The Joplin Globe
Joplin, powered by a first place from Chris Martucci and three fourths in relay events, placed fourth among 12 teams on Saturday in the Red Bird Invitational.
Springfield Kickapoo won the team championship with 279 points to Webb City’s 258. Carthage bested Joplin 184-156 for third place.
Said Joplin coach Blair Dance: “I’m very happy. We had some personal bests and some really good swims. Our goal was to place fourth or better. We met our goal. We’re young and new (the Eagles have resumed boys swimming). They’ve come a long way.”
Martucci, a sophomore, won the 100 butterfly in 57.98.
“He improved his time a little bit for the season,” Dance said. “He’s about 1 1/2 seconds off the state qualifying time.
“We also had a good effort out of sophomore Michael Swanson as an example of someone who keeps lowering his times,” Dance said. “Michael individually was ninth in the 100 free and (a non-scoring) 14th in the 50 free. Alex Chesney had good swims, too, with a couple of sevenths (200 IM, breaststroke).”
Martucci also placed runner-up in the 200 free and was a member of the medley relay and 200 free relay.
Webb City won the medley relay and, individually, Cardinal Jacob Schultz won the 200 freestyle, Nathan Schultz claimed the 200 IM and Tucker Palone won the 500 free.
Samuel Senn was a stalwart for champion Kickapoo. He won the 50 free and the 100 free and helped the 200 free and 400 free relay teams triumph.
The Cardinals’ Palone, a member of the medley relay team, helped the Webb City 400 free relay team place second and was third in the backstroke as well as winning the 500 free.
Carthage’s Kelly Wiley, George Schramm, Ben Derryberry and Will Mansfield combined to place second in the 200 freestyle relay.