By David Markham
Over the past two years, multiple members of JCPRD’s Kansas City Blazers Swim Team have broken an impressive number of swim records.
“The Blazers have broken about 8% of their 400+ records since Jan. 1, 2022,” noted Blazers Sr. Admin. Assistant Dorothy Ogden.
“The last time this many records were broken in a similar timeframe was in 2012-2013,” added Blazers Head Coach George Adcock, who has led the team since June of 2019. “This is the first year since I took over as head coach that I think we are seeing development on the level where we would like to be.”
The Blazers is a competitive swim team sponsored by JCPRD for ages six to 19. The team currently has 520 registered swimmers.
The team’s new records were set in the past year at a just a few different meets.
“We managed to win Missouri Valley Swimming (MVS) Districts and Age Group Champs for the first time, on the back of winning MVS LC (Long Course) Champs in the summer of 2022,” the coach noted. “Our sectionals results were great and we have some younger athletes stepping onto the big stages with confidence to outperform athletes older than them regularly. This is just the start but has been in the works for a few seasons now. We are always looking at the long-term development of our athletes. We now have a team of athletes through our age groups that are able to perform at an elite level not just in our region but around the country. We have a couple of athletes at the junior nationals level and few age group athletes in the top 20 in the country for their age in certain events.”
He said some of the new records are team records, while others are team and LSC (Local Swim Committee) records, representing fastest times in the Missouri Valley region.
Records broken by Blazers swimmers since Jan. 1, 2022
LCM = long course meters and SCY = short course yards / Back = backstroke, Fly = Butterfly Stroke, Free = Free Style, and Breast = Breast Stroke
- Sasha Weiner (Female 9-10) 50 Back SCY 30.91, 50 Fly SCY 29.06, 100 Back 1:05.21
- Vivian Hughes (Female 9-10) 50 Free SCY 26.97
- Clara Seemann (Female 11-12) 50 Breast LCM 35.38, 100 Breast SCY 1:07.99, 200 Breast SCY 2:26.91
- Fia Boshart (Female 13-14) 50 Fly SCY 27.38
- Hayden Benbow (Female 9-10) 400 Free LCM 5:33.57
- Mari Chambers (Female 13-14) 50 Breast SCY 30.05
- Annika Finzen (Female 15 & Over) 50 Fly SCY 25.86, 50 Breast SCY 28.49, 100 Breast SCY 1:02.52, 100 IM SCY 56.24
- Nathan Weiner (Male 13-14) 50 Back SCY 26.07
- Reilly Eagan (Male 13-14) 200 Breast SCY 2:10.62
- Hunter Rey (Male 15 & Over) 50 Fly SCY 22.75
- Casey Carpenter-Ross (Male 13-14) 100 IM SCY 57.07
- Matthew Warren (Male 13-14) 50 Breast SCY 29.75, 50 Breast LCM 33.97
- Female 9-10 400 Free Relay SCY 4:29.40 Sasha Weiner, Jada Sol, Teniola Oyetunji, Hayden Benbow
- Female 9-19 200 Medley Relay SCY 2;12.32 Hayden Benbow, Teniola Oyetunji, Sasha Weiner, Abrielle Ngo
- Female 11-12 800 Free Relay 8:32.90 Kinley Baber, Ashlyn Bolyard, Abigale Stidham, Emma Huebner
- Female 11-12 400 Medley Relay SCY 4:19.53 Ashlyn Bolyard, Clara Seemann, Kinley Baber, Emma Huebner
- Female 13-14 400 Medley Relay SCY 3:58.14 Ashlyn Bolyard, Mari Chambers, Kinley Baber, Clara Seemann
- Male 13-14 200 Free Relay SCY 1:32.33 Nathan Weiner, Matthew Warren, Harris Stevens, Casey Carpenter-Ross
- Male 13-14 400 Free Relay SCY 3:22.93 Nathan Weiner, Harris Stevens, Matthew Warren, Casey Carpenter-Ross
- Male 13-14 400 Medley SCY 3:45.55 Casey Carpenter-Ross, Matthew Warren, Harris Stevens, Nathan Weiner
“The sport as a whole is progressing at a rate that I find difficult to comprehend,” Adcock said. “Luckily, our athletes don’t seem to know that and they are achieving some great things.”
Asked if this recent spate of new records bodes well for the possibility of a Blazer competing in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, Adcock was quick to stress that it’s much too early to even think about that.
“In nearly 50 years of the Blazers, we have had six Olympians - that’s a spectacular history in swimming,” he said. “We plan the process of development, not the results. Getting an athlete to the games is rare, and again not something we plan for, but something we would be excited about if it happened. Most Olympians come from college programs so it’s really hard to get to that point with high school athletes.”
For interested young swimmers, the Kansas City Blazers will be conducting tryouts for the 2023-24 season in August. Sign up for an evaluation at signupgenius.com/go/9040f4eaaad28a2f94-kansas18#/, Or learn more about the Blazers at kcblazers.com or at facebook.com/swimKCBlazers/. Another way to support the team is to volunteer to participate in planning for the Blazers’ 50th anniversary celebration in 2025. To volunteer, contact [email protected] or [email protected].