By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Unlike other winter sports, there are no holiday competitions for girls’ swimming.
Just training. Lots and lots of grueling training.
“There’s hardly a meet around the state during the holidays,” said Glendale coach Steve Boyce. “We’re just in the water, training.”
So you can understand why Boyce was encouraged by the Falcons’ showing at Saturday’s Ozarks Invitational. Glendale placed second in the 29-team event at Foster Natatorium in Springfield.
As the defending Class 1 state champions, the Falcons always have high expectations.
“We haven’t done anything (in practice) to set them up to swim fast and give them energy. We’ve just had training. They’re all a little bit tired and they’re probably cranky,” Boyce said. “I just tell the girls, ‘Challenge yourself. We didn’t come here to be average. Let’s get up and go.’
“They start to realize that the training is paying off. We saw that in our longer events today.”
Glendale’s lone event winner on Saturday was senior Ashley Baldwin. Seeded fifth in the 100-yard freestyle, Baldwin finished in 55.72 seconds to edge Summit Prep/New Covenant Academy’s Maggie Moore (55.99).
“We haven’t done anything in practice to give (Baldwin) energy or speed,” Boyce said. “She just went out and won on sheer will. That’s a lot of fun to see.”
The Falcons are trying to replace a six-swimmer senior class that included the likes of Maddie Duncan (now swimming at Truman State), Audrey Mace, Allison Brierly and ¬¬¬Eleza Frevert.
“That’s a lot of space to fill, but we’re swimming tired right now and we’re still having fun,” Boyce said. “It’s a good sign.”
Park Hill (332) finished first in the team standings, besting the second-place Falcons by 54 points.
Logan-Rogersville won two relay events and had two first-place finishes by junior Cabrini Johnson.
Younger Moore emerging quickly
Another Moore is making waves at Summit Prep/New Covenant Academy.
It’s Maggie Moore, the younger sister of former Summit Prep/New Covenant Academy standout Molly Moore.
Entering Saturday’s meet, Maggie had posted top-10 times among all Class 1 swimmers in four events: 50 freestyle (second, 24.52), 100 freestyle (third, 54.69), 100 butterfly (sixth, 1:01.69) and the 100 backstroke (second, 1:00.78).
“I’ve been pretty happy with (my freshman season) so far,” said Maggie Moore. “I haven’t gone my best times, but I have gone times that are close to it.”
Maggie said her top events are the 50 free and the 100 backstroke.
Those are the same events that older sister Molly swam. Molly was the Class 1 state champion in the 100 backstroke last season and had the top qualifying time in the 50 freestyle.
Molly now swims for Arkansas.
“We’re really close, so it’s fun to talk with each other about the same things when it comes to swimming,” Maggie Moore said. “We do the same events.”
Maggie said she’s aiming for “24 (seconds)-low or 23 (seconds)-high the 50 freestyle and 57-to-58 seconds” in the 100 backstroke.
Maggie Moore a busy day on Saturday. She participated in the opening 200-yard medley relay, then later placed second in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle (25.11, 55.99).
As for that sister question…
“People don’t ask (if we’re sisters) as often as you might think, but it does happen sometimes.”
Stoneman gearing up for final run
A high school swimming career goes by fast. Just ask Nixa standout Olivia Stoneman.
That reality can hit at unexpected moments.
“At practice the other day, my coach said, ‘Girls, for some of you this is your senior season. You need to try as hard as you can. I know we’re tired, but we have to push through because this is our last (rep),’” Stoneman said. “I just started bawling.
“I remember being a freshman and being new to the high school experience. It goes by so fast and you take it for granted.”
Stoneman, one of the area’s top sprinters, had a solid showing on Saturday that tested her endurance. She placed second in the 100 butterfly (59.96), won the 100 backstroke (1:01.60) and helped Nixa post a state-qualifying time in the 200 freestyle relay (1:45.53).
“(The backstroke), that was really painful because it’s a leg-driven race, and I’m really tired,” Stoneman said. “Overall, I’m not happy with that race because I didn’t break one minute and I’ve done that several times before.”
She also participated in a closed meet on Friday.
“I’m pretty beat down. I’m really, really sore.”
Stoneman comes off a junior season in Class 2 where she posted top-10 state qualifying times in the 50 free (24.62) and the 100 butterfly (57.74).
She wants to swim in college, and hopefully, do so for a nearby program.
“I’m very close to my family, so that’s a big part of it,” Stoneman said. “Staying close is my main desire but if I get better opportunities away, then I would look into those. But I’m family-oriented, so I think I want to stay around here.”
Top 3 team standings
1. Park Hill – 332
2. Glendale – 278
3. Poplar Bluff – 208
200-yard medley relay: 1. Rogersville (Floyd, Johnson, Atwood, Evans), 1:54.53
200-yard freestyle: 1. Abigail Culp, Park Hill, 2:01.88; 2. Lilly Doss, Kickapoo, 2:02.09
200-yard IM: 1. Faith Guyer, Summit Prep/NCA, 2:17.05
50-yard freestyle: 1. Brooklynn Pierce, Park Hill, 24.92; 2. Maggie Moore, Summit Prep/NCA, 25.11
1-meter diving: 1. Eden Viles, Winnetonka, 355.60; 5. Madison Letternman, Hillcrest, 3:17.40
100-yard butterfly: 1. Brooklynn Pierce, Park Hill, 59.34; 2. Olivia Stoneman, Nixa, 59.96
100-yard freestyle: 1. Ashley Baldwin, Glendale, 55.72
500-yard freestyle: Cabrini Johnson, Logan-Rogersville, 5:14.19
200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Logan-Rogersville (Atwood, Evans, Floyd, Johnson), 1:43.61
100-yard backstroke: 1. Olivia Stoneman, Nixa, 1:01.60
100-yard breaststroke: Cabrini Johnson, Logan-Rogersville, 1:07.52
400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Park Hill, 3:45.98; 2. Glendale (Fraley, Rohrbaugh, Palmer, Hicks), 4:01.09