Swimming, diving makes progress at Greater Kansas City Invitational


A swimmer on the team practices his freestyle. Photo by Laurel Critchfield

Sam Mitchell

A swimmer on the team practices his freestyle. Photo by Asa Lory
The swimming and diving team spent the weekend competing in Greater Kansas City Invitational, going up against 20 others schools from around the region.
The team spent Friday night in preliminary races attempting to qualify for the semifinals and finals which took place today, October 13. The RBHS Swimming and Diving team finished in eighth place out of 21 competing schools with a total of 130 points.  First and second place went to Rockhurst and Park Hill South respectively, with Rockhurst squeaking out a victory by only one point.
Despite not placing first, senior diver Blake Ward knows the team performed well and made progress overall, finishing in the top half of all schools.
“I feel really good about this meet,” Ward said.  “A lot of people came out with personal best times.  Relays were great as well with the whole team being able to work together to achieve our goals.”
One of those personal bests resulted in a new achievement for the team.  Sophomore Michael Rhodenbaugh qualified for state in the 100 meter backstroke event, with a time of 57.98 seconds.  This qualification is not only a great achievement for Rhodenbaugh but also for the entire RBHS Swimming and Diving team as it is their first individual state qualifier.
Overall, it was a very productive event for the team as they finished with seven top ten placings, including a third place finish in the men’s 200 yard freestyle event by freshman Alex Tschopp and a fourth place finish in the men’s 200 yard medley relay.
Ward attributed a lot of the team’s overall success to the moral support provided by all swimmers and divers, no matter their individual situation.
“The swimmers that did not qualify for finals were awesome in supporting their teammates, which especially cool,” said Ward.  “You could tell everyone really cared about the team as a whole, not just their own personal performance.”
Sam Mitchell
The Swimming and Diving team will compete again next Friday and Saturday in the Springfield Invitational at the John Foster Natatorium in Springfield Missouri.