High School Roundup: Mississippi and Missouri State Champs

Tupelo, MS. TUPELO'S girls and Madison Central's boys were the team champs at the Mississippi state prep swimming and diving championships in Biloxi.

Tupelo splashed to a 273-189 triumph over Biloxi with NW Rankin (184), St. Andrews (184) and Amory (152) taking the next three spots.

On the boys' side, Madison Central edged Hattiesburg by a 233-207 margin with Cleveland (195) third, followed by St. Aloysius (174) and Starkville (165).

Seventh-grader Melissa Easley (AHS) was one of three doublers among the girls, taking the 50 in 25.21 and the 100 in 55.79. Cleveland 11th-grader Megan Wolters raced to the meet's second double with a win in the 200 free (1:53.02) and the 100 back (58.35). Tenth-grader Katie Fuller (NW Rankin)was the third double winner via triumphs in the 500 free (5:19.20) and 200 IM (2:14.52).

Individual winners included ninth-grader Liely Laverly (St. Joseph) in the 100 breast (1:12.97), and senior Margaret Moore (West Jones) the 100 fly (1:02.72 with a pr 1:01.76 in the prelims).

Amory High was quickest in the 200 free relay (1:47.62) while Cleveland took both the 400 free (3:57.82) and 200 medley (2:03.12) titles.

Among the boys, doublers included 11th-grader Michael Gray (NE Lauderdale) in the 50-100 frees (22.35-48.77)and junior J.T. Jones (Madison Central) in the 500 free and 100 breast (4:38.23-1:02.83).

The 200 free went to Jones' teammate Dany Dasinger (1:52.00), the 100 back was won by Natchez Catholic sernior John Elliot (57.84), the 100 fly by MSMS senior Kyle Frazier (54.51) and the 200 IM by HHS eighth-grader Patrick O'Neal (2:08.38).

The relays were won by St. Al (200 medley, 1:39.17) and Madison Central (200 free, 1:44.49 and 400 free 3:27.58).

COLUMBIA, MO. PARKWAY SOUTH romped to a 322-246 Missouri boys' state championship over DeSmet (246) with Parkway Central (210) third. Rounding out the top 5 teams were Marquette (201) and Chaminade (167).

Parkway South was led junior medleyist-sprinter Matt Beasley, who set a state record in the 200 IM, just missed another en route to the 100 free title, anchored the state record-setting 400 sprint relay team and also anchored the 200 medley relay team that finished second.

Beasley's IM standard came in the prelims (1:51.42). At night he was just a tad slower (1:51.85) and in the 100 free his 45.58 was .06 off the state record.

A pair of seniors, Chad Ainsworth (Blue Springs) and Tim Patrick (Marquette), went out on top themselves via doubles in the 200-500 frees (1:43.15-4:34.15) and 50 free-100 fly (20.76-49.94) respectively. Since the 100 fly immediately follows the 50 free this latter double is especially impressive, and Patrick just missed the state record in the half-century (20.47) with his 20.67 in the prelims.

Interestingly, the state 500 free record-holder is young master Beasley, who won in 4:32.23 as a sophomore. Patrick's "kid" brother Todd, a ninth-grader, also at Marquette, was runner-up in both the 100 free and 100 back races.

The meet's other individual state record was in the backstroke where Ft. Zumwalt's Kevin Valleca won in 50.23 to Patrick's 52.43 (52.32p).

In the 100 breast, Parkway Central senior Phil Mayo helped ensure his school's third-place finish via a 58.92-59.58 triumph over Parkway South's Ryan Jackson. The state record is 54.78 by former University of Texas All-America Jeff Commings a decade ago.

Mayo also contributed a leg on PWC's winning 200 medley relay foursome (1:37.76), while DeSmet (1:28.56) was fastest in the 200 sprint relay with Marquette (1:28.88) second. Parkway South, with breaststroke specialist Jackson swimming third and Beasley anchoring, clocked 3:10.47 for its state record in the 400 free relay.

In 1-meter diving, Parkway South 10th-grader Ryan Chambers (435.85) was first, followed by John Wirz (429.40) and Kickapoo's Geoff Doran (425.95).

(The Missouri girls' meet is slated for the third weekend of May.)

–Bill Bell

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