By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
Joplin Eagles sophomore Kate Stauffer won two events to help her team finish third at the Joplin Girls Invitational swim meet on Friday night at the Missouri Southern pool.
Stauffer won the 100-meter butterfly and the 100-meter breaststroke as the Eagles finished with 189 points, well behind first-place Nixa (310) and second-place Carthage (300).
“We have only 11 girls, but they’ve been working really hard,” Joplin coach Blair Dance said. “I’m impressed with what they’ve been able to do in only the second meet. A lot of the girls have improved.”
Stauffer shaved almost six seconds off her seed time to finish in 1:21.87 in the 100-meter breastroke, edging Carthage’s Mercy Housh by a little more than a second.
“I felt really good,” Stauffer said. “I’m really happy with all my times. I’ve really been working hard at practice to improve my technique.”
Stauffer’s time in the breastroke was just a little more than a second shy of the state qualifying mark of 1:20.61.
“She’s only a second away from state,” Dance said. “I really think she can get that time in the next couple of meets.”
She smoked the competition in the butterfly, finishing in 1:13.95 and more than 13 seconds ahead of Carthage’s Taylor Hart.
Nixa swimmers won five individual events and two relays. Elle Moon won the 200-meter freestyle and the 100-meter backstroke. Paige Hill (30.50) nipped Carthage’s Lacey Stephens (30.93) in the 50-meter freestyle. Anna Brinck won the 100-meter freestyle, and Maris Moon won the 400-meter freestyle. The Eagles also won the 200-meter medley and the 400-meter freestyle relays.
The Carthage Tigers won only one individual event and one relay but earned seven second-place finishes and three third-place finishes. Housh won the 200-meter IM in 2:36.32. The Tigers’ relay team of Housh, Hart, Katie Watson and M’Lynne Wagner won the 200-meter freestyle relay.
Lamar was fourth in the team standings with 176 points, followed by Nevada (134), Seymour (105) and Hillcrest (25).
In addition to Stauffer’s two wins, Joplin recorded one second-place finish and one third-place finish. Joplin’s 200-meter medley relay team of Stauffer, Lina Bartel, Kathleen Hughes and Anna Davis was second to Nixa. Hughes took third individually in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:28.41.
“We’re doing really well for a team that’s young and has only 11 swimmers,” Stauffer said. “We’ve been practicing really hard. I think it will show later into the meets.”
Joplin will compete Tuesday at Webb City.