Bonner Springs swimming standout Stock beats the odds, places 16th at state meet
BSHS junior surpasses expectations, advances to Saturday’s finals
On paper, Toni Stock wasn’t supposed to advance past the 100-yard butterfly preliminaries at the Class 5-1A swimming state championships.
Stock ignored the prognostications, however, and let her swimming do the talking.
In the process, she delivered one of her best races of the season during Friday’s preliminaries and went on to place 16th at state.
Stock’s performance garnered one team point for BSHS as the Braves placed 32nd in the team standings at state. Blue Valley ran away with the state championship, piling up 381 points. Wichita Independent was a distant second with 177 and Newton finished third with 162.
Stock needed to advance to Saturday’s finals at the Hummer Sports Park Natatorium to score team points, and she earned a berth in the consolation finals with a time of 1:09.83 in the preliminaries.
“She was on the bubble for advancing,” BSHS coach Lynn LaNoue said. “What pushed her over was her hard work and her turns at prelims. She spent a good portion of her time prepping for state working on her turns with a focus on making the necessary adjustments far enough away from the wall to limit her streamline into the wall.
“She was also relaxed, and this was important because it allowed her to conserve her energy for the race. She also appreciated her family, friends and teammates who came out to support her.”
Stock’s time in the finals was a bit slower at 1:10.30.
Topeka Seaman’s Maggie Metz won the state championship in the 100 butterfly in 58.71. Katie Dailey of Bishop Ward won the consolation finals in 1:04.10.
LaNoue said Stock’s experience at state in 2010 helped her prepare for this year’s trip.
“I think she used her experience at state last year as an impetus for focusing,” LaNoue said. “She is competitive and enjoys the fruits of hard work, and at that level of competition brings out the best in her because she wants to be successful.”
Stock became the first BSHS swimmer — male or female — to be a two-time state qualifier. She will try to become the school’s first three-time qualifier as a senior next year, and LaNoue said he expects Stock to be a leader in a number of ways for the 2012 squad.
“I think Toni will want to be a three-time state qualifier, and I think her teammates will see that in her work effort and will understand what drives her,” LaNoue said. “I know her teammates who accompanied her to state were excited for her this year and understand the level of competition at state. I have seen them readily follow her this year, and I am confident they will do the same next year and I think her leadership role as a senior will be a continuation of how she lead this year — by example and encouragement.
“Yes, she will be another year older and wiser, which will have an impact on her natural leadership abilities, but as far as me placing additional leadership responsibilities on her as a senior, I do not see that happening. She has that rare leadership ability, which comes from a natural out growth of having clear priorities and an understanding of what you want to accomplish. Others see her genuineness and are willing to follow her lead as a result.”