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Sports Briefs – Ft. Zumwalt West Swimmer Ready to Make Big Splash

Boys high school swimming

Swimming is not only fun for Adam Grimm, but a way of life.

Grimm, a junior swimmer for Fort Zumwalt West, has been swimming for 12 years. After a sophomore season that saw him place in two individual events, he is poised for a major splash in the pool come November.

“He has been spectacular for us,” said Fort Zumwalt West coach Sarah Martