On Tuesday October 13th, The Ladue Boys Swimming & Diving team traveled to Class 2 Parkway South for a dual meet. Bouncing back from a close loss to powerful Parkway Central the week before, the Rams scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory, taking the meet 101-85. Using its roster of state-qualifying superstars, South took a 42-36 lead after the first 5 of 12 events. Fighting back, the Rams tied it after the 100 fly at 47-47, and the meet see-sawed until event 8, the 500 free, where the Rams took a 65-61 lead and never looked back, winning the last four events. The victory boosts the Rams’ conference record to 5-2 and its overall dual meet record to 5-3.
The Rams had five individual event winners – double winners SR co-captains Sam Garza in the 200 & 500 free and William Pan in the 100 fly & 100 back, plus single winner SO Andrew Chen in the 100 breast. In addition, all three relay teams won; the 200 medley with FR Daniel Garza, SR co-captain Sam Helmkampf, Pan and SR Graham Fredman; the 200 free with Helmkampf, FR Jax Bespalko, Fredman, and Sam Garza, and in a spectacular comeback win, with the entire team on their feet cheering, the 400 free with Pan, Fredman, Daniel Garza and Sam Garza, which nipped South’s relay by an astonishingly close 0.04 seconds. Garza’s anchor leg overcame a two-body-length, two-second deficit after the first three 100s.
Continuing their superb team effort, the Rams clocked two new or improved State Qualifying performances at the meet, including Chen’s win in the 100 breast, with a time of 1:07.16, bettering the State Consideration time, and Bespalko’s 200 free at 1:58.81, breaking the two-minute barrier. In addition, the Rams had an excruciatingly close near-miss by SO Alex Abreu, 53.90 in the 100 free, .01 over the qualifying time of 53.89. That’s as close as it gets!
Other individuals scoring points for the Rams included JR Brendan Raskin (5th 200 free, 4th 500 free), SO Raymond Hu (4th 200 IM, 5th 100 back), JR George Jurgiel (5th 200 IM, 4th 100 fly), Helmkampf (3rd 50 free, 3rd 100 breast), Chen (4th 50 free), SR Vaughn Sterling (3rd 1M diving), JR Grant Cox (4th 1M diving), JR Rohan Tatikonda (3rd 100 fly), Bespalko (4th 100 free), SO Massimo Seifarth (5th 100 free), Fredman (2nd 500 free), and Daniel Garza (4th 100 back).
In the relays, in addition to the aforementioned winning sweep, the Rams took 3rd in the 200 medley and 400 free relays, with Hu, Chen, Jurgiel and Abreu in the medley, and Abreu, Tatikonda, Bespalko and Seifarth in the free.
The team has 6 remaining scheduled meets; at MICDS/Clayton (10/15), vs. Eureka (10/20), vs. Lindbergh (10/22), a Dive-Only Conference Meet (10/27), vs. Chaminade (10/29) and a TBD rematch against John Burroughs (11/4). The Missouri State Class 1 Championships are now a one-day event, on November 13th. Family and fans are encouraged to login to upcoming PrepCast LIVE Stream coverage for all home meets.