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Maddie Wessell: Putting Burroughs Swimming on the Local Map

Two second place finishes in the annual swim meet plus a relay performance was an eye popping experience.

Remember the name Maddie Wessell in local swim circles. This is the swimmer of the future. For the Burroughs Bombers, the year could not have gone better. Though they had their ups and downs, Wessell, 15 years old (I don’t get my drivers license until November) finished second in two final races of the 38th renewal of the state championships at the Rec Plex in St. Peters.

Wessell took second place in the 200 yard individual medley in 2:05.93; besting her qualifying time of 2:08.81. She was nosed out by freshman Haley Hynes of Lee’s Summit North (2:04.76.)

Wessell came right back, capturing second in the 100 yard freestyle in 52.00, better than her 52.76 qualifier. The gold went to Lauren Shaw, a senior from Park Hill in 51.59. 

The talented freshman led off the Burroughs 200 yard freestyle relay (Jessica Ryan, freshman; Morgan Rinder, sophomore and Barrett Carlson, freshman). The foursome swam the event in 1:41.44, good enough for 11th place overall.

Burroughs finished 22nd in the meet with 46 points. Wessell with 34 in the two individual events and with the relay points; she had a hand in all the schools total.

She was a whipped puppy after her last two days of hard competition.

“My outdoor meets are so much fun. I noticed here (indoor season), my teammates are so supportive of me. The relay was the most fun of all my events.

“I’m only thinking about coming back and working harder in the future.”

“I have so much motivation to get back into the pool and focus on my swimming.”

Wessell is going right back into the Burroughs pool this spring. She has agreed to play water polo on the boys team.

Burroughs coach Leslie Kehr was all smiles Saturday night.

“For both the boys and girls swimming this has been an exciting year. “Absolutely, we will build a team around Maddie and Barrett. We have some good 7th and 8th graders coming up.”

The boys swimmers were very helpful. “They would come in and help the girls with their strokes. They said things like “If I can do it, you can do it.”

The future looks really solid around the John Burroughs swimming pool.

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