By Chris Parker
There are many talented swimmers across our coverage area. Below are some of the top Swimmersplayers to watch this season
This watchlist can be found in print in the Fall O-Zone Preview Magazine available this week at all southwest Missouri Casey’s general stores.
Andrew Atwood, Rogersville, Senior
Atwood’s top finish at the Class 1 state meet last year was in the 100-yard butterfly where he finished fifth overall. He earned a second trip to state in the 50-yard freestyle where he finished in 15th place.
Gabriel Austin, Kickapoo, Junior
Austin showed off his versatility at the state meet by finishing fourth in the 200-yard individual medley relay as a sophomore. He also brought home a 13th-place finish in the backstroke. His state program was rounded out by swimming a leg on Kickapoo’s 15th-place finishing 400-yard freestyle relay.
Jacob Berkheimer, Kickapoo, Senior
Berkheimer will be looking to pick up all-state honors in his senior year after qualifying in two events last year. Individually, Berkheimer finished 13th in the 100-yard butterfly. He also was a part of Kickapoo’s 15th-place finishing 400-yard freestyle relay.
Brayden Cole, Carthage, Senior
Cole qualified for one event at last year’s Class 1 state meet, and he made the most of it by earning all-state honors. He finished third overall in the 100-yard backstroke. The Carthage senior is the top returning finisher in the event, as the top two swimmers were seniors.
Alex Crawford, Joplin, Senior
Class 2 is a deep and talented class, but that did not stop Crawford from earning all-state honors in two individual events and on two relays. His best finish was in the 50-yard freestyle where he finished fifth. Crawford earned a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke as well. The senior swam legs on Joplin’s seventh-place 200-yard free relay and eighth-place 200-yard medley relay.
Trey Flouer, Glendale, Sophomore
Flouer had a successful freshman state meet that included three all-state medals. He earned an individual medal by finishing fifth in the 100-yard backstroke. His other two all-state medals came on the 400-yard freestyle relay (third place) and 200-yard medley relay (fourth place).
Ben Hines, Nevada, Junior
Hines is the area’s lone returning state champion. The junior brought home titles in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle last season. He also picked up an all-state honor swimming a leg on Nevada’s 200-yard freestyle relay. In addition, Hines swam a leg on Nevada’s 12th-place finishing 200-yard medley relay.
Michael Jasinski, Glendale, Sophomore
Jasinski is one of the area’s strongest distance swimmers as evidenced by his all-state, fourth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle. He also had success in the 200-yard freestyle relay where he finished fifth overall. The Glendale sophomore rounded out his freshman state campaign by swimming a leg on the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Colin McNew, Glendale, Junior
McNew is poised for a big junior year after qualifying in two individual events last year, but just missing out on all-state honors. The junior finished 10th in the 500-yard freestyle and 13th in the 200-yard freestyle. He did bring home one all-state honor by swimming a leg on Glendale’s third-place finishing 400-yard freestyle relay.
Joseph Tetlow, Central, Senior
Tetlow will be looking to cap off his high school swimming career with even more all-state accolades. He earned a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke last year. The Central senior just missed out on a second all-state finish by taking 10th place in the 200-yard individual medley relay.