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2019-20 high school girls swimming and diving preview capsules

The Marquette Mustangs are looking to jump in the pool for the girls swimming and diving season.

Marquette won the Class 2 state championship last winter with 278 points. Rock Bridge was distant second at 224.5. It was the Marquette program’s third title. The other two came in 1999 and 2000.

Coach Joe Schoedel’s team went undefeated in duals and won three meets before claiming the state title.

He has eight state qualifiers back. Marquette senior Amanda Yu finished second in the 100-yard butterfly in 58.01 seconds last winter. Sophomore Carsyn Cosman came in second in the 200 freestyle last season with a time of 1 minute, 54.63 seconds. Junior Hailey Benting wound up third in 100 breaststroke in 1:06.12.

“This should be another fun season,” Schoedel said. “I know the girls are anxious to show everyone that we are still the team to beat.”

Westminster Christian Academy junior Margo O’Meara will try to make it three state diving championships in a row. She remains undefeated in high school. She has won every dual meet, team meet and state meet since she joined the Wildcats’ program.

Westminster Christian Academy’s Margo O’Meara has won the state diving championship in her first two years with the Wildcats. She will try to make it three in a row this season.

The Missouri overall state diving record for total points is 523.50. That total was reached in 1991 by Julie Grimmer, of Nerinx Hall. It’s something O’Meara may be able to top this season.

O’Meara overcame offseason knee surgery and a case of the flu just before the state meet last February to win the Class 1 state diving championship for the second consecutive season. She finished first at the state meet with 520.25 points. That total broke her own Class 1 state record. Her sophomore total was a nice jump up from her 499.80 score as a freshman.

O’Meara ran away with the diving championship in the first Class 1 state swimming and diving meet as a freshman. O’Meara won the title with a point total of 499.80. That was 131 points ahead of the second-place competitor. In fact, she would have been the state champion if the meet remained just one class as the Class 2 champion that year had 451.60 points.

Parkway West has returning state 200 IM champion back in senior Lauren Beard. Her winning time of 2:08.46 set the record in Class 1.

Incarnate Word Academy has senior Ellie Wehrmann returning. She has signed to swim at Kansas. Wehrmann won the 100 freestyle race in the Class 1 state meet last winter. Her time of 51.69 seconds set the record for Class 1.

Nate Kortuem returns to Eureka as the head coach after taking last year off. Mary Henke coached the Wildcats last season.

Chris McCrary, who is the boys swimming coach at MICDS, steps up from assistant coach to head coach for the Rams girls team this season. Coach Kristen Witzman gave birth to her first child (Bennett Evan Witzman) last February during the season last year. She is staying home with him.

Grace Burnworth takes over as the head coach at Incarnate Word Academy. It is her third year with the team.

Here are the conference alignments:
Suburban Conference Yellow Pool: Eureka, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway South, Parkway West.
Suburban Conference Red pool teams: Clayton, Hazelwood West, Ladue, McCluer North, Mehlville, Oakville, Parkway North, Pattonville, Summit, Webster Groves.
Metro League teams: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia, Westminster Christian Academy.
Metro Women’s Athletic Association teams: Cor Jesu, Incarnate Word Academy, Nerinx Hall, St. Joseph’s Academy, Ursuline, Visitation Academy.

Here is a look at the teams that will be competing this winter:

Eureka Wildcats
2018-19: 400 free relay finished ninth in state and broke a school record with a 3:39.47 time. Lily Harell was ninth in 200 IM and sixth 100 back at state.
Coach: Nate Kortuem. Entering third year as head coach after taking last year off.
Assistant coaches: Lara Christie is diving coach, Tracey Roirdan is assistant swimming coach.
Returning number of state qualifiers: 7.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Lily Harrell in 100 back, 200 IM, and 100 fly; Ciara Hynes in 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly; McKinley Munk in 50 free, 100 free, 200 free; Bailey Walka in diving, Grace Munton in diving; Emma Harris (who is back this year after taking last year and was 14th in 500 free in 2018 state meet) in 200 free, 500 free, 100 back, 100 fly; Abby Seiler in 50 free; Olivia Dolan in 200 free and 100 fly; Sidney Durbin (who took last year off after transferring from Lafayette and was 11th in the 500 free in 2018 state meet) in 100 breaststroke and 500 free; McKenzie Swope (who is back this year after taking last year off and was 26th in the 500 free in 2018 state meet) in 200 free and 500 free.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Marin Lashley in 100 back and freestyle events, Payton Wells in 100 breaststroke and freestyle events, Aleksa Roark in freestyle events.
Swimmers who have committed to college:Senior Lily Harrell will be swimming at Midland University in Nebraska, Senior Ciara Hynes will be swimming at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater.
Team strengths: Have a good freestyle core to this team and have top performers in the stroke events. Have 12 USA/YMCA year-round swimmers along with multi-sport athletes that consists of players in softball, cross country, track and field, lacrosse, field hockey, water polo.
Goals: No. 1 goal is to finish in top 3 at state meet. No. 2 goal is to win conference. No. 3 goal is to beat Marquette in dual meet.
Quote: “I am really excited for this team,” Kortuem said. “There is a lot of talent on this team and they work really hard so they will have good shot at doing really well at state.”

