LIBERTY — Both Liberty North and Liberty girls swim teams have already made waves during their first year in the biggest enrollment division of the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference.
Liberty North girls swimming led the Suburban Gold Conference meet heading into the latter stages of the event before Lee’s Summit West stormed back to take the top spot.
The Eagles finished second with a 376 points to the Titans’ 384 despite winning the final two relay events. Lee’s Summit West rallied thanks to seven point earners in the final two individual events and a win in the 100-yard backstroke Liberty North had three scoring swimmers in those races, which marked a 45-point swing.
Liberty North still walked away with an extensive amount of medals and all-conference honors.
Ainsley Dillon, Avery True, Katie Shepherd and Sophia Parde earned first team all-conference honors with their performances in the 200 and 400 free relays. Dillon also made it for her performances in the 50 free and 100 free while True did so in the 200 free and 500 free.
The quartet won the 200 free relay with a time of 1:40.01 and the 400 free relay with a time of 3:39.68. Both were the Eagles best marks this season.
Dillon broke the conference record in both of her individual events. She won the 50 free with a time of 23.70 and finished the 100 free in first with a time of 52.03.
Avery True won gold in the 200 free and 500 free with times of 1:55.98 and 5:09.97 respectively. She had company as top-four medalists in both events.
Shepherd took third with a time of 1:59.87 and Kaitlyn Steinbeck took third with a time of 2:02.58 in the 200 free. Emma Huyser took third in the 500 free with a time of 5:30.77, which earned her all-conference honorable mention.
Reese True, Kailey Nichols and Kiersten Glass and Steinbeck got things started for the Eagles by finishing the 200 medley relay with their fastest time and narrowly missed the top four with their fifth-place finish.
Gracie Dixson found herself in a similar spot in the one-meter diving event as her score of 386.60 put her seven to eight points behind the competitors in third and fourth place.
Reese True took fifth in the 100 fly with a time of 1:01.58 and Parde did the same in the 100 free with a time of 56.40. True also took sixth in the 100 back with a time of 1:03.64.
Liberty girls swim once again found itself chasing behind Liberty North as the Blue Jays finished third with 325 points.
Just as Dillon stood out on a star-studded Eagles group of swimmers, Ellie Hartwig did the same for the Blue Jays.
Hartwig earned the top spot in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly for the second straight year. She finished the 200 IM with a time of 2:08.58 and the 100 fly with a time of 58.86.
Kate Minette was next up for top individual accolades as she took third in the 50 and 100 free. Minette finished the 50 free with a time of 25.21 and the 100 free with a time of 55.17.
Grace Allen took fifth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:03.55 while Shae Harvey ended up sixth in both the 200 and 500 free. Harvey finished the 200 free with a time of 2:04.82 and the 500 free with a time of 5:35.99.
Henley Schmalz-Turner and Allen joined Hartwig in the A Final of the 100 fly and were a second apart in sixth and seventh place. Schmalz-Tuner finished with a time of 1:02.19 and Allen with a time of 1:03.58.
The 200 medley relay and 200 free relay teams both earned third-place medals while the 400 free relay landed in sixth.
Schmalz-Turner, Lydia Riggs, Hartwig and Minette completed the 200 MR in 1:50.83. The same group with Schmalz-Turner swapped out for Allen finished with a time of 1:43.78 in the 200 FR. Ellie McWhorter, Avery Jolly, Schmalz-Turner and Allen finished the 400 FR with a time of 3:56.46.
Both teams will gear up for the Missouri State High School Activities Association Girls Swimming and Diving Championship with Class 2 set to compete on Feb. 19 at City of St. Peters Rec-Plex in St. Peters.