Back 2 Back!!

Patriot girls swimming wins state title for 2nd year in a row


courtesy of Blakeleigh Mathes

The girls swim team celebrates with a group selfie after claiming the Class 2 Swimming State Title again this year.

“It’s really cool to make history,” said Parkway South senior swimmer Kylee Sullivan.

On Feb. 22, the Patriot girls’ swim team took the state title for the second time in a row, this being the second time in history that South has won back-to-back state championships in any sport. 

Blakeleigh Mathes, who has been coaching girls’ swim at South for five years, expressed her pride in the girls.

“It feels awesome to win state again. The girls will forever have a legacy at South, and it’s an honor to be their coach,” Mathes said.

South didn’t just win state–they broke multiple Class 2 records as well. Sullivan broke her own record from last year at state in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:01.88. She also broke the record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54:27. Sullivan said afterward that she had a list of goals for the season, and achieved them all,

“My goals were to defend titles, get new PB’s (personal bests), and win state of course,” Kylee said.

Sullivan, along with junior Alayna Henage, freshman Lexi Cook, and senior Lucy Price broke the record in the 200 medley relay with an impressive time of 1:44.51. According to Mathes, this was a very exciting record to break,

“The girls were most determined to break the record for the 200 medley,’ Mathes said. ‘The girls have wanted it for the whole season.”

That’s not all, senior Mia Muckerman joined Cook, Henage, and Sullivan to win the 400 free relay with a time of 3:30.51. South was unable to break their own record from 2018, which was a time of 3:26.21. 

Cook, the only freshman to go to state, won two team gold medals in her first year, and a silver medal in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:03.33. Cook also won a bronze medal in the 100 backstroke, with a time of 55.84. Her teammates had nothing but praise for the young swimmer,

“Lexi is very fast, and she’s going to keep getting faster,’ Sullivan said. ‘I’m excited to watch her throughout her career.”

Keeping the medaling going, Henage took second in the 100 meter breaststroke with a time of 103.72. She ended up with a total of 3 medals. 

Overall, South finished with a total of 238 points, while the second-place team, Park Hill South finished 36 points below with 202 points. Sullivan finished with four gold medals for the second year in a row. Sullivan, a Mizzou commit, said she will miss her teammates, and that they’re one of the main reasons why she has been so successful,

“My teammates always pushed me, and we’ve created a great bond,’ Sullivan said, ‘We always swam for each other, and I’m really going to miss them, and the chemistry we had.”