Freshman Swims to State Gold in 500 Free

Whitaker Steward also garners seventh in 100 Backstroke

Kearney, Mo, November 17, 2022: The Kearney High School Boys Swim team had a wave of outstanding results during the 2022 MSHSAA Class 1 State Swim Meet on Nov. 11-12 in St. Peters.

The KHS contingent included Jake Zingerman, Zach Pickle, Tanner Mayfield, Lane Austin, Parker Bartlett, Parker Mendel and Whitaker Steward. Together, they finished 18th out of 40 teams.

Whitaker Steward

Freshman Whitaker Steward made his name known during prelims when he dropped over 8 seconds to earn the top seed in the 500 freestyle going into finals. While his competitors fought hard to chase him down, Whitaker dug deep to drop 3 more seconds and finish as the State Champion (First Team All State Honors) with a 4:34.41.

With only one event between his races, Whitaker got right back in the pool for the 100 backstroke. In prelims, Whitaker threw down an amazing time of 53.27, which broke the previous KHS record of 53.61 that was set in 2017 by Vaughn Sloan. In the finals, finished seventh overall in the state, earning him First Team All State honors in the 100 backstroke. The new KHS record in the 100 backstroke is a 53.16. 

“All the boys swam extremely well, earning them personal best times and podium finishes!” Coach Jessa Hahn said. “They worked hard all season and were continually improving. I’m proud of them and excited to see what our returning students will achieve next year.”

Other Highlights:

  • The 200 medley relay team (Lane Austin, Jake Zingerman, Whitaker Steward and Parker Bartlett) competed hard to hold their position of 13th overall, earning them All State Honorable Mention honors. 
  • For the 50 freestyle, Lane Austin finished 14th overall with a time of 22:54, earning All State Honorable Mention honors.
  • The 200 freestyle relay team (Jake Zingerman, Parker Mendel, Zach Pickle and Parker Bartlett) finished 26th overall. 
  • Lane Austin also competed in the 100 backstroke and a finish of 19th overall.
  • Jake Zingerman competed in the 100 breaststroke and earned a personal best time of 1:04.78 and 29th overall.
  • The 400 freestyle relay team (Lane Austin, Parker Bartlett, Jake Zingerman and Whitaker Steward) finished 19th overall with a time of 3:29.29.