Piranhas fall just short of conference titleWaterloo’s Cameron Rubemeyer swims the butterfly in Saturday’s conference meet. (John Hooser photo)
BY JEREMY KOVARIK
For the Republic-Times
The Waterloo Piranhas entered the season with aspirations of winning their 11th Kaskaskia Conference championship in the new millennium.
Though they didn’t win the championship on Saturday, the Piranhas still put together a strong performance, scoring more than 400 points to take second place at the meet. The Trenton Torpedoes, with more than twice as many swimmers as Waterloo, celebrated their second consecutive conference title after scoring more than 600 points.
“I was extremely pleased with the way we swam this season,” Piranhas coach Bart Jones said of his team, which had a 4-1 regular season record. “We wanted to win the conference, but we still accomplished a lot of our goals.”
One of those preseason goals was for each swimmer to make improvements, a goal which the Piranhas certainly accomplished, according to Jones.
“We wanted our kids to swim better than they did last year, and everyone did that,” he said.
Though he acknowledged that everyone improved, Jones named Kyle Kehrer, Grace Busch, Carter Pate and Janie Kehrer as the “Most Improved” Piranhas at an awards banquet on Sunday.
Jones was equally proud of his team’s performance in Saturday’s conference championship meet.
The Piranhas were propelled to finish second by phenomenal performances from several swimmers.
“Everyone gave it their all,” Jones said. “Despite having fewer swimmers than any other team, we had more high-point winners than anyone else.”
In fact, Waterloo had a high- point scorer in almost every age division. In the 8 and under division, Piranha junior team co-MVPs Samantha Otten and Grant Higgerson were high-point winners. Jason Hooser took third place in the 8 and under boys.
In the 9-10 division, Grace Busch was third among the girls while Joseph Hooser was first among the boys.
Meanwhile, Miranda Foster and Kelsey Pfeil were both high-point scorers in the 13-14 girls division, with Foster taking first place and Pfeil taking third. Senior team co-MVP Jacob Hooser was second among the 13-14 boys.
Sarah Schultz was the high-point winner in the 15-18 girls division, with senior team co-MVP Kennedy Moehrs taking second.
It was clearly another successful day—and summer—for the Waterloo Piranhas, who will undoubtedly be spending the offseason preparing to make yet another run for a conference title, while at the same time, with the team’s future looking unclear.
Waterloo is looking into the possibility of joining a new conference, but they are also trying to invite more teams into their Kaskaskia League.
Hilltoppers take second at conference championship
BY JEREMY KOVARIK
For the Republic-Times
On a sweltering Saturday afternoon, the Hilltoppers Swim Club withstood the heat and scored 1,655.5 points to take second place in the Midwest Swim Conference championship.
It was the team’s third consecutive second-place finish. The O’Fallon Breakers won the meet, scoring 2,206 points to clinch their third straight conference title. King’s Point tallied 1,345 points to take the bronze. Rounding out the standings were St. Clair in fourth, Freeburg in fifth, Highland in sixth, Westhaven in seventh, Dorchester in eighth, and Scott Air Force Base in ninth place.
For Hilltoppers coach Salle Plunkett, Saturday’s second-place finish was the culmination of a spectacular season.
“It was a fun summer,” she said. “Everyone improved throughout the year and that’s always one of our goals.”
Dupo’s team certainly accomplished the goal of improving on Saturday, as several swimmers set personal bests in times. That includes Maddy Rey, who put together a superb conference meet performance.
To begin the day, Rey was part of a record-breaking performance in the 11-12 girls medley relay. The team of Haley Rey (backstroke), Jennifer Weaver (breaststroke), Rey (butterfly) and Emily Traube (freestyle) completed their relay with a time of 1:09.41. It was especially impressive for Rey and Traube, who were swimming up an age group.
As if that weren’t enough, Rey then shattered a 31-year- old record in the 100-meter individual medley. With a time of 1:16.84, She broke the conference record of 1:20.92, set in 1982 by former Hilltoppers swimmer Tracy Bollinger.
The two thrilling performances were part of a remarkable day for Rey, who won the high-point award in the 9-10 girls division. Her teammate, Emily Traube, took the second-place award.
Rey and Traube weren’t Dupo’s only high-point award recipients. Dylan Murphy took second in the 8 and under boys division, Caleb Bahr placed first in the 9-10 boys division, Haley Rey took first in the 11- 12 girls division, Alex Rosenkranz won the 11-12 boys division, and Austin Beccue was the 15-18 boys high point winner.
Though it was a long, hot day, coach Plunkett was proud of her team.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better day,” she said.