The Parkway Central Colts will jump into the Missouri State High School Activities Association Boys Swimming & Diving Championships with some momentum.
The Colts won the Suburban Conference Red Pool meet that was held at Pattonville. Parkway Central won with 462 points. Parkway West was just behind with 460 points.
The teams have competed in three previous meets this season with Parkway West finishing ahead of the Colts each time.
Colts coach Andrew Schonhoff was happy for his squad to come out on top this time.
“Our teams are very familiar with one another and many swim together in the offseason,” Schonhoff said. “I think both teams knew that it was going to come down to a couple points in the end. They had beaten us the previous three times we’d met. The meet was back and forth between West and Central the entire time. It was really exciting for the team.”
The state meet begins Thursday and run through Saturday. Class 1 events will be held Thursday and Friday morning. Class 2 events will be held Friday afternoon and Saturday. Three separate sessions per class with each costing $8.
Parkway Central has qualfied 17 Colts for the Class 1 meet. They are senior Tyler Arthur, junior Matt Campbell, senior David Carrasco, junior Hayden Christiansen, junior Yannis Fu, freshman Jake Hansen, senior Bryant Hau, sophomore Luke Heberle, junior Eli Hofer, junior Spencer Hyatt, senior Hyun Tae Joo, sophomore Marco Raimondi, junior Brandon Scaife, senior Brandon Smith, sophomore Joey Stecher, sophomore Nick Wintrode and freshman Quin Wolff.
The Colts were ninth last year at state as a team.
“We definitely hope to improve on our placing from last year,” Schonhoff said. “We have a couple more swimmers this year who have the ability to score points by finishing in the top 16 at state.
“None of our kids are favorites to win their events. They would need to have another big drop in order to have a chance to win their events. The boys have been working hard all season so we’re looking forward to a strong finish.”
The Colts went 9-3 in dual meets this season. The losses were to Parkway West, Parkway South, and St. Louis University High. The team also placed third at the Cape Rock Invitational.
Schonhoff said his squad was ready for the conference meet.
“Our kids who hadn’t individually qualified for state had been tapering leading up to the meet,” Schonhoff said. “The divers were sharp and virtually all of our swimmers swam their fastest times of the year at conference, whether it was prelims or finals. Some of our kids had really huge drops.”
The Colts won the 200 medley relay in 1 minute, 38.78 seconds. Members of the relay were Christiansen, Hyatt, Wolff and Hansen.
“That was the fastest we’d been this year, but it was not a school record,” Schonhoff said. “The school record is 1:36.05 (so) hopefully we get a bit closer to it at state this week. All four members of this relay team are returners.”
Christiansen also won two individual events. He took first in the 100 free in 47.78 and in the 100 back in 55.52.
“The 100 free is a relatively new event for Hayden, but we knew we we’d have to spread our swimmers out a bit to have a chance to win conference,” Schonhoff said. ” He had such a big drop in the event that we decided for him to swim it at state as well. No school records, but it’s definitely a goal to get his name on the record board at least once before he graduates.”
Wolff won the 50 free in 22.81.
This was a huge swim for him,” Schonhoff said. “Definitely a nice surprise for him to win this event and we obviously needed the points that came along with it.”
Hyatt won the 100 fly in 52.68. It was a personal best time for him.
Schonhoff also said he was pleased with Hofer, who went a 5:11.73 in the 500 free. His previous best had been 5:24.54.