Notre Dame claims its first conference title

Friday, February 9, 2007
Notre Dame's Katelyn Enderle competed in the 200-yard individual medley Thursday at the Show-Me Conference championship at Central Municipal Pool. Enderle won her heat and finished eighth in the final. (Fred Lynch)

The Bulldogs used their depth to edge Central.

Central had twice as many swimmers on the podium as Notre Dame when the Show-Me Conference's most valuable swimmers were honored.

But Notre Dame coach Lenny Kuper noted that the Bulldogs had plenty of value throughout their roster in winning the school's first conference title in girls swimming.

Notre Dame tallied 597 points to Central's 560, taking a crown that had belonged to the Tigers since the conference meet began in 2003. Poplar Bluff was third with 263 points, and St. Vincent was fourth with 243.

"We can't say enough about our top swimmers. We know we can count on them," Notre Dame coach Lenny Kuper said. "But we really have to hand it to the fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-place swimmers. That was the strength of our team."

Central coach Dayna Powell agreed: "We knew going in that it would be tough because they're depth is faster and stronger."

Going into the meet, Central was a lock in the distance freestyle events with Susan Beth Scott, a freshman with international meet experience. She won the 200- and 500-yard races.

And Texas A&M-bound senior Hannah Kinder was going to provide Central with wins in whatever she swam -- which happened to be the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

But Notre Dame countered with sophomore Brittany Menz, who won the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly to join Kinder and Scott as the high-point swimmers.

The Bulldogs also had freshman Lauren Castleman, who was second to Kinder in both freestyle sprints.

"We knew we'd see Brittany Menz somewhere," Powell said. "With Lauren Castleman and Brittany, Hannah is the only one who could beat both of them, so it's pick your poison."

But the Bulldogs toppled Central by having a little more poison.

Powell knew her team was in trouble when the Bulldogs won the 200 medley relay to open -- Castleman and Menz were on two first-place relay teams -- and then swept the second- through fifth-place spots behind Scott in both distance freestyles.

Kuper wasn't so sure. "I had no clue. My focus is on whether the girls are having good times and good swims, and I'm not really focused on the score," said Kuper, who along with his wife Pat hosted and ran the meet at Central Municipal Pool.

Notre Dame picked up good performances from seniors Emily Huber, the diving champion, and Ashley Nenninger, who won the 100 breaststroke and just missed a state cut with a third in the 100 free. Freshman Ava Andersson picked up second-place finishes in the 200 and 500 free.

For fourth-place St. Vincent, Maria Esswein captured the 100 butterfly.

Show-Me Conference meet

Team scores -- Notre Dame 597, Central 560, Poplar Bluff 263, St. Vincent 243.

200 medley relay -- 1, ND (Jenny Brant, Ashley Nenninger, Brittany Menz, Lauren Castleman), 2:01.50; 2, CHS (Susan Beth Scott, Jessie Baker, Hannah Kinder, Annie Wolpers), 2:02.11; 4, SV (Kate Guyot, Kristin Mattingly, Maria Esswein, Lizz Brueckner), 2:23.37.

200 freestyle -- 1, Scott, CHS, 2:10.12; 2, Ava Andersson, ND, 2:15.44; 3, Jackie Bader, ND, 2:19.89; 4, Rachel Henson, ND, 2:21.07; 5, Tori Pfau, ND, 2:33.24.

200 individual medley -- 1, Menz, ND, 2:22.03; 2, Baker, CHS, 2:28.52; 3, Esswein, SV, 2:32.35; 4, Mary Catherine Ford, 2:32.84; 5, Audrey Glover, ND, 2:39.58.

50 free -- 1, Kinder, CHS, 24.44; 2, Castleman, ND, 26.26; 3, Betsy Schroeder, CHS, 29.44; 4, Theresa Kiblinger, ND, 29.46; 5, Jordan Seabaugh, ND, 29.61.

1-meter diving -- 1, Emily Huber, ND, 343.70; 2, Tara Volkerding, CHS, 281.90; 3, Brittany Thomas, CHS, 267.70; 4, Schroeder, CHS, 236.35; 5, Samantha Schaefer, ND, 144.05.

100 butterfly -- 1, Maria Esswein, SV, 1:12.24; 2, Kelly Ennis, CHS, 1:13.69; 3, Abigail Messmer, ND, 1:14.77; 4, Brueckner, SV, 1:18.51.

100 free -- 1, Kinder, CHS, 52.90; 2, Castleman, ND, 57.23; 3, A. Nenninger, ND, 58.02; 4, Wolpers, CHS, 1:00.11; 5, Lilli Robinson, CHS, 1:07.09.

500 freestyle -- 1, Scott, CHS, 5:46.60; 2, Andersson, ND, 5:59.31; 3, Henson, ND, 6:24.51; 4, Pfau, ND, 7:02.91; 5, Bridgette Nenninger, ND, 7:12.56.

200 free relay -- 1, ND (Menz, A. Nenninger, A. Messmer, Castleman), 1:47.41; 2, CHS (Ford, Schroeder, Emily Spriggs, Scott), 1:59.19; 3, SV (Guyot, Brueckner, Maria Lundy, Esswein), 2:05.93.

100 backstroke -- 1, Menz, ND, 1:06.13; 2, Ford, CHS, 1:10.85; 3, Wolpers, CHS, 1:11.99; 4, Brant, ND, 1:14.14.

100 breaststroke -- 1, A. Nenninger, ND, 1:15.94; 2, Baker, CHS, 1:16.47; 3, Audrey Glover, ND, 1:20.29; 4, Ennis, CHS, 1:25.87; 5, Rita Walter, CHS, 1:28.00.

400 free relay -- 1, CHS (Wolpers, Ford, Baker, Kinder), 4:02.57; 2, ND (A. Messmer, Andersson, Bader, Glover), 4:02.57; 4, SV (Lundy, Michaela Steele, Olivia Schemel, Mattingly), 5:21.10.

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