Swim makes history

Patriot girls’ swim team takes home first state title in program’s history


On Feb. 22, with a total of 245 points, the Parkway South girls swim team won their first state championship in school history. 

It was amazing. We knew we had the meet one before the last event. We were able to watch our 400 FR Relay (Mia Muckerman, Carly Shaffer, Hannah Fitch, and Lucy Price) and really enjoy it and let it sink in. There were a ton of emotions and a lot of pure joy. Really, really special,” said coach Blakleigh Mathes.

Going into state, there was some tough competition from schools like Cor Jesu. However, Mathes said that going in, there was a lot of confidence in the team.

“I was worried about Cor Jesu and Park Hill South out of KC, but for the most part, I was confident in what these girls were going to do,” said Mathes.

Junior Kylee Sullivan said she felt the same way.

“We knew it was going to be rough because Cor Jesu had a good team and Kirkwood did as well but we trusted our training. I felt especially more confident going in too,” said Sullivan. 

Sophomore Carly Shaffer said she didn’t pay attention as much to what the other schools were doing–she was focused on her races.

“I wasn’t really nervous about other schools but more so about my races but I think everyone in general was just focused on state and no one else,” she said..

Sullivan broke the state record in the 200 Individual medley at the state meet.

“My best event was the 200 IM which actually broke the state record of 2 minutes and 21 seconds. I also did well on the 100 fly which was my best time of 54.75 seconds,” said Sullivan

Schaffer placed 9th in the 400 freestyle relay.

“I swam the 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay and got ninth place,” said Shaffer.

Sullivan said that several previous meets had boosted their confidence for state.

“We won the Como invite at Mizzou and we did well in the conference which raised our confidence level. However, state was our best,” said Sullivan. 

Sullivan had won state individually last year. However, she said that it felt different to the winning state as a whole team.

“It’s just so much more fun to win as a team because you had put in all the hard work together and it’s just a completely different feeling,” said Sullivan.

Shaffer said as the meet progressed, her team eventually knew they were going to take the title.

“I was in the last couple of relays and we just knew and it just was full of joy and tears when we did win,” said Shaffer.

Mathes said that every swimmer had an effect on winning the state championship.

“Every single swimmer scored points for the team. It’s a testament to their dedication to each other and the strength of this program. All 7 of them, (Logan Knolhoff, Kylee Sullivan, Lucy Price, Mia Muckerman, Alayna Henage, Hannah Fitch, and Carly Shaffer) all scored points. We were the only program in the state to bring everyone swimming back to finals which is a very hard thing to do. They’re amazing and I can’t wait to see what they continue to do,” said Mathes.