O'Fallon Breakers splash to the top last week

For the ProgressJuly 10, 2014 

Mathias Hostetler races to a win in the 50-meter fly against Dupo. The Breakers took down Dupo 373-157.

FOR THE PROGRESS

The O’Fallon Breakers swim team extended their season mark to 7-0 with back-to-back wins last week over St Clair (Belleville) and Dupo.

With the victories, they also extended their overall win streak to 23 over the past three seasons and solidified their position as the team to beat in the 10-team Midwest Swim Conference.

"To be honest we were a bit concerned about both meets," Breakers head coach Kirsty Stooke said. "Both teams are considered strong Conference Meet contenders and we had to face them back-to-back because of a weather-related re-schedule. Fatigue becomes a factor in that scenario—particularly since Dupo (our second night opponent) didn’t have to deal with that. But our kids were extremely focused and swam strong . . . they continue to amaze me. In fact, coming into the season we assumed this season might be a real challenge, as we lost a number of our older swimmers to graduation, etc. But these kids have proven to be pretty good across just about every age group. That probably will make us a tough ‘out’ at Conference."

The Breakers took down a very good St. Clair team on the road 347-182 and then returned home the next night to beat Dupo 373-157.

Against St. Clair, four swimmers led the scoring effort by sweeping all three of their individual events. Michael Stooke won the 8-under boys 25 free, 25 back and 25 fly; Jonas Hostetler won the 9-10 boys 25 free, 100 IM, and 25 fly; brother Mathias Hostetler won the 13-14 boys 100 free, 100 IM, and 50 fly; and Natalie Edwards won the 15-18 girls 100 free, 100 IM, and 100 back. But they certainly weren’t alone in the scoring effort.

Other multi-event winners were Shelby Bushong (25 free, 25 back); Brian Hobbs (50 free, 100 IM); Jacob Golden (50 breast, 50 fly); and Alex Mueller (100 back, 50 fly).

Critical individual event wins were logged by Sam McCollum (25 free), Kirsten Golden (25 breast), Alex Hattan (25 breast), Will Richards (25 breast), Yanni Guskey (100 breast), Adam Mueller (100 IM), Matthew Stooke (25 back), Evan Potter (50 back) and Daniel Huntsman (100 back).

"It really was a terrific team effort," coach Stooke added. "St. Clair actually won a bunch of events . . . particularly on the girl’s side where they have a number of very good year-round swimmers. But in those events we were often able to grab second and/or third place finishes—and those points add up in a big way too. That’s really been the key all season. Plus, we were able to score big in the relays (against St. Clair), winning two of four medley relays and nine of ten free relays."

Better still, those winning ways continued the next night against Dupo.

"Dupo is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to swimming," coach Stooke said. "They have a very large team and pull in a bunch of talent from a south St. Louis County USA swim team. So they are anything but a pushover. In fact, they have finished second to us at conference in each of the last three seasons. So I’m sure they would love to take us down this season—and certainly have the talent to challenge us on any given night."

But on this night, it was pretty much all Breakers. And leading the way were a familiar group of talented swimmers that have been there all season against the best teams in the league. Sweeping their individual events were Ella Peterson (25 free, 25 back, and 25 fly); Michael Stooke (25 free, 25 back, and 25 fly); Jonas Hostetler (25 free, 100 IM, and 25 fly); Sierra Workman (100 free, 100 IM, and 50 fly); Mathias Hostetler (100 free, 100 IM, and 50 fly); Alex Mueller (100 free, 100 IM, and 100 back); and Natalie Edwards (100 breast, 100 IM and 100 back).

Other event winners were Sam McCollum (25 free), Shelby Bushong (25 back), Katie Slaughter (100 free), Daniel Huntsman (100 back), Kirsten Golden (25 breast), Alexandra Williamson (100 back), Alex Hattan (25 breast), Alyssa Thoman (50 back), Will Richards (25 breast), Matthew Stooke (25 back), Sophia McLeod (50 breast), Declan Chada (25 back), Alexis Martin (100 breast), Samantha Stooke (25 back), Patrick Murphy (100 breast), Yanni Guskey (100 breast), Anna Wagner (50 fly), and Kyle Hobbs (50 fly).

O’Fallon wraps up the regular season this week. The Breakers were scheduled to face the Scott Air Force Base team Tuesday and will lock horns with Kings Pointe tonight (Thursday).

"Kings Pointe had won seven or eight consecutive titles until we unseated them four years ago," Coach Stooke said. "I’m not sure they are quite as strong as they have been in recent years, but still have plenty of excellent swimmers and can put it together on any given night. That will be our mindset anyway—we respect each and every opponent. And since we’ve had some success the past few years, other teams generally bring their best effort against us and we always need to be focused-—and ready for the challenge."

Once the regular season concludes, the Breakers have a week to prepare for the Midwest Swim Conference Championship meet July 19, where they will shoot for their fourth consecutive title.

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