Both local schools will be represented later this week at the MSHSAA Class Boys Swimming and Diving Championships in St. Peters.
St. Francis Borgia Regional and Washington both have qualified swimmers for the state meet.
Mason Kauffeld is the first-ever Washington High School male swimmer to qualify for the state meet. He swims in the 200 individual medley.
“Mason has demonstrated a competitive spirit in every meet, and no doubt the high level of performance exhibited by his fellow contestants will spur him on to even greater heights of achievement,” Washington Head Coach Lane Page said.
Borgia’s Robert Halsted has qualified in two individual events with one top-eight time and the other in the top 16.
“Individually I feel really good,” Borgia Head Coach Jennifer Alferman-Molitor said. “I think that Robert Halsted has everything he needs to get top 16. His goal is to get to top eight.
“Last year he finished the 100 freestyle prelims in ninth place,” Alferman-Molitor continued. “That is the worst place to finish prelims in since the best place you can finish is ninth. He does not want to have a repeat of that this year. So, I know that he is going to swim extra hard to avoid that.”
Halsted also is competing in the 50 freestyle.
“Last year, he competed in the 50 free but didn’t finish in the top 16,” she said. “This year, he has the potential to finish top eight. The 50 is a very tricky race though. It is very fast and can be affected by anything so it is fair to say that it is anyone’s race. Robert is a very consistent swimmer though which is why he is so successful.”
This year, the Class 1 state event will be held Friday and Saturday at the St. Peters Rec-Plex.
Preliminaries take place Friday starting at 5 p.m. The finals will run Saturday starting at 3 p.m.
Area qualifiers are:
• Halsted is seeded seventh in the 100 freestyle at 49.11;
• Halsted has the 13th-best time in the 50 freestyle at 22.73;
• Kauffeld is seeded 28th for the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:09.45;
• Borgia’s 200 medley relay team has the 28th-best time at 1:49.28; and
• Borgia’s 400 freestyle relay team has the 28th-fastest time at 3:39.71.
Borgia’s relay roster includes Cole Fletcher, Andrew Haberberger, Halsted, Ryan Kluesner, Colton Lewis, Jonah Little, Kyler Shelby, Andrew Smith, Jeffery Van Deven, Derek VanBooven and Alan Weidemann.
“Our relays are a different story,” Alferman-Molitor said. “I know that they can finish top 16 but they are going to need to drop some time to do so. We have worked really hard this season to get our relay times down and we have succeeded but we are going to need to keep dropping time to make it to the top 16.”
Alferman-Molitor feels both relay teams can excel.
“Last year our medley did not make it to finals but I feel like we have a better chance for it this year,” she said. “Our 400 is still up in the air. I am still not 100 percent sure who I am going to have swimming in it yet. I may not know until the day of the meet, to be honest. I know that they have the potential to make it to the finals but it is going to take a lot out of all of them and it is going to be an extremely high-pressure situation. I am trying to figure out who can handle the pressure the best.”
For further information, please see www.mshsaa.org.