Bruins ready to take title at CoMo Invitational


Skyler Froese

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hile football was unable to stop Rockhurst Aug. 22, the Bruin swimming team will attempt to humble its longtime rivals. The showdown will start at 9 a.m. on Sept. 26 at the Mizzou recreational center during the CoMo Invitational.
“Rockhurst has won state 12 years in a row,” senior Jonathon Thomas said. “All of us on the team like to believe we’re gonna break that record this year.”
At the same meet last year, RBHS took second place to the Hawklets. Thomas is hopeful for the Bruins this year because of their incoming talent, including that of junior national championship qualifier, senior Alex Tschopp, and veterans like sophomore Dane Florea, who came in sixth at state in the 500 yard freestyle.
He believes the team’s relays in particular have an edge because of this year’s strong line up of swimmers.
Head coach Laura Wacker and Thomas concur that this is their fastest season in a long time. Wacker said she wouldn’t be surprised to have an RBHS swimmer finaling in every event and that their relays in particular would be tough to beat.
For the most part in high school swimming, meets are just one session of timed finals. At a few meets like the CoMo Invitational or state championships, there are two sessions, preliminary and finals.
These additional stakes to qualify only contribute to the invite’s reputation as a fast meet.
“The pool at MU is one of the fastest in the region, so everyone plans on swimming fast,” Wacker said. “The floor of the MU pool is able to be adjusted in depth, so for a meet like this, the pool will be set for the fastest competition height.”
Wacker said her swimmers have already swum more than eight state qualifying times in practice alone. This season, they have swum three of the 11 fastest state qualifying times at meets.
While the ultimate goal is to win the meet, Thomas stresses that this is a good time for the boys to qualify for state. He also sees the value in the less competitive aspects of the meet.
“Last year was the first year we’ve ever placed at CoMo so that was a lot of fun,” Thomas said. “I’m really looking forward to hopefully getting first, setting records, going into events with all of us cheering together, that fun stuff.”
Last year Florea swam the 200-yard individual medley and won the 500-yard Freestyle by ten seconds.
His freshman year, he was the team’s highest point winner, but he still anticipates steep competition, especially as Rockhurst still holds on to its 12 straight state title record.
“I feel pretty good going into the meet.” Florea said. “It would be nice to break some records. We’d show that we’re the best we’ve ever been.”
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