84) and Columbia Hickman (99-81) while also beating Columbia Battle (156-10) and Savannah (139-33) at the Blue Springs High School Aquatic Center.

“What a way to end the regular season, with victories against two of the top teams in the state," Wildcats coach Kevin Bigham said. "Shayla (Aten) and Mackenzie (Loudermilk) really look like they could both score at state (diving) this year."

"A lot of swimmers really stepped up today. Emma McMullen, Katrina Gregath, Grace Wendell, Natalie Van Hoesen, Emma Yun, Brooke Niemann, Lauren Mack, Alex Pierce – and really too many to name – had an outstanding meet.”

Annemarie Rehbein claimed Blue Springs’ lone event victory, winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 24.31 seconds. Pierce was third (2:39.55) and also took third in the 100 freestyle (1:02.63). Rehbein also took third in the 100 backstroke (1:07.63).

Aten took third (397.65) and Loudermilk was fourth (384.05) behind state contenders Olivia Liddle of Rock Bridge (450.20) and Ava Hoenes of Hickman (436.90) in the 11-dive meet.

Also taking third for the Wildcats were Lou Bellinghausen (200 free, 2:22.18), Emma Wharton (50 free, 30.42), I’yana Foster (100 butterfly, 1:05.12), Emma McMullen (500 free, 7:39.86).

The 200 freestyle relay of Rehbein, Bellinghausen, Foster and Pierce took second (1:49.49), as did the 400 free relay squad of Mack, Wharton, Madelyn Johnson and Wendell.

BEARS TAKE THIRD: Kiersten Playter earned a pair of third-place finishes to help William Chrisman take third in a five-team meet Wednesday at Henley Aquatic Center.

The Bears totaled 186 points to finish behind Pembroke Hill (546) and St. Teresa’s Academy (484) and ahead of Truman (156) and Van Horn (17).

Playter took third in the 200 IM (2:46.03) and 100 backstroke (1:16.76).

Kira Pangelinan also earned a third-place finish for the Bears in the 500 freestyle (7:29.62).

Felicia Lawrence scored all of Van Horn’s 17 points with a second-place finish in diving (157.60). Truman’s Kaleigh Harger (151.65) and Dariann Wheaton (130.25) finished third and fourth.

Samantha Stone had Truman’s top swimming finish by taking seventh in the backstroke (1:32.05).