Hannibal swimming season is finally under way, with the Pirates competing in their first action of the season in the Ladue Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The team as a whole finished sixth out of 13 teams. The finish included 14 personal bests, three school records being broken and one athlete making the state cut.
Hannibal Head Coach Brenda Hallbauer said the team propped each other up.
“The boys were even better than I expected. One mom said they were ‘a unified bunch of guys pushing each other to excel’. I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Hallbauer said.
“There always seemed to be several of them at the end of the lane we were swimming in. It’s great to see them encouraging each other and wanting each other to do well. The boys are a very united front.”
Earning medals at the event were Tyler Bush, who finished 6th in the 200 backstroke, Dylan Behl who finished second in the 100 breaststroke and fourth in the 100 free style and ‘Lliot Gieseke who finished first in the 500 freestyle and sixth in the 50 freestyle.
Setting personal best times were Bush (200 free, 100 back), Behl (100 free, 100 breast), Gieseke (50 free, 100 free, 500 free), Jamey Lemon (500 free, 50 free), Shay Wade (200 free, 100 back), Dylan Yarbrough (50 free, 100 free) and Dylan O’Rourke (50 free).
Hallbauer said the team, which is comprised of four returning sophomores, five freshmen and a new senior, saw its two best swimming performances from freshmen.
Dylan Behl placed second in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:03.22 which qualifies him for the state high school meet and broke the school record for the event.
The other came from Lliot Gieseke in the 500 Freestyle.
“Through the majority of race Gieseke was comfortably in third until the last 75 yards when he decided to take off and out swim the competition to finish first with a time of 5:09.21,” Hallbauer said.
One other notable swim came from senior Chase Turner who swam under a minute in the 100 Freestyle.
On the relay front, the 200 medley relay, comprised of Bush, Behl, Gieseke and Lemon, broke the school record with a time of 1:49.12 and placing fifth.
Lemon said he was ecstatic when he realized they broke the school record.
The 400 free relay, manned by Gieseke, Yarbrough, Bush and Behl, swam with a time of 3:39.72 to break the school record and place fifth in the event.
The next action for the Hannibal swimming team will be at 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24 in a Triangular at Ritenour.