Nora Lee Brown Leads Kirkwood To First Ever MSHSAA State Title

MSHSAA Girls Class 2 State Swimming and Diving Championships

  • February 19th, 2020
  • St. Peters Rec-Plex, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2021 MSHSAA Girls State – Class 2”
  • Full Meet Results

Top 5 Teams

  1. Kirkwood – 291
  2. Eureka – 228
  3. Marquette – 193
  4. Parkway South – 180
  5. Nerinx Hall – 155

Kirkwood High School won its first women’s state title in swimming & diving last weekend. A newcomer to the team was a large part of that effort: freshman Nora Lee Brown won two individual events and helped Kirkwood to a relay win. In winning, Kirkwood upset Marquette High School, who had won the past two state meets.

Kirkwood started the meet strong with a win in the 200 medley relay. The team of Ella Pearl, Nora Lee Brown, Alyssa Dennis, and Sophie Wallace led the field by almost two seconds on route to breaking the Class 2 record in a time of 1:44.63. Three of the four members of the relay would go on to add individual titles later in the meet.

Brown continued Kirkwood’s strong start into the 200 free, where she won in a near Class 2 state record. Brown swam to a new lifetime best time of 1:51.00. Her third state title of the day came in the 500 free, where she won the event in dominant fashion. Brown finished in a time of 4:58.63, two seconds off of the state record and over ten seconds ahead of runner-up Meg Heveroh (5:08.71).

Breaking Kirkwood’s winning streak, Kylee Sullivan of Parkway South claimed the state title in the 200 IM. The sophomore finished with a time of 2:04.20. Last year’s state champion, Ella Pearl, fell to 5th place in the event (2:08.11). Later in the meet, Sullivan added a second event win in the 100 fly. She once again beat the defending champion in the event, in this case Alyssa Dennis, to finish in a time of 55.07. Dennis finished second in 55.65, .07 slower than she was in the event last year.

Eureka High School’s Haiden Schoessel, a freshman, claimed the win in her first individual swim of the meet. Schoessel finished in 23.48 to beat out runner-up Emily Traube of Nerinx Hall by .22. Traube, who’s a senior committed to swim at Truman State University next year, came back later in the meet to beat Schoessel for the state title in the 100 free. Traube finished the event in 51.42, while Schoessel was just behind her in 51.47.

Last year’s runner-up on the 1-meter diving board, Annica Valmassaie, a senior at Lee’s Summit North, finished with the highest score in the event. After finishing the semi-finals in second place, she finished the event strong to win with a score of 431.70.

Parkway South claimed the state title in the 200 free relay with the team of Logan Knolhoff, Mia Muckerman, Alayna Henage, and Kylee Sullivan, all of whom will return next season. The team touched in 1:36.74, less than half a second off of the Class 2 and overall state record set by Francis Howell in 2018.

While she failed to defend her title in the 200 IM, Ella Pearl claimed the 100 back win for the third straight year in record-setting fashion. The senior finished in 55.77 to reset the Class 2 record for the event. Joining Pearl in finishing under 56.0 was MICDS junior Sophie Henricksen.

Kirkwood picked up their final event win of the day in the 100 breast, with junior Alyssa Dennis touching first in 1:03.94. Dennis was over a second and a half faster than her time last year, which also won the event.

Eureka finished out the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay. The team of Marin Lashley, Olivia Dolan, Emma Harris, and Haiden Schoessel ran down runner-ups Marquette High School (Ava Wolf, Haley Hume, Hailey Benting, and Cosman Carsyn) over the final 100 yards to win with a time of 3:31.59.

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