Local swimmers ready to participate in boys state swimming and diving meet
By: Warren Mayes
It’s time to dive into the Missouri State High School Activities Association Boys Swimming & Diving Championships at the St. Peters Rec-Plex.
The two-day meet begins Friday.
Lafayette finished second last year and have five swimmers back. In all, nine of coach Todd Gabel’s Lancers qualified for the state meet.
“Having that experience is big and helps them prepare and gives my younger athletes a little edge that the older boys can tell them what to expect,” Gabel said. “State is always fun to be at it. It is what we work for all year and it is exciting to see the boys achieve their goals.”
Gabel said he feels good about how his squad will perform.
“We are expecting to be top 10 team this year,” Gabel said. “I think the favorites are Parkway Central and Rockhurst.”
Rockhurst won state last year, besting Lafayette by 36 points. Parkway Central finished third, 68 points behind the Hawklets.
Rockhurst qualified a whopping 25 boys for the state meet. Parkway South will have 18 boys competing while Parkway Central qualified 16 Colts for the meet while Marquette and Eureka will be sending 15 athletes apiece.
Lafayette enters state after winning the Suburban West Conference meet for the 29th time in the last 30 years. The only blip in that streak came in 2007 when Marquette won the conference meet.
“Going into the (conference) meet, I was thinking that the meet was up for grabs and that it could be won by any team,” Gabel said. “As a coach I always go into a meet trying to win. If you do not, you lose the competitive edge and if you have that attitude you can’t or think you cannot win as a coach, it reflects on your swimmers’ performance.
“The conference meet was very competitive this year.”
The meet came down to the 400 meter free relay, the last event. Lafayette and Eureka were tied. The Lancers finished second while the Wildcats came in fifth, enabling Lafayette to win the meet with 384 points. Eureka was with 378.
“I always tell my athlete the meet is won and lost on first day during prelims,” Gabel said. “You have to get into the top eight or bottom eight to score on finals day. My athletes had a great conference meet.
“We had a lot of best times. I was very proud of the boys stepping up and swimming and diving to the best of their ability.”
Parkway West coach Allison Zeller has high hopes for her Longhorns at the state meet. Last year, Parkway West finished eighth.
She has small squad with just 14 boys on our roster. However, six have qualified for state with individual cuts and three relay teams qualified.
“This is our deepest team I have coached since coming to West,” Zeller said. “We have someone in all but two individual events this meet.”
State is the place to be, Zeller said.
“This is the meet that we prepare for all season long,” Zeller said. “It is the culmination of our season’s work, and the team is looking forward to a strong performance.”
Like Gabel, Zeller said two teams stand out in Rockhurst and Parkway Central. However, there likely will be some surprises.
“Rockhurst always has a strong team,” Zeller said. “Parkway Central has been a very tough opponent. It sounds cliche, but it really is a wide open event.”
Her team is ready to go.
“I think they are very excited and looking forward to the competition,” Zeller said. “The state meet is always exciting and this year should be no different.”
Here is a list of the athletes who have qualified for the state meet:
Chaminade, coached by Kevin Brennan: Michael Alberici, senior; Jack Basler, junior; Grant Bowes, junior, Josh Diehl, senior, Matt Geiser, senior; Peter Kimes, junior; Garrett Knasel, junior; Justin Knasel, sophomore; Grady Konzen, senior; Colin McNearney, senior; Zander Miller, sophomore; Will O’Shea, junior; Jack Reigel, sophomore; and Trae Schuller, junior,
Christian Brothers College, coached by Sean Dooley: Nick Alves, junior; Joe Dooley, junior; Max Eversman, junior; Jack Fix, junior; Thomas Haferkamp, senior; Ethan Kessler, junior; Taylor Lang, senior; Matt Phillips, senior; Cole Robinson, freshman; and Wilhelm Thuston, senior.
DeSmet, coached by Doug Maitz: Kevin Christoff, senior.
Eureka, coached by Sharon Wasson: Jimmy Barnes, junior; Jacob Damti, senior; Brenden Harris, freshman; Chris Horn, senior; James Kane, junior; Scott Kelly, senior; Justin King, freshman; Andy Klein, senior; Patrick McGinnis, junior; Luke Schroeder, senior; Nick Seidel, senior; Luke Seiler, senior; Stephen Sugarbaker, freshman; Stephen Tresslar, junior; and Danny Van Patten, senior.
Lafayette, coached by Todd Gabel: Jacob Alspaw, junior; Jeremy Bruder, senior; Jon Glaser, senior; Michael Murphy, sophomore; Zack Murphy, senior; Connor Parsons, senior; Jared Rahe, senior; David Wang, senior; and John Wilmsen, freshman.
Marquette, coached by Joe Schoedel: Evan Catani, senior; Michael Clark, sophomore; Nick Davis, senior; Ryan Esser, freshaman; Sean Esser, junior; Reece Hagar, junior; Jake Jesielowski, freshman; Grant Maloney, sophomore; Sam Marlow, sophomore; Colin McHugh, sophomore; Hanbum Park, junior; Kevin Poskin, senior; Matt Reiter, freshman; Max Roth, senior; and Collier Trager, senior.
MICDS, coached by Kristen Kaiser: Ellis Brown, senior; Charles Cella, senior; Benjamin Edwards, freshman; Jack Finlay, junior; Sean Gallagher, senior; Eric Lee, junior; Lunsford Schock, senior; and Tommy Stupp, junior.
Parkway Central, coach by Kevin Fober: Elliot Barnes, junnior; Adam Barr, freshman; Riley Brown, junior; Hiroki Gavin, freshman; Natsu Gavin, junior; Spencer Kraus, sophomore; Ben McIntyre, senior; Luke Oliver, freshman; Nick Orf, senior; Kirk Randolph, sophomore; Connor Ripp, freshman; Zach Rogers, junior; Kevin Tian, junior; Matthew Walter, junior; Brandon Weissman, senior; and Jinghang Zhang, freshman.
Parkway North, coached by Bart Prosser: Jared Dachroeden, sophomore.
Parkway South, coached by Jeremy Nichols: Brian Audiffred, junior; Jeff Ayers; senior; Peter Crocker, freshman; Brian Day, senior; Jeremy Evers, senior; Cooper Faddis, sophomore; Bradley Gleason, senior; Timothy Goodwin, junior; Daniel Grass, senior; Josh Grass, senior; Raymond Lay, senior; Todd Losby, junior; Kelly Lovera, junior; Conrad Polys, senior; Timothy Regan, junior; Skyler Waddell, junior; Kurt Weatherford, freshman; and Elliott Wolff, senior.
Parkway West, coached by Allison Zeller: Drew Bonnett, freshman; Luke Christensen, freshman; Tommy Christensen, junior; Tom Collins, senior; Josh Emde, junior; Wes Greene, senior; Cheng-Hau Kee, sophomore; Grant Keesling, junior; Philip LePoidevin, sophomore; Sam Luethy, senior; David Peck, junior; Joe Ross, freshman; Ryan Schlueter, junior; and Jeremy Wojtak, junior.
Westminster Christian Academy, coached by Kent Kehr: Brian Fellows, senior; Jake Kehr, senior; Cole Montgomery, senior; Easton Noble, senior; Eddie Sutphen, senior; and Brandt Wieberg, junior.