ST. PETERS — The past three seasons the Liberty boys swim and dive team finished inside the top 10 at the state meet. Now it’s four straight.
The Blue Jays finished seventh with 119 1/2 points at the Class 2 MSHSAA Championships Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16, at the St. Peters Rec-Plex.
“That was something we wanted all along, to stay in the top 10,” Liberty coach Chris Murphy said. “Most people thought we’d fall off because we lost the senior class that we had, but our goal was to just reload and not rebuild.
“I thought if we swam really well we might be as high as eighth, so that tells you a lot about how we swam.”
Sophomore Caden Murphy broke Liberty’s 200 IM record with his fifth-place time of 1:55.56, collecting 14 points in the process. Murphy also picked up 12 points with a seventh-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.76) and contributed to two relays.
“It was really good,” coach Murphy said of his son, Caden. “Last year, he was 2:02 in that event, and this year he went 1:55, so a big drop for him. He had a really good meet. He swam fast in prelims and finals.”
Senior Tait Harvey was the team’s high scorer, tallying 31 points while contributing to a relay. The Lindenwood commit took bronze in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:42.73 and fourth place in the 500 freestyle (4:41.84).
“His prelim swims were the fastest he had ever done in his life,” the coach said. “The season he had was great. He was a guy that kept us going all year really.”
The Blue Jays had three relay teams advance to the final day, with two securing at least and eighth-place finish.
Liberty’s 200 medley relay team of Alex Hill, Jacob Shaw, Caden and Harvey swam a 1:41.51 to take eighth. The Blue Jays’ 400 freestyle relay squad of Harvey, Hill, Zach Popejoy and Caden posted a sixth-place finish with a time of 3:19.22, while the 200 freestyle team of Shaw, Caleb Ahart, Nathan Hearst and Popejoy were 12th (1:33.49).
Hill placed 12th in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.18, earning 4 1/2 points.
Adam Bosse tallied 22 of Liberty North’s 33 points to aid the Eagles to an 18th-place state finish.
Bosse, a senior, spiced the end of his prep career with a new Liberty North record in the 200 freestyle, swimming a 1:44.90 to break the former mark set by Kyle Martin in 2012. He finished sixth in the event.
“It was real significant and I knew it meant a lot to him,” Eagles coach Mark Warner said. “That was one of our older records. It was fun to see him go out on a high note.”
Bosse also took ninth in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 53.20, and contributed to Liberty North’s 400 freestyle relay that placed 16th. Jake Anderson-Jones, Kegan Morrow and Andrew Augustine also swam in the 400 freestyle relay race.
Augustine picked up nine points with a 1:01.78 in the 100 breaststroke.
“I was really proud,” Warner said of his team’s showing. “In terms of everybody showing up and having their best swims of the season, which is what you want, they all swam really well.
“I was impressed and I couldn’t ask them to swim any better than they did,” Warner added.