Platte County senior Dylan Bietz swims the freestyle during a quad Tuesday at Platte County Community Center North. TODD NUGENT/

Platte County moves up state rankings in 200 medley, 400 freestyle relays

In 12-team field, Pirates finish 2nd just 1 point behind team champion Raytown in Saturday’s Platte County Invitational behind strong start, finish to the meet.
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Platte County continued to cut time for relays and nearly came away with a team title in Saturday’s Platte County Invitational at Platte County Community Center North. The Pirates totaled 381 points and finished second, just one point behind Raytown, in a 12-team field.

Platte County freshman Palmer Keith swims the butterfly during a quad Tuesday at Platte County Community Center North.

Going into the final race, Platte County needed to make up a nine-point gap. The Pirates’ 400-yard freestyle quartet of senior Dylan Bietz, juniors Collin Burton and Gage Jonkman and freshman Palmer Keith held up its end, recording a season-best of 3 minutes, 29.74 seconds to beat St. Joseph Central by more than 2 seconds. However, Raytown placed third and earned just enough points to avoid losing the team title.

Platte County moved up to No. 12 in the Class 1 Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships consideration time list in the 400 freestyle after shaving nearly 2 seconds off the previous season-best.

In the opening 200-medley relay, Platte County finished second to Raytown but posted a 1:46.94 to set a season-best by 0.36 of a second. Bietz, Burton, Jonkman and Keith made up the team. The Pirates put senior Christian Yocklin, juniors Carson Howe and Austin Hough, and freshman Deacon Gutshall in the 200 freestyle relay, and that group set its season-best and placed fifth in 1:41.92, although they have a faster state consideration time using a different lineup.

Platte County senior Christian Yocklin swims the 100-yard breaststroke during a quad Tuesday at Platte County Community Center North.

Keith also continued achieving individual superlatives. Having recently set school records in the 200 freestyle and 200 IM, he earned a win and posted a runnerup showing in Platte County’s largest home meet. He won the 200 IM in 2:03.58 and was just .08 of a second off his school record mark set the week prior.

In the 100 breaststroke, Keith was less than a half second slower than his season-best (1:05.86) while finishing second behind Brady Bell of Smithville.

Bietz claimed a pair of runnerup showings despite “off” races in the 50 freestyle (23.33) and 100 freestyle (51.81). Jonkman ended up the only Platte County individual to improve or post a state consideration time, placing fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:02.45) with Gutshall finishing just in front of him (1:02.25) to give the Pirates a 3-4 finish in the event.

Burton grabbed a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly at 57.27 but was about a quarter of a second off of his season-best in the event.

Platte County Quad

Platte County freshman Deacon Gutshall looks around after finishing a race during. a quad Tuesday at Platte County Community Center North.

Park Hill and the hosts went 1-2 and dominated a four-team meet Tuesday at Platte County Community Center North.

Second-place Platte County recorded victories in four of 12 events, including individual wins for Bietz (50 freestyle, 22.99), Burton (100 butterfly, 58.30) and Keith (100 backstroke, 1:00.32). Keith cut nearly 2 1/2 seconds off his previous season-best with a team-best time, while Gutshall finished third in the race.

Platte County 200 medley team of Bietz, Yocklin, Keith and Gutsshall also placed first in 1:48.52. The 200 freestyle (Burton, Jonkman, Keith and Bietz) and 400 freestyle (Burton, Gutshall, Howe and Jonkman) both finished second.

Bietz, Keith (23.62) and Yocklin (24.90) gave Platte County a 1-2-3 finish in the 50 freestyle. Yocklin set a season-best while Keith continues to chase a state consideration time. He has hit the state mark in the other seven individual events this season.

Jonkman posted a season-best in the 200 freestyle at 1:59.80 to claim second in the event, while Burton finished third behind him. Gutshall and Howe came in second and third in the 500 freestyle.

Other individuals in the top three included junior Brody Corbin (third, 100 butterfly) and Yocklin (second, 100 breaststroke).

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