Marquette Wins Back-to-Back Missouri Girls Class 2 Title; Reagan Cathcart, Ella Pearl Set Records

Photo Courtesy: MHS Swim and Dive Twitter (@MarqSwimDive)

The 2020 Missouri Girls Class 2 State Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Saturday, Feb. 22 at the St. Peters Rec-Plex in St. Peters, Mo.

Francis Howell’s Reagan Cathcart highlighted the meet by setting a new Class 2 record in the 50 free with a time of 23.33, and Kirkwood’s Ella Pearl did the same in the 100 back in a quick 55.78.

Marquette completed their perfect season with 242 points to secure the team title for the second-straight season ahead of Kirkwood (237) and Eureka (220). This was the fourth overall title in program history for the Mustangs, who also won successive championship crowns in the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

Click HERE for full results and team scores.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Marquette – 242
2. Kirkwood – 237
3. Eureka – 220
4. Rock Bridge – 159
5. Liberty North – 144

The meet began as Kirkwood’s Paige Howell (27.76), Alyssa Dennis (30.03), Pearl (25.42), and Aliya Swearngin (24.52) won the opening 4×50 medley relay with a time of 1:47.73. Lafayette Wildwood finished second in 1:48.99 while Rock Bridge took third in 1:49.08.

Cor Jesu Academy’s Anna Moehn cruised to first in the 200 free, stopping the clock in a final time of 1:51.72. Eureka’s Marin Lashley finished second in 1:52.04 while Marquette’s Carsyn Cosman rounded out the top three with a time of 1:53.36.

After finishing second in the 200 IM a year ago, Pearl found herself with the gold medal in the event this season after winning the event in 2:05.30. Parkway South’s Kylee Sullivan finished second in 2:06.37 and Liberty North’s Ellie Hartwig was right behind her in 2:06.54 for third.

Cathcart splashed-and-dashed her way to the state title in the 50 free, turning in a time of 23.33. Courtney Harris of Fort Zumwalt West, who also took second in this event last year, was again the runner-up with a time of 23.47 and Parkway South’s Logan Knolhoff took third in 23.83.

Staley’s Ella McMahon dove to the top spot on the 1-meter board for the second year in a row, finishing with a total score of 474.00. Lee’s Summit North’s Annica Valmassei took second with 413.90 points while Kickapoo’s Chloe Cothern scored 379.20 points for third.

Shortly after helping her medley relay team to victory, Dennis was back in the water and flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly after getting her hands to the wall in 56.58. 200 IM runner-up Sullivan again grabbed a silver medal in 56.71 and Hartwig found herself with another bronze in 57.05.

After placing second in the 50 free, Harris redeemed herself and successfully defended her state title in the 100 free with a quick 50.96. Second place went to Lafayette Wildwood’s Calire Vanbiljon with a time of 51.54 and 51.66 was fast enough for Cathcart to secure third place.

Francis Howell North’s Joanna Dohrman dominated the 500 free, winning the event by over eight seconds in a final time of 4:59.65 as the only swimmer in the field under the five-minute barrier. Moehn (5:07.73) and Rock Bridge’s Ansley Barnes (5:11.19) finished second and third, respectively.

Marquette’s Carsyn Cosman (24.50), Haley Hume (24.59), Maya Esparza (25.13), and Amanda Yu (23.81) joined forces to win the 4×50 free relay in a combined time of 1:38.03. It proved to be a close race as Liberty closely followed in 1:38.45 and Liberty North was right behind in 1:38.57 for third.

Pearl raced her way to a gold medal and a new Class 2 record in the 100 back for the second-consecutive season. Her winning time of 55.78 eclipsed her own mark of 55.83 she set last year at this meet. Rock Bridge’s Mara Manion (56.38) and Cor Jesu Academy’s Maddie Palatt (57.71) rounded out the top three finishers.

Dennis earned yet another gold medal, this time getting her hands to the wall the fastest in the 100 breast with a time of 1:05.52. Less than two-tenths separated the top three swimmers as Blue Springs’ Annemarie Rehbein took second in 1:05.64 and Marquette’s Hailey Benting raced to third in 1:05.71.

Rock Bridge’s Elise Henderson (54.63), Olivia Henderson (53.17), Barnes (53.07), and Manion (51.63) concluded the meet by winning the 4×100 free relay in a combined time of 3:32.50. Liberty North (3:33.97) and Kirkwood (3:43.53) completed the top three relay finishers.

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