The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

January 28, 2014

Joplin junior Stauffer qualifies for state in third event

Eagles claim four duals

Kate Stauffer was confident she could better her time in the 100-meter breaststroke and qualify for the MSHSAA Girls Swimming and Diving Championships in a third event.

“I’ve been really working at it,” she said. “I just kept telling myself through the whole thing ‘Swim your own race and you’ll be fine.’ ”

That plan worked for the junior from Joplin High School in Tuesday’s Joplin Duals swim meet at the Missouri Southern State University pool.

Joplin went 4-2 in the event, beating The Summit Prep Academy, Seymour, Parkview and Lamar, while losing to Nevada and Monett.

“We had several girls dropping time tonight in their individual events,” Joplin coach Blair Dance said. “These girls continue to impress me with their hard work and efforts. It is really paying off for them and us as a team.”

Stauffer swam a time of 1 minute, 19.91 seconds in the breastroke, an event that she said has always been a focus of hers. She was more than eight seconds ahead of the next closest finisher, Maddy Glouse from Monett, coming in at 1:28.00. Stauffer had already qualified in the 50-meter freestyle and the 200-meter individual medley.

“I know what I can do, and I just needed to do it,” Stauffer said. “I’ve never done that before.”

As for her meet as a whole, Stauffer was humble but understandably pleased.

“My meet today was OK,” she said smiling. “Actually, it was great. I don’t want to say it was OK.”

Stauffer also won the 200-meter IM with a time of 2:35.57, and both relay teams she swam on finished third.

Stauffer, Victoria Alford, Kathleen Hughes and Jaed’en Humphrey combined to finish in 2:23.59 in the 200-meter medley relay and 4:45.5 in the 400.

“I try to do the best I can for my team (in relays) because it’s not just me, it’s my whole team,” Stauffer said.

Grace Reichard of Nevada also swam a state qualifying time Tuesday. Reichard finished the 400-meter freestyle in 4:47.50 to qualify for her sixth event this season.

Reichard’s successes have translated into a scholarship with NCAA Division II Ashland (Ohio) University.

The Summit Prep Academy, of Springfield, had a swimmer finish first or second in six individual events while also finishing second in the 200-meter freestyle relay and wining the 400-meter freestyle relay.

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