Incarnate Word Academy Red Knights
2019-20 record: Ellie Wehrmann won 100 freestyle and was second in 200 free at Class 1 state meet. 200 Free relay was fourth at state and medley relay finished sixth. Individual state qualifiers were Jordan Hodges and Emily Schroeder.
Coach: Grace Burnworth. Entering first year as head coach and third with the team.
Assistant coaches: Dana Wehrmann, Shawn Calderon, the dive coach.
Returning number of swimmers/state qualifiers: 12 returning swimmers and divers. 3 returning state qualifiers.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Ellie Wehrmann in 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 IM, 100 back, 100 fly, 500 free; Jordan Hodges in 100 fly, 50 free.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Anna Marie Tolentino in 50 free, 100 free.
Captains: Catherine Salem, Ellie Wehrmann.
Swimmers who have committed to college: Ellie Wehrmann to University of Kansas.
Team strengths: Diversity in strengths.
Goals: Have a lot of new swimmers, so look forward to dropping time and improving in skill.
Quote: “We have a wonderful group of girls that encourage each other in and out of the pool,” Burnworth said.

Lafayette Lancers
2019-20 record: 6-2 in duals.
Coach: Todd Gabel. Entering 14th year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Evyn Spencer and diving coach Brennen Dooley.
Returning number of state qualifiers: 5.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Junior Zoe Bishop in breast and IM, junior Rachel Brown in 200 free, senior Paige Daws in 100 breast and 200 IM, senior Sarah Higgins in 100 back and 100 free, sophomore Lindsey Lohr in 100 Breast and 200 IM, sophomore Abby Miltenberger in 200 and 500 free, sophomore Dylan Moulton in 100 free and 100 back, sophomore Jordan Moulton in 100 breast and 500 free, senior Claire Vanbljon in 100 and 200 free, sophomore Rachel Warner in 100 breast, sophomore Gabby Kennedy in diving.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshmen Morgan Hast in 200 and 500 free, Elizabeth Tyson in 100 breast, Grace Tyson in 100 fly.
Captains: Not named.
Swimmers who have signed to college: None.
Team strengths: Coming back stronger in diving. Relays will be solid.
Goals: We are looking for some individuals to break school records.
Favorites to win Suburban Conference Yellow Pool: The conference will be a fun, competitive meet. Look for Eureka to make a move this year .
Quote: “We are a great team and a hard working group that you can never count us out at the end of the season, “Gabel said. “We are expecting more qualifiers this year than last year.”

Marquette Mustangs
2019-20 record: 10-0 in duals. COMO Invitational champions, Kirkwood Invitational champs, Suburban Conference Yellow Pool champions. Won Class 2 state championship, the third crown in the program’s history.
Coach: Joe Schoedel. Entering 10th year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Lisa Roth, Robin Craig.
Returning number of swimmers/state qualifiers: 25 athletes and 8 state qualifiers.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: The returning state qualifiers: Amanda Yu, Jenny Flores, Abby Bomball, Hailey Benting, Haley Hume, Jenna Howard, Carson Cosman, and Anna Mae Williams.
Swimmers who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Depth has been our strength for several years. The girls’ drive for success is impressive and contagious, so it will be exciting to see new girls step up after graduating 12 seniors last year.
Goals: Repeat last year’s success.
Favorites to win Suburban Conference Yellow Pool: Marquette.
Quote: “This should be another fun season,” Schoedel said. “I know the girls are anxious to show everyone that we are still the team to beat.”

