Local swimming club places first in four events at league championships
Kansas City, Kan. As far as swimming goes, the Leavenworth Riptides just might be the little tugboat that could.
Despite being a six-week swimming program that competes against mostly year-round teams, the Riptides continue to hold their own in the pool. That was the case Friday at the league championship meet at Turner High School where they collected four first-place finishes in addition to numerous other top-six performances.
"I'm very proud of our team," said John Denney, who coaches the Riptides with his wife Kelli. "Bonner Springs started a year-round program last year, so that puts us up against three teams that have year-round programs. That makes it hard to come out and swim for only six weeks and expect to compete, but our kids do it and I'm proud of them. It shows their determination. They work hard while they're here."
Lauren Jaqua was the Riptides' oldest league champ. She placed first in the 14-and-under freestyle. Max Campbell won the individual medley in the 8-and-under boys division. The other first-place finishes came in the 8-and-under girls division. Mary Claire Peterson won the breaststroke and later teamed to win the medley relay with Mekayla DePaolis, Larkin Reilly and Haven Stutz.
In addition to Campbell's title in the individual medley, he also placed second in breaststroke and butterfly and was fourth in freestyle. As a result, he won the points championship in his age division.
"He's improved a lot this year and he's really tried," John Denney said. "He's worked hard in practice."
Plus, "He earned 'Swimmer of the Week' last week," Kelli Denney added, referencing a team award.
Jaqua nearly earned the points title in her age group. She placed second by three points after placing second in backstroke and the individual medley, fourth in breaststroke and sixth in butterfly.
The 8-and-under boys and 14-and-under girls were arguably the Riptides' deepest age groups at the league meet. In addition to Campbell's performances, Ryan Jaqua, Logan Lee and Max Peterson all placed. Jaqua was fourth in butterfly and the individual medley. Lee was sixth in backstroke and seventh in freestyle. Peterson was seventh in the individual medley. Meanwhile, Lauren Jaqua's dominating performances in the girls races were bolstered by the strong showing of Ravyn Teeters, Nikki Gee, Kassidi Livingston, Rachel Rice and Greer Fisher. Teeters was fourth in backstroke, fifth in butterfly and sixth in freestyle. Gee was second in breaststroke. Livingston was fifth in backstroke, sixth in the individual medley and seventh in butterfly. Jaqua, Gee, Livingson and Teeters teamed to place third in the medley relay. Fisher, Rice, Gee and Livingston were fourth in the freestyle relay.
"I think as a team we did really good," Teeters said of the Riptides' all-around strong showing. "We practice really hard and we push each other to no end, so as a team we did really well."
The Riptides' solid performances continued through every age division.
In the 6-and-under division, Ally Campbell was fourth in backstroke and sixth in freestyle. Charlie Peterson was seventh in freestyle and backstroke. Peterson and Campbell also teamed with Alissa McCarter and Brian Lee to place eighth in the freestyle relay.
In addition to two championships in the 8-and-under girls division, there also were a slew of third- through seventh-place finishes. DePaolis was third in butterfly, fourth in freestyle and sixth in backstroke. Stutz was fourth in backstroke, fifth in freestyle and seventh in breaststroke. Peterson was sixth in freestyle. Ema Bresser, Sara LaMoe, Savannah Eubanks and Abigail Eddy placed fifth in the freestyle relay.
In the 10-and-under boys division, D.C. DePaolis was seventh in butterfly. He also joined Jack Bresser, Jack Reilly and Paul Gilbert to place fifth in the medley relay. Gilbert, Bresser, Logan Lee and Ryan Jaqua teamed to place fifth in the freestyle relay.
Dee Dee Tisdel led the way for the 10-and-under girls as she placed fourth in butterfly and added fifth-place finishes in breaststroke and the individual medley. She also teamed with Madison Eddy, Madeline Sigtenhorst and Olivia Theus to place sixth in the freestyle relay. Tisdel, Sigtenhorst, Theus and Savannah Lee were sixth in the medley relay.
Isaac Tisdel was the lone 12-and-under boy to place individually. He finished sixth in backstroke and joined D.C. DePaolis, Jack Reilly and Ben Fisher on the sixth-place freestyle relay team.
Both 12-and-under girls relay teams earned top-six finishes. The freestyle relay team of Emily Ruble, Jennifer Gilbert, Lacey Knight and Megan Lee placed fifth. The medley relay team of Lee, Gilbert, Ruble and Ashley Dwire finished sixth.
Randy and Charlie Harrison were the top Riptide performers in the 14-and-under boys division. Randy Harrison placed fourth in backstroke, fifth in freestyle, sixth in the individual medley, seventh in breaststroke and eighth in butterfly. Charlie Harrison was sixth in breaststroke. In addition, the Harrisons joined Pete LaMoe and Metin DePaolis on the fifth-place medley relay team. Jordan Patzwalk, Alan Gilbert, James Morley and Sam Metivier were fifth in the freestyle relay.
Jessica Bradford led the 18-and-under division as she placed third in backstroke, sixth in the individual medley and seventh in breaststroke and butterfly. Leah Mease was fourth in breaststroke, fifth in butterfly, sixth in freestyle and seventh in the individual medley. Cody Burns placed fifth in backstroke. In addition, LaMoe, Mease, Burns and Ali Roberts placed fourth in the freestyle relay. Bradford, Mease, Tyler Heintzelman and Miranda Bradford placed seventh in the medley relay.