After claiming individual swimming state titles, Joplin’s Alex Crawford, Carthage’s Brayden Cole and Nevada’s Ben Hines have been named the Globe’s prep athletes of the week for the week ending Nov. 16.

ALEX CRAWFORD

The senior became the first in Joplin history to become a state champion in swimming, taking home gold in the 100-yard freestyle on Nov. 16 at the MSHSAA Class 2 Swimming and Diving Championships.

Crawford recorded a time of 45.87 seconds in the finals to best runner-up Eli Butters of St. Louis University High by about one-half second.

“To see him on top of that podium was exciting,”Joplin coach Ali Stauffer said. “And to see his reaction after the race, with a big smile on his face ... it was great to see him realize what he’d accomplished. It was a proud coach moment. Alex put in the time and hard work, and it paid off for him. I’m really proud of him.”

BRAYDEN COLE

The Carthage senior set a Class 1 record with his championship finals time of 56.69 that won him the gold medal in the 100-yard breaststroke. He became Carthage’s first state champion in swimming since Jared Osborne won the butterfly in 2002.

Cole also finished ninth in the 200 individual medley and set a school record with a consolation finals time of 1:59.

“He had a huge meet,” Tigers coach Braden McBride said. “He saved his best for last. He’s a great kid, so it was great to see him be successful. His success was connected to his work ethic.

“He battled through an injury, and his stroke just wasn’t coming together early in the season. But he worked on some things, and he got himself ready for state. He dropped a few seconds, and it was just awesome to see.”

BEN HINES

Just a junior, Hines successfully defended his Class 1 crowns in two events by finishing first in the 50-and 100-yard freestyles in record-setting fashion.

Hines recorded an all-class record time of 20.07 seconds in the 50 free. And in the 100 free, Hines recorded a time of 45.28 to set a Class 1 record.

“As far as his performance, I couldn’t have asked for more,” Nevada coach Clayton Wheeler said. “There was an expectation there. Everyone knows about his state championships and his records. He was expected to come back and do it again this year, and he did. Ben showed up and did it.”

Coaches can nominate athletes of the week by emailing sports@joplinglobe.com before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Please attach a close up head and shoulders shot of the athlete to the email. Awards on Dec. 1 will be based on performances from Nov. 18-23.

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