MICDS Rams
2019-20 record: Won Metro League meet. Finished second in Class 1 state meet.
Coach: Chris McCrary. Entering first year as head coach of the girls’ program.
Assistant coaches: Samm Crocker, Tom Revie and Andy Balczo for diving.
Returning number of state qualifiers: 2.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Sophomore Anna Scott Baur, junior Madigan Kinsey and junior Elle Haines.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman Erica Engelhardt.
Captains: Meaghan Cannon and Madigan Kinsey.
Team strengths: IMs and breaststrokes, diving.
Goals: Build a foundation.
Quote: “We are working hard at building a great foundation for that will make us really strong in the next couple years,” McCrary said. “With some hard working returning swimmers reaching their junior and senior years, we are looking at getting a group of new faces qualified for state champs.”

Parkway Central Colts
2018-19 record: 5-6. Teams was sixth at Marquette Relays, third at the Parkway Quad and sixth at City of Roses. At state, there were many amazing swims and top 16 finishes in both swimming and diving.
Coach: Stephanie Seidel. Entering second year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Nicole Hewitt and Natalie Kirner as the dive coach.
Returning number of swimmers/state qualifiers: 20 returning swimmers and divers. 6 state qualifiers.
Swimmers on the team to watch for this winter: Senior Abby Levine in the 100 fly and 100 breast, junior Grecia Escalante in sprint free events, senior Lily Eckenrode, junior Kate Orso and sophomore Carissa Bersche in diving.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman Juliette Phillips, Isabelle Calabio and Emily Zhang.
Captains: Lily Eckenrode and Sakura Gavin.
Swimmers who have committed or signed to college: None.
Team strengths: Have a great group of talented girls who are all-around swimmers which will provide versatility throughout the year in all events.
Goals: Have set some high expectations this year as a team and as individuals. Hoping that each girl can accomplish their individual goal(s) set while still having a successful overall season.
Favorites to win Suburban Conference Yellow Pool: Kirkwood or Marquette.
Quote: “The talent and the depth we have in each event, including diving, is exciting and will play an important role in our overall team success,” Seidel said. “As a team, we have set some high standards for ourselves, but as in all competitive sports, each year presents itself with its own challenges. Some of the challenges we will be facing this year is the talent that is within our conference. We will have some tough meets ahead with great competition, that will force our girls to step up and swim their best. Through the dedication and commitment to the training that we have in place this year, we are looking forward to embracing each swimmer and diver through individual and team success.”

Parkway North Vikings
Coach: Jennifer Meyer. Entering eighth year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Dawn Newport, Natalie Vonarx and Bart Prosser.
Returning number of swimmers/state qualifiers: 18 and 6.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Juniors Sarah Jelliss in 200 IM, 100 fly, 100 breast, Paige Bolling in 200 IM, 100 fly and 100 back, Abby Bockerstett in 200 IM, 100 back.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Taryn Will in 100 fly, 200 IM and 500 free and Meghan Bolling.
Captains: Seniors are leading the team.
Swimmers who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Looking solid across many events.
Goals: For the team to support each other and improve their swimming and hopefully compete in several events at the state meet.
Favorites to win Suburban Conference Red Pool: Last year Ladue and Webster were very strong, guessing they will be good again this year.
Quote: “The team is off to a great start this year,” Meyer said. “They are working hard and getting along well. Since we didn’t lose many seniors last year and we gained some new team members, I am optimistic we will be competitive.”

Parkway South Patriots
2018-2019 Record: 5-5 in duals.
Coach: Blakeleigh Mathes. Entering second year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Jeremy Nichols.
Returning swimmers/state qualifiers: 26 returning swimmers. 6 returning state qualifiers.
Swimmers on team to watch this winter: Summer Hay in 50/100 free, Claire Muckerman in 200/500 free, Logan Knolhoff in 50 FR/100 back, Kylee Sullivan in 100 free/200 IM, Mia Muckerman in 100/200 free.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Kylee Sullivan, Mia Muckerman, Lucy Price, Natalie Avise in diving.
Captains: Summer Hay, Claire Muckerman, Alexa Spoerle, Alex Ring, Camryn Reed, Sammy Brown, and Adelle Simmons.
Swimmers who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Solid depth and great team chemistry.
Goals: Top 3 at conference, win the Parkway Quad, and be competitive in all duals.
Favorites to win the Suburban Conference Yellow Pool: Marquette, Kirkwood, Parkway South, or Parkway West.
Quote: “I am very excited for the upcoming season,” Mathes said. “With tremendous returning swimmers, and exciting freshman, South is gearing up for an amazing season.”

