Platte County freshman Palmer Keith showed the potential early in his first season, but rapid development allowed him to rewrite some program history during Thursday’s Eubank Invitational in Raytown.
Already with Class 1 Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships consideration times in six events, Keith added a school record in the 200-yard individual medley, blowing away his previous season-best and nipping a mark Nathaniel Savage set in 2009. Keith won the Blue Division race in 2 minutes, 3.50, 0.12 of a second faster than Savage’s previous school record time of 2:03.62.
The Blue Division featured the top six teams at the meet, giving Keith and the rest of Platte County’s roster a chance to again compete in a solid field. The Pirates ended up with eight top-three finishes and two new season-best state consideration times.
Platte County ended up with 200 team points and placed fourth but ended up just 32 behind team champion Rockhurst.
In addition to the win in the 200 IM, Keith placed second in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.81) in addition to his leg on Platte County’s third-place 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. Pirates senior Dylan Bietz came up with the only other first-place, putting up a 22.98 in the 50 freestyle to win by nearly a quarter of a second.
Bietz also swam on the two top-three relays, which just missed season-best times.
Platte County junior Collin Burton finished third in the 100 butterfly at 58.55, while freshman Deacon Gutshall came in sixth but improved his state consideration time in the event. His new season and career-best time is 1:00.88.
Burton was on both third-place relays.
Gutshall added a second-place showing in the 100 backstroke (1:02.59) with Platte County junior Gage Jonkman right behind him in third 1:03.52. Jonkman also had a leg on both of the Pirates’ third-place relays to round out the quartets. The medley team finished in 1:48.52, about a second and a half off their No. 19-ranked Class 1 state time, and the 200 freestyle relay came in at 1:35.77, less that a quarter of a second off of the Pirates’ best mark in that event. They currently rank No. 14 in Class 1.
Keith (10th, 200 IM) has the best individual ranking for Platte County in the current state consideration list, while Bietz is 13th in the 50 freestyle.
Lee’s Summit Quad
Keith made it two school records in a week after putting up a career best time in the 200 freestyle in another stunning performance Tuesday in Lee’s Summit.
Platte County’s only two event victories came from Keith in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly. In the second race of the day, Keith posted a 1:51.14 to top the previous program-best time of 1:51.19 Baxter Stone set in 2019. Keith now has state consideration times in seven of eight individual swimming events, missing only the 50 freestyle. He ranks top20 in Class 1 for the 200 IM (10th), 100 butterfly (18th), 200 freestyle (19th), and 500 freestyle (19th).
Keith’s top time in the 100 butterfly also came in the Lee’s Summit quad. He won the race in 55.49, topping second-place Thomas Wozniak of Lee’s Summit West by nearly 3 full seconds.
Gutshall also posted a new state consideration time in the 500 freestyle (5:17.71), finishing second.
Platte County finished third in both the 200 and 400 freestyle races but posted new season-bests in both races. The Pirates now rank 14th and 15th in Class 1 respectively. The 200 team of Burton, Keith, Bietz and Carson Howe came in at 1:35.43, while the 400 team of Burton, Jonkman, Keith and Bietz posted a 3:32.08.