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Records fall at Cape Rock Invite swimming meet
As Notre Dame senior swimmer Sean Doyle stood on the starting block during Saturday's Cape Rock Invitational meet, waiting for teammate Coleman Schott to touch the wall so he could begin his anchor leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay, his focus was on one thing.
"I was just determined that we were going to qualify for state," said Doyle, minutes after his team posted a time of 3 minutes, 31:19 seconds, over a second under the time required to qualify for the state meet (3:32.29).
The Bulldogs relay team, which also included Dustin Parsons and Ben Rockett, had been six-tenths of a second behind the qualifying standard going into the meet.
The strong 16-team field featured powerhouse Kansas City Rockhurst as well as Parkway Central and Parkway South. Rockhurst ran away with the team title, taking first place in eight out of the 12 events.
Almost all swimmers in the finals of each event finished with times that bested the state qualifying time. New meet records were recorded in 10 events.
Rockhurst coach Paul Winkeler, in his 11th season, said he thought the stiff competition contributed to the number of swimmers in the meet who swam season-best or personal-best times.
"There are a lot of good swimmers here," said Winkeler, whose team made its first appearance in the Cape Rock Invitational this year.
Perhaps the strongest swimmer in the meet was Rockhurst senior Mick White, who took home individual first-place medals in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, along with swimming the leadoff leg on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relays. White was named the athlete of the meet by the coaching staffs.
"I'm liking the pool here," White said. "It's a lot like the one I train in at home."
White agreed that the competition pushed him to a better performance.
"Someone was always on my shoulder to remind me I need to push," said White, who is being recruited by Seton Hall, Eastern Michigan and George Washington, among other schools.
Central assistant coach Chad Sierman said the swimming conditions at the bubble make it conducive to good times. He said that the competition lanes, ranging between 8 and 13 feet, are deeper than at most high school pools. The deeper water means less turbulence at the surface for the swimmers to compete with.
Notre Dame assistant coach Pat Kuper credits the warm-up lanes for helping generate better times.
"They help the swimmers keep their muscles loose when they're not competing," Kuper said.
Central finished in sixth place, Jackson took ninth and Notre Dame was 10th.
The best finish among local swimmers was Jackson's Ryan Gibson, who finished third in the 100 butterfly.
Central junior Caleb Coots finished fifth in the 100 butterfly and also swam the anchor leg on the fifth-place 200 freestyle relay team, which also featured freshmen Jordan Gramling and Ramsey Scott and senior Sam Gramling.
Scott also qualified for the state meet in the 200 freestyle.
Team scores -- 1. Rockhurst, 558; 2. Parkway Central, 324; 3. Parkway South, 259; 4. Glendale, 207; 5. Rock Bridge, 166; 6. Cape Central, 147; 7. Springfield Central, 135; 8. Lindbergh, 119; 9. Jackson, 96; 10. Notre Dame, 87; 11. Hickman, 80; 12. Hillcrest, 53; 13. Webster Groves, 34; 13. Parkway Central-2, 34; 15. University City, 10.
Winners and local top-16 finishers
200 medley relay -- 1. Rockhurst, 1:41.39; 5. Notre Dame (Ben Rockett, Dustin Parsons, Coleman Schott, Sean Doyle), 1:48.80.
200 freestyle -- 1. Mick White (Rock), 1:43.19; 7. Sam Grambling (C), 1:51.50; 8. Caleb Coots (C), 1:52.29; 9. Ramsey Scott (C), 1:53.26.
200 individual medley -- 1. Albert Lloyd (Springfield), 1:58.20; 4. Ryan Gibson (J), 2:05.23; 9. Schott (ND), 2:08.12.
50 freestyle -- 1. Matthew Margritier (Rock), 21:56; 11. Jordan Grambling (C), 23.71.
Diving -- 1. Ford McLiney (Rock), 471.35; 15. Tim Warner (J), 190.90; 16. Matt Deisher (C), 188.90.
100 butterfly -- 1. Mick White (Rock), 52.26; 3. Gibson (J), 54.66; 5. Coots (C), 55.50; 8. Kristian Troxel (J), 58.46.
100 freestyle -- 1. Matthew Margritier (Rock), 47.63; 7. J. Grambling (C), 51.23; 13. Doyle (ND), 53.85; 16. Daniel Neff (ND), 53.89.
500 freestyle -- 1. Andrew Kilkenny (Park South), 4:43.57; 6. S. Grambling (C), 4:59.67; 11. Riley Talbut (J), 5:14.45.
200 freestyle relay -- 1. Rockhurst, 1:28.79; 5. Central (J. Grambling, Scott, S. Grambling, Coots), 1:35.14; 8. Notre Dame (Doyle, Rockett, Parsons, Schott), 1:37.98.
100 backstroke -- 1. Jon Benson (Rock), 53.40; 11. Scott (C), 1:01.69; 16. Neff (ND), 1:04.66.
100 Breaststroke -- 1. Albert Lloyd (Springfield), 59.84; 11. Kristian Troxel (J), 1:08.21; 13. Collin Andersson (ND), 1:09.97; 16. Blake Kidd (C), 1:12.14.
400 freestyle relay -- 1. Rockhurst, 3:13.18; 6. Central (Scott, J. Grambling, Coots, S. Grambling), 3:26.32.