SM Northwest boys swim team hopes to build off individual top-10 performances at state
The Shawnee Mission Northwest boys swimming team has had some injuries this year, but still hoped to improve on last year’s performance at the Class 6A state championships.
The team finished 19th out of 23 teams at the tournament — SM East won the state title with 337 points — but was still pleased with its effort.
“Overall we hit our goals for this meet and you have to be happy with that,” SM Northwest coach Matt Wolfe said.
SM North beat out Northwest by finishing in 18th place with 26 points. The Cougars finished 19th.
SM Northwest junior Benjamin Koeller was the top individual Cougar performer. He finished 10th in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:04.82.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team posted its best time of the season at 1:34.97.
The team consisted of seniors Jonathan Plagge, Jake Gipple, Jonathan Volker and junior Max Oberbroekling.
SM North’s group on the 200-yard freestyle actually edged SM Northwest. Senior Marcus Layton, junior Jacob Roemer, junior Collin Braden, and sophomore Lair Heslop combined for a time of 1:34.58.
Layton also placed seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.10.
One of the highlights from the weekend for the Cougars included senior Conner Stephens finishing in ninth place in the divining competition.
“This year we we’re very pleased to see him get into the finals,” Wolfe said. “We were hoping to get on the podium, but at the end of the day, he put on fantastic performance and we were happy for him.”
With some swimmers coming up back from next year, the Cougars hope they can put together a solid offseason to improve for next year.
“It’s a process we’ve got to get the freshman and sophomore to get their improvement as well, and hopefully we get some freshman that can help us build the next three or four years,” Wolfe said.