By Max Goodwin
The Rockhurst Swimming and Diving team captured its fourth consecutive MSHSAA Class 2 State Championship on November 11.
It’s the 15th overall state title for the Rockhurst Aquahawks, the most of any high school swimming and diving team in Missouri. Paul Winkler has coached Rockhurst to each of its 15 titles since 1999.
Rockhurst accumulated 280 team points to take first place by 8 points over second-place St. Louis University High School. The two schools were tied entering the final event of the meet, the 400-yard free relay. Rockhurst won the event and the title with a time of 3:06.48 by a team of seniors Jude Sojka, Evan Crim, Blake Francois, and junior Andrew Baklanov.
The Aquahawks started the meet fast, winning the first event of the meet, the 200-yard Medley Relay, with a team of Baklanov, Francois, Crim, and junior Logan Frank, in a time of 1:33.61.
Rockhurst seniors finished their swimming careers as the school won a state title all four years of their time at Rockhurst. This year’s team has been waiting for this moment, for their chance to step up for the program.
“Our mantra has been, ‘This is our time’ meaning it’s time for those kids who have been waiting to jump up and get those spots,” Coach Paul Winkler said earlier this season.