Platte County junior Brooklynn Hays swims in the 100-yard freestyle during the KC Classic preliminaries Friday at Gladstone Community Center in Kansas City. TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra

Platte County places 4 individuals in finals as times melt away at KC Classic

Hays records victory in 100 breaststroke, makes finals in 2 events along with DeLay, while Cruce, Stone make state cuts.
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The elite competition in this weekend’s 16-team KC Classic brought out a lot of the best for Platte County. Time drops finally hit en masse for the Pirates, who finished eighth out of 16 teams with 130 points — just 12 behind seventh-place Carl Junction for the best showing for a Class 1 team.

TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra
Platte County senior Drew DeLay swims in the 100-yard breaststroke during the KC Classic preliminaries Friday at Gladstone Community Center in Kansas City.

In addition to two top-six relays, Platte County put senior Drew DeLay and sophomore Brooklynn Hays in two individual finals each, while sophomore Madeleine Stone (100-yard backstroke) and freshman Ashleigh Cruce (100-yard breaststroke) also scored team points.

Hays highlighted the effort with an individual victory, thanks to a career-best swim in the 100 breaststroke. She finished in 1 minute, 8.64 seconds — nearly a second faster than a Class 1 Missouri State Swimming and Diving Championships mark from her freshman season.

Additionally, Hays qualified for the A final with a time about 2 seconds better than her previous season-best entering the meet then took another second off that mark in the finals.

DeLay joined Hays in the 100 breaststroke A final, qualifying fifth and finishing fifth. She set a season-best of 1:11.46 in Saturday’s race after being just 0.13 slower than that in Friday’s preliminaries.

Hays and DeLay now both have top 10 state consideration qualifying times in the event with Hays all the way up to fourth in Class 1.

TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra
Platte County sophomore Madeleine Stone swims in the 100-yard backstroke during preliminaries for the KC Classic on Friday at Gladstone Community Center in Kansas City.

At that point, Hays already owned a third-place medal from the 100 freestyle. She ended up in the middle of an extremely bunched 2-3-4 placement in the event at 54.59. She actually qualified second out of preliminaries with a slightly better time of 54.56 — also top 10 in the state for Class 1.

Not surprisingly, Hays and DeLay were also on the two A finalist relay teams for Platte County. The 4×200 freestyle quartet that also included seniors Lauren Beatty and Madeline Judy placed fourth in 1:44.97 as the top Class 1 team in the field and setting a season-best — about a second faster than when the Pirates qualified fourth out of prelims.

Platte County’s 200 medley team of DeLay, Hays, Stone and sophomore Ireland Shanks came in sixth in a season-best 1:56.64. As of the most recent listing, both of those times rank sixth in Class 1 with both groupings making a a big jump up the list.

DeLay’s other top-16 finish came in the B final of the 50 freestyle, and she set a season-best of 26.36. the performance came after she claimed the 16th and final qualifying spot and then moved up two spots with an improved time Saturday.

TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra
Platte County freshman Ashleigh Cruce swims in the 100-yard butterfly during preliminaries for the KC Classic on Friday at Gladstone Community Center.

Stone just missed a state consideration cut in the prelims of the 100 backstroke but then hit the mark in the finals, placing 13th at 1:07.97. She earned a spot in the Class 1 state field a year ago but now sits about 2 1/2 seconds off her career-best for the event.

Similar to DeLay, Cruce — a first-year freshman — claimed the final spot out of preliminaries, edging teammate Shank by 0.17 of a second. Cruce’s mark of 1:17.00 in that race gave her the first individual state cut of her short career, and she then improved that in the finals with a 14th-place finish in 1:06.36.

Platte County Quad

The Pirates dominated a home meet Tuesday at Platte County Community Center North, winning 8 of 11 individual events. They also easily put up the most team points with Smithville second, Central (St. Joseph) third and Summit Christian fourth).

Platte County received first-place efforts from senior Blair Bolling, junior Jayden Benninghoff, Beatty and Cruce plus a pair of relays. The Pirates might have swept the relays if the No. 1 200 medley team didn’t up with a disqualification.

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Platte County senior Madeline Judy swims the freestyle during the KC Classic preliminaries Friday at Gladstone Community Center in Kansas City.

Bolling’s win came in the 200 individual medley with a season-best time of 2:38.77 while junior Alyson Stone placed third in the event. Beatty (1:00.97) finished first in the 100 freestyle, while Judy ended up third.

Platte County went 1-2 in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle. Cruce started her run of success in the 100 butterfly with a victory in season-best-at-the-time 1:08.20, just ahead of her state cut showings in the KC Classic. Shank came in second. In the 100 backstroke, Benninghoff (1:12.43) scored a dominant victory with Alyson Stone as the runnerup.

Hays (season-best 26.20) bested DeLay (27.51) in the 50 freestyle. Hays also placed first in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.49), while Shank ended up third 1:22.11.

Platte County also won both freestyle relays. The 200 quartet of DeLay, Hays, Judy and Beatty (1:50.49) finished almost 11 full seconds ahead of Smithville, while the Pirates went 1-2 in the 400 freestyle relay with Judy, Beatty, Shank and Benninghoff.

With the top team DQ’d, Platte County came in second in the meet-opening 200 medley with a grouping of Bolling, Benninfhoff, Alyson Stone and Cruce. The Pirates also had a runnerup finish from Madeleine Stone in the 500 freestyle (6:31.49).

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