No official points are kept at the semifinals of the 36th annual renewal of the championships at the Rec Plex in St. Peters, but look for the locals from Ladue-Frontenac to take numerous trips to the medal stand.
The championship round gets started at 3 o’clock sharp today.
Here’s the outlook from the sidelines.
- The MICDS Lady Rams have enough competitors jammed into individual and relay spots to repeat as third-place finishers for the second consecutive year.
All the area scorers are juniors, therefore next year should be quite a race for gold.
- Morgan Mullenix of Villa had a brilliant semifinals, qualifying second in both the 50 (24.29) and 100 yard sprint freestyle (52.75) events while qualifying on the third place 400 freestyle relay along with teammates Meghan Riegel, Sarah Sutherlin and Bentley Boldt. (3:39.81).
- MICDSs Annie Goessling qualified first in the 200 yard individual medley (2:07.05) and third in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:05.39) and will anchor the second place 400 yard freestyle relay (3:39.33) with sophomores Trey Ross and Masha Podokshik and junior Christine Jackson and will lead off the third place qualifying 200 yard freestyle relay (1:40.45) along with the three aforementioned teammates.
- Ladue’s junior Maddie Wall qualified third in the 200 IM (2:07.75), fourth in the 100 yard butterfly (57.97) and swims anchor on the 400 freestyle relay (3:42.49) along with freshman Riley Merdinian and juniors Etinosa Ogbevoen and Helen You.
MICDS has rebuilt its team under coach Kristen Kaiser after Hallie Stupp took her star power to the University of Arizona.
Goessling thinks it would be really cool to get that third place plaque. “We’ve really worked hard and all the time. I went to church today with my mom, but I didn’t pray about my swimming. I’m just trying to stay calm and get ready for the finals,” said Goessling.
Ross is hoping for the best today. “We’re really happy with what we did. We were not expected to be back and we’re hoping for that third place finish."
“If we get a couple of top-eight finishes and do well in the relays,” we’ll be there,” said Kaiser.
Mullenix’ rise to the top has been a treat for Villa followers. “I think I’ve tapered very well, said the Villa junior. “This has been a fun year and we haven’t taken the whole thing too serious. I shocked myself when I looked up at the clock and saw I’d dropped a couple of seconds in the 100. That was clearly my best time ever and I’m inspired to train for my senior year,” said the Villa star.
The free wheeling Etinosa Ogbevoen reached the finals of the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events. She hit the wall at 53.83 in the 100 and 24.60 in the 50.
Parkway West and Hannibal likely will vie for the championship title. The locals from MICDS, Villa and Ladue should gain a lot of attention after that.