Parkway West Longhorns
2019-20 record: 7-2 in dual season. Parkway Quad champion. Fifth in conference meet. Fourth place in Class 1 state meet.
Coach: Coleen Sumner. Entering second year as the girls head coach at Parkway West.
Assistant coaches: Mary Beth Wilson and Aimee Bernier.
Returning number of swimmers/state qualifiers: 12 and 8.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Senior Lauren Beard in 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, sophomore Megan VanValkenburgh in 100 back and 100 free, sophomore Mallory Stirrat in 100 fly and 200 IM, senior Claire Lynn in diving.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Campbell Murawski in 100 back, 100 fly and freestyle events, along with a big freshman class expected to contribute to depth at dual meets, diving and postseason competitions.
Captains: None yet.
Swimmers who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Returning state 200 IM champion Lauren Beard, strong relays, diving, depth from several dedicated team members and newcomer Campbell Murawski able to compete in several different events all should contribute to a solid season.
Goals: Get several individual and all three relays to state, place high at conference, have a winning dual meet record.
Favorites to win Suburban Conference Yellow Pool: Kirkwood or Marquette.
Quote: “This is a strong, committed, tiny but mighty team ready to compete and make their way back to the podium at state,” Sumner said. “The coaching staff is excited for this season.”

Principia Panthers
2019-20 record: 7-6.
Coach: Brian Peticolas. Entering 10th season as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Jessica Fendon.
Returning number of swimmers/state qualifiers: 8 and 0.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Senior Katherine Peticolas in the 50 free, sophomore Hayley Carlyle in the 50 and 100 free, sophomores Anna Dilley, Holly Savoye and Peyton Hanser in the 200 and 500 free, Sidney Bradley in diving.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Senior Lucia Diaz Fino in the fly and backstroke.
Captains: Katherine Peticolas and Lucia Diaz Fino.
Swimmers who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Solid in relays, good depth, great diver, solid in sprints and distance free.
Goals: Qualify a relay and two individuals for state.
Favorites to win Metro League: Westminster Christian, MICDS.
Quote: “We have a great team this year,” Peticolas said. “Lots of good swimmers that can swim anywhere we put them. Excited to see how they come together and in what events everyone will excel in.”

St. Joseph’s Academy Angels
2018-19 record: 8-3 in duals. Third at MWAA meet, 14th (of 41 teams) at Class 1 state meet.
Coach: Tracy Baer. Entering third year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Michele Tischer entering her 24th year as assistant coach.
Returning number of swimmers/state qualifiers: 19 returning swimmers and 1 returning diver. 7 state qualifiers.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Diver: Junior Sam Camfield. Swimmers: Ellie Guenther (IM, breastroke, freestyle), Emma Cole (freestyle events), Grace Hattrich (fly, free, IM)
Newcomers expected to contribute: Senior Katie Kostecki, who is in her first year on the team; freshman Emily Murawski, freshman Sarah Donohue
Team strengths: Really strong depth across the entire swim team with over 30 swimmers and seven divers overall who are already moving the needle and pushing past their comfort zones
Goals: Win conference and be a top 8 team overall at state championships.
Favorites to win MWAA: Nerinx, Cor Jesu and SJA will all battle it out again this season.
Quote: “I’m really excited to see what this young team can do,” Baer said. “We have really solid depth across all strokes and especially freestyle. With seven divers, there will be a lot of internal drive for the three spots each dual meet and I can see they are already pushing themselves to learn new and harder DD dives. They are backed by strong leadership with returning junior diver Sam Camfield, who finished third overall at state last year. While we have a very young team (17 of 39 are new to the team this year), we have strong leadership across the entire team. I’m excited to see what they can do.”

Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats
2019-20 record: 13-2 in duals.
Coach: Kent Kehr. Entering 33rd year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Sue Harris and Steve Braun, who is the diving coach.
Returning number of swimmers/state qualifiers: 29 and 6.
Swimmers on team to watch for this winter: Junior Margo O’Meara in diving.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman Samantha Lee in 500 free.
Captains: Grace Skiljan, Camryn McMurry, Lauren Zone.
Swimmers who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Solid in diving and good depth.
Goals: Hope to finish top 2 at conference and have a strong state finish
Favorites to win conference: MICDS.
Quote: “We have a number of new freshmen that will add to our depth,” Kehr said. “That will be the key to winning the duals and a strong finish at conference and state.”

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