By Matt Turer / @MattTurer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Anyone who has followed girls swimming in Southwest Missouri over the past three years could have predicted a few things even before the 2019 Southwest Missouri Swim Championships began.
Glendale would display thorough team dominance and depth. Olivia Stoneman and Cabrini Johnson would take home at least two individual golds. And Summit Prep would redefine fast.
Check, check, check and check. Glendale cruised to a team championship with 458 points, Stoneman and Johnson won two individual golds each and Summit Prep put swimmers at the top of the podium in four of 11 events—including two individual golds from freshman Maggie Moore—on Saturday in front of a massive crowd at the John Foster Natatorium.
“It is always fun and exciting to watch the kids see all the work from the season come together at the end of the season to swim really fast,” Glendale head coach Steve Boyce said. “Race after race today we improved and got faster and helped ourselves out in the state rankings, and all that culminates into a team victory in this meet.”
Glendale, loaded with nine seniors, finished well ahead of everyone else in team points, with Kickapoo taking second (374), Nixa third (283), Summit Prep fourth (233) and Webb City fifth (227).
“For a lot of kids, their swim career comes to an end here,” Boyce said. “Almost all our seniors competed today. We’re lucky we have a great group with 13 girls competing individually at state. We’re losing a big crew this year.”
Falcons senior Ashley Baldwin took individual gold in the 100-yard freestyle (53.44), outpacing runner-up Faith Guyer of Summit Prep (54.17) and Ozark’s Claire George (54.35).
Glendale swimmers finished in the top three in five of 11 events. Earlier, Glendale diver Maddie Smith made her state cut in the diving competition with a season-best score.
STONEMAN NAMED MEET MVP
Decorated Nixa senior Olivia Stoneman entered as a heavy favorite in the 200-yard freestyle and cruised to gold in 1:57.65 on her way to being named meet MVP. Kickapoo’s Lilly Doss swam a strong 1:59.58 for silver and Kickapoo’s Kaitlyn Holland finished third (2:01.65).
Stoneman quickly won her second gold just three events later, winning the 100-yard butterfly in 57.95. Webb City’s Mary Bean placed second in the butterfly (59.00) and Lamar’s Meghan Watson was third (59.50).
Stoneman snagged a third gold when the Nixa grouping of Stoneman, Heidi Glintborg, Sara Baxter and Ellie Turnbull won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:41.55. Glendale (1:41.86) took second and Summit Prep finished third (1:42.11).
CABRINI MAKES IT LOOK EASY
For the second year in a row, Logan-Rogersville junior Cabrini Johnson took home two individual SWMO Championships golds.
Johnson’s first individual gold came in the 500-yard freestyle. Walking up to the marathon race in pineapple sunglasses and her hood up, a victory seemed all but assured on swag alone. Johnson cruised to a win in 5:12.21, well ahead of runner-up Lilly Doss of Kickapoo (5:29.38) and third-place Hailey Richards of Springfield Central (5:30.10).
After setting the meet record (1:06.55) in the 100-yard breaststroke in 2018, Johnson was primed for another gold in 2019. The only question was if she’d break her own mark. She didn’t, but came close with a gold medal swim of 1:06.92. Nixa’s Heidi Glintborg finished second (1:11.76) and Carl Junction’s Emma Lacey was third (1:11.98).
Including Rogersville’s 200-yard medley win, Johnson finished the meet with three golds. Johnson now turns her sights to state.
“I just came back and tried to go hard,” Johnson said. “And I plan on going hard at state. It’s been a good season.”
Rogersville’s 200-yard medley relay team of Elise Evans, Johnson, Maddie Atwood and Reagan DiTrolio kicked off the meet with a win in 1:56.65. Kickapoo finished as runner-up (1:56.77) and Ozark took third (1:56.98).
SUMMIT PREP STILL AT IT
Summit Prep/New Covenant Academy continued its recent annual dominance in speed events and finished the meet with golds in four of 11 finals races.
“It’s a great feeling to have kids that come in and are willing to put in the work it takes to get better and to be faster and continue that tradition and established expectation of winning,” Summit Prep coach Alex Miller said. “They know that the expectation coming in is swimming fast. And they’re willing to step up to the challenge.”
Faith Guyer got things going for Summit Prep with a gold in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing in 2:10.86. The time was a career best and nearly four full seconds under her preliminary time of 2:14.31. Glendale’s Ashley Baldwin placed second (2:11.44) and Springfield Central’s Hailey Richards was third (2:19.40).
“I was just excited to be in the finals,” Guyer said. “Everybody is hyped up and wants to get their best time. So I just thought, ‘why not today?’ I really wanted to win. I like winning a lot.”
“Faith doesn’t like to lose,” Miller said. “She’s done this repeatedly at other meets. She’ll go out and say, I’m going to win. She’s very much a mind-over-matter swimmer.”
Summit didn’t wait long for its second gold when Maggie Moore won the meet’s very next event—the 50-yard freestyle—in 24.25. Webb City’s Mary Bean was runner-up (24.89) and Glendale’s Samm Rathjen placed third (25.10).
“I try my best and I can do only what I can do,” Moore said. “It’s crazy. I was pretty confident in my abilities. I didn’t know how fast everyone else would go, but I knew what I could do and was pretty happy with my swim.”
Moore, a freshman, claimed a second gold with an impressive swim in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing in 57.77. Moore’s older sister, Molly Moore, set the meet record (54.82) in the same event in 2018. Thomas Jefferson’s Caroline Martucci (1:00.04) placed second and Monett’s Kelli Sangston (1:01.33) finished third.
“She works just as hard as her sister,” Miller said. “They happen to swim similar events, but as far how they swim and how they train and their personalities, they’re very different.”
Summit closed the meet by pulling away from co-favorites Glendale and Nixa in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The grouping of Guyer, Workman, Chiu-Pinheiro and Moore took gold in 3:41.54. Glendale finished second in 3:45.28 and Nixa third in 3:46.44.
The grouping of Guyer, Alexis Workman, Eden Chiu-Pinheiro and Moore took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay.