FROM READERS: Highlights from Hickman and Rock Bridge boys swimming

Monday, October 15, 2012 | 5:29 p.m. CDT; updated 10:43 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Karen Steger is the head swim coach for Hickman and Rock Bridge high schools. She is also a sixth-grade reading and language arts teacher at Smithton Middle School. 

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We had a great meet this weekend in KC at the KC Classic! We have a very young team this year, and after losing six seniors who competed in the state meet last year, we are rebuilding.

We currently have 3/6 of Hickman swimmers (Valley, Hanks, Ragsdell) with state qualifying times in 1+ event, as well as two relays that are close to making it as well (within 1.5 seconds). We also have three individual qualifiers for Rock Bridge (Tschopp, Rhodenbaugh, Stanton), and all three relays.

Rock Bridge placed 8th overall in this meet, with 130 points, 7 points out of 7th place.

Hickman, despite only having 2 relays and 4 individual swims in Finals, scored 13th with 56.0 points (0.5 points out of 12th). Nathan Hanks (10, state qualifier) got sick on Saturday morning, and we had to scratch him from his events.

New state qualifiers:

  • RB 400 Free Relay team: Harry Stanton (11), Alex Tschopp (9) Collin Pounds (9), Matt Hefner (12)- 3:29.18. This is the last of the three relays to qualify.
  • Adam Valley (Hickman, 10)- 100 breast, 1:04.60- 2nd event qualified in his first high school season. Already qualified in 500 free earlier this season. Has made huge improvements in his first high school season.
  • Michael Rhodenbaugh (RB, 10)- 100 back, 57.98- this was the first event he has qualified for individually in his high school career. Last year, swam on relays at State. Dad is head Mizzou swim coach Greg Rhodenbaugh.

New school record:

  • RB freshman Alex Tschopp- 100 fly- 53.67 (broke 2008 record of 53.70). Swim took place in Prelims on Friday. He's been eyeing that record for years, and it was exciting for him to finally get it! Tschopp has already qualified for State in six individual events this season (out of 8).

Top performances, Rock Bridge:

  • 200 Medley Relay (M. Rhodenbaugh, Stanton, Tschopp, Hefner)- 4th place, 1:44.41 (betters previous time by .6)
  • Alex Tschopp (9)- 3rd place 200 Freestyle (1:49.08), 2nd place 100 Butterfly (53.96)
  • Michael Rhodenbaugh (10)- 10th place 200 IM (2:10.71, best by 2 sec), 9th place 100 Back (57.98)
  • Collin Pounds (9)- 10th place 500 freestyle (5:10.71). This was a three second drop, and is now just shy of the state qualifying mark of 5:07.99. The freshman will try again for it next weekend in Springfield.
  • Harry Stanton (11)- 8th place 100 breaststroke (1:06.91)
  • 400 Freestyle Relay (see above)- 9th place, 3:29.18

Top performances, Hickman:

  • John Ragsdell (9)- 4th place 200 IM (2:04.34, best by .3)
  • Adam Valley (10)- 5th place 100 breaststroke (1:04.60, best by .6). Also swam an amazing 200 free, knocking 3 seconds off his best time to place 13th (1:54.17).

This is a great group of kids who deserve to be recognized.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor Joy Mayer.

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