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Prepping for postseason, Oakville breezes by Affton

Prepping for postseason, Oakville breezes by Affton
Paul Kopsky photo/ Oakville’s Brian Kaestner swims in the 400 freestyle relay Thursday evening against Affton.

As the swimming season winds down, coaches and swimmers aren’t worried about dual meet results as much as they are preparing for the upcoming state meet.

That was the case Thursday at Mehlville High, where Affton came in outmatched against Oakville. Both coaches knew the Tigers would win the meet handily, and they did 114-47. But each coach said they accomplished what they wanted to.

"A bunch of our guys improved on their individual times," said Affton assistant coach Paul Hoggatt, who was filling in for head coach Cassie Cotton. "We accomplished some good things."

Affton’s top two swimmers, Erion Zekthi and Jeff Pyne, are both just sophomores and neither had the speed to keep up with Oakville, which is led by junior Jon Gannon.

Gannon has already qualified for state in six individual events and as part of the 200 freestyle relay. He entered Thursday’s meet two seconds off the qualifying time of 59.49 seconds for the 100 backstroke, but came in at 1:01 against Affton.

"I know Jon really wanted to get the backstroke," said Oakville coach Dan Schoenfeldt. "He’s not a backstroker, and if that’s your weakest event and you’re only two seconds off qualifying for state, you’re doing all right."

Gannon got the 200 medley relay team off to a blazing start to open Thursday’s dual meet. Nick Selinger, Andrew Shelton and Ben Laux kept the pace and the Tigers had an easy win. Gannon also set the pace to begin the meet’s final event, the 400 freestyle relay, with a text-book start off the platform. Selinger, Brett Walters and Josh Schmidt finished the event. Gannon was also an easy winner in the 100 free.

Not to be outshined was Ricky Kardell, who has also qualified for state in multiple events. Kardell paced the 200 free relay team of Brett Walters, Brian Kaestner and Brad Hammel to victory, but did not swim in his two best individual events - the 50 and 100 freestyle.

"We just wanted to see some different swimmers get some good times," Schoenfeldt said. "The next two and a half weeks, we don’t have much - just one dual meet before the conference meet. We’re going to push it hard, and hopefully we’ll see some results."

The Suburban West Conference meet is Nov. 6-7 at Lafayette, and Schoenfeldt said they will hit pool as often as they can between now and then while they share it with Mehlville, and "get in as much yardage possible." Affton returns to the pool Tuesday with a tri-meet against Westminster and Mehlville.

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