Coming off their third consecutive Midwest Swim Conference Meet championship last season, the OFallon Breakers Swim team appears ready to challenge for the 2014 title in the ten-team league.
"Weve certainly been on a roll the past few years," Breakers Coach Kirsty Stooke said.
"But this league is extremely competitive and past success doesnt guarantee anything. Well need to work hard over the next four weeks if we want to contend for another team title. Dupo, Highland, Freeburg . . . all are very good teams with plenty of depth to contend. Well have our work cut out for us this season for sure."
But if initial meet performance is an indicator, the Breakers appear pretty solid contenders already.
After a commanding 435-91 road win on a cold night at Trenton to open the season, the Breakers opened the home schedule last week with convincing dual meet wins over both Highland (353-177) and Westhaven (407-120) from Belleville.
Against Highland, the team swept all four Medley Relays to open the meet and never looked back. Leading the way were a number of
Breakers that notched wins in multiple events, including Samantha Stooke (25 free/25 fly), Michael Stooke (25 free/25 back/25 fly), Jonas Hostetler (25 free/25 breast/25 fly), Sophia McLeod (50 free/100 IM/50 fly), Michael Meyer (50 free/100 IM/50 back), Shelby Bushong (25 breast/100 IM, 25 fly), Natalie Edwards (100 breast/100 back/100 IM), Max Gibbs (100 free/100 back), Alex Mueller (100 free/50 fly), Matthew Stooke (100 IM/25 back), and Mathias Hostetler (100 IM/50 fly). Individual event winners were Katie Slaughter (100 free), Alex Hattan (25 breast), Sierra Workman (100 IM), Reagan Martin (25 back), Ashton Hessel (50 back), Jacob Golden (50 fly) and Anna Wagner (50 fly).
The Breakers then closed the meet with victories in nine of the ten Free Relays.
"We really thought Highland would be a huge challenge and the meet would be close till the end," Coach Stooke added. "But our kids were very focused and pumped for the home opener and we had an awesome night. That said, we know Highland is much better than the score shows and will be right there when it counts next month." Westhaven then came calling two nights later and the outcome was essentially the same.
The Breakers captured wins in three of four Medley Relays and nine of ten Free Relays and generally dominated the individual events as well.
Multiple event winners were Shelby Bushong (25 free/25 breast/25 back), Michael Stooke (25 free/25 back/25 breast), Jonas Hostetler (25 free/25 100 IM/25 fly), Kirsten Golden (50 breast/25 back/50 fly), Michael Meyer (50 breast/100 IM/50 fly), Jacob Golden (50 free/50 back), Sophia McLeod (50 free/50 back), Natalie Edwards (100 free/100 IM), Max Gibbs (100 free/100 IM), Matthew Stooke (25 free/25 back), Sierra Workman (100 breast/50 fly), Ashton Hessel (100 IM/50 fly), and Mathias Hostetler (100 back/50 fly).
Individual event winners were Sam McCollum (25 free), Alexandra Williamson (100 breast), Aubrie Swanger (50 breast), Patrick Murphy (100 breast), Heather Jarvis (100 breast), Alex Mueller (100 breast), Reagan Martin (100 breast), Alexis Martin (100 IM), Samantha Stooke (25 back), Jacob Walker (25 back), Will Suydam (25 back), Caitlin Lloyd (100 back), Katie Slaughter (100 back), and Anna Wagner (50 fly).
"Westhaven is a smaller team so coming here early in the season is a tall challenge," according to Coach Stooke. "But like most teams in this league, they have plenty of good swimmers across several age groups so we never take them lightly. And as a consequence, our kids were ready and had another good meet. Yet despite the good (3-0) start on the season, were nowhere near where we need to be. Weve had some team age group records posted by some of our boys, but I look at this team overall and know our best days are still to come."
If that turns out to be the case, this could be another banner season for the OFallon Breakers.
The teams season continues this week at Freeburg, June 24 and home against Dorchester Swim Club (June 26). All meets begin at 6 p.m.