By Brennan Stebbins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
MONETT, Mo. – Monett coach Dan Janssen said his swimmers were excited for Tuesday’s meet and they showed it.
The Monett girls won the first four events and racked up seven first-place finishes to win the Big 8 Championship at the Monett Area YMCA.
The Cubs won by more than 100 points.
“We swam excellent today,” Janssen said. “A lot of my newer swimmers and my veteran swimmers alike dropped a lot of time. I know the girls were really excited for this meet and it’s always nice to have it at home. I think that helped us pull it out. Rogersville, our closest competitor, had a few girls get sick so it could have been a lot closer meet but we really swam well in the water to make sure we put it away.”
Monett scored at least 30 points in all but three events. The team opened by winning the 200-yard medley relay by more than three seconds with Kelli Sangston, Aspen Lynn, Sara Drewianka and Carly Jenkins finishing in 1:59.08.
Sangston, a senior, then won the 200 freestyle in 2:03.40, fending off Logan-Rogersville freshman Maddie Atwood by two-tenths of a second.
Monett’s highest-scoring event was the 200-yard IM, where the Cubs placed three swimmers in the top five. Senior Maddy Lee won with a time of 2:35.58, freshman Abby Apostol was fourth and freshman Gwen Lesue was fifth.
Jenkins, a senior, added a win in the 50 freestyle where she beat Drewianka by two-hundredths of a second.
Jenkins picked up another first-place finish in the 100 free with a time of 1:00.20, more than five seconds better than the rest of the field. The team’s 200 freestyle relay of Sangston, sophomore Ashton Prine, Jenkins and Drewianka won with at time of 1:48.44.
Sangston followed that up with a win in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.94, nearly 15 seconds better than everyone else.
“The 100 fly, IM, breaststroke, those are some events that some teams avoid because they’re harder to win,” Janssen said. “I try to make sure I’ve got a lot of entries in those events to maximize my points there.”
“Kelli Sangston had a great day in the 200 free, 100 back,” he said. “She won both of those events. Carly Jenkins won the 100 free, the 50 free. Both of those were absolutely fantastic swims all around. I’d say those two probably had the best days.”
Lamar was the only other Big 8 school to win multiple events. Sophomore Meghan Watson won the 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.51, sophomore Emma Tennal won the 100 breaststroke in 1:17.12, and the 400 free relay of sophomore Kaitlyn Davis, Tennal, senior Abby Kluhsman and Watson won in 4:04.53, a 10-plus second margin.
Elise Evans, a Logan-Rogesrville junior, dominated the 500 freestyle with at time of 5:44.86, more than 20 seconds better than everyone else.
A handful of independents swam simultaneously, with The Summit Prep edging out Bolivar to win that division.
Greenwood won the 200 medley relay with Shields Bartee, Hannah Wasson, Fiona Wu and Cidra Bayazed finishing in 2:28.87.
Watson won the 200 freestyle in 2:50.64. Wu picked up a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:05.97.
Summit Prep’s Faith Guyer won the 200 IM in 2:18.34, and Maggie Moore won the 50 free in 25.03 seconds.
Guyer and teammate Eden Chiu-Pinheiro went first and second, respectively, in the 100 freestyle with Guyer finishing in 56 seconds.
Summit’s Alexis Workman won the 500 freestyle in 5:38.99. The team’s 200 freestyle relay of Guyer, Chiu-Pinheiro, Workman and Moore won that event in 1:45.62, more than 24 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
Moore took first in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.66.
Summit’s 400 relay of Guyer, Workman, Chiu-Pinheiro and Moore won in 3:49.91, 59 seconds ahead of the other relay.
Bolivar’s Cara Larimore won the 100 breaststroke in 1:43.61.
Summit Prep beat Bolivar by 32 points for first place. Head coach Alex Miller cited his team’s training for the win.
“They have trained like crazy people for the whole season and they’re just keeping an eye on the prize of Valentine’s Day weekend,” he said. “That’s the goal, that weekend is the goal and they know that. Today was a stepping stone. We’re pleased with how today went.”
Big 8 scores
Springfield Catholic 88
The Summit Prep 191
Thomas Jefferson 33