The Marquette girls are the reigning Class 2 state champions and they’re ready to try and win it again this weekend at the Rec-Plex in St. Peters.
Coach Joe Schoedel said his Mustangs enjoyed competing this season as the defending state champions.
“They loved it. Winning state put a big target on our backs this year, and they wore it with pride,” Schoedel said. “The girls stepped up to every challenge so far this season.”
The Mustangs entered the season after losing many talented athletes to graduation. Schoedel said he was still optimistic about this season. Depth has been a strong part of Marquette’s success in recent seasons.
“There were some question marks coming into this season for sure,” Schoedel said. “We lost quite a few girls in individual events, as well as relay legs that we had to figure out throughout the course of the season. Three-fourths of our medley relay is new, as well as half of both our 200 and 400 free relays.
“But we’ve had girls in the wings, just waiting for their opportunity to step up, so I knew we had the potential on our team to still be a contender for a top 4 trophy again this season.”
Marquette finished the regular season dual record with a 9-0 record. One dual was snowed out. That keeps Marquette’s undefeated streak going. The Mustangs are 59-0 in the last six years in dual matches.
Other than all the duals this season, Marquette won the Marquette Relays, COMO, and the Suburban Conference Yellow Pool meet.
“(It) is the strongest overall conference in the state by far,” Schoedel said.
Marquette has 14 different girls either swimming or diving this year at state, the most from any team, Schoedel said.
The Mustangs have the most entries this year, with 26, followed by Park Hill South with 22, and Kirkwood and Liberty North with 20, and Eureka both with 19.
Marquette has nine girls who swam or dove at state last year. So that experience will be helpful this weekend.
“Most of our girls swam or dove at this meet last year, so we’ll be relying heavily on their experience,” Schoedel said. “First-year jitters are different for everyone, so it’s good that most of our girls have done it before.”
Senior Amanda Yu finished second in the 100-yard butterfly in 58.01 seconds last winter at state. Sophomore Carsyn Cosman came in second in the 200 freestyle last season with a time of 1 minute, 54.63 seconds.
Schoedel said he likes their chances for a state title.
“Amanda has improved since last year, and is up against some tough competition, but she should be in the mix,” Schoedel said. “Carsyn’s 200 race should be a close and exciting one to watch for sure.”
Schoedel said junior Hailey Benting is the top ranked swimmer in the 100 breast so she has a legitimate chance to win a state title.
“The 200 free relay should take a run at the title as well,” Schoedel said.
Here are the Mustangs who have qualified for state and their events:
Junior Hailey Benting (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke)
Senior Abby Bomball (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle)
Sophomore Carsyn Cosman (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle)
Junior Katherine Edelen (diving)
Sophomore Maya Esparza (50 freestyle, 100 backstroke)
Senior Jenny Flores (100 butterfly, 500 freestyle)
Junior Jenna Howard (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke)
Junior Haley Hume (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle)
Senior Lexi McClard (100 breaststroke)
Sophomore Jorie Myers (diving)
Junior Katie Quade (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle)
Sophomore Sydney Tolbert (diving)
Junior Anna Mae Williams (diving)
Senior Amanda Yu (50 freestyle, 100 butterfly)
Relays: 200 medley, 200 freestyle,400 freestyle
As far as the state team title, Schoedel believes several teams are in the mix to win it all.
“No real surprises,” Schoedel said about the teams who will be competing at state. “We’ve known all season who the top teams are. Now it’s just a matter of going out and competing. The other top teams around the state are Kirkwood, Eureka, Rock Bridge, Liberty, and Liberty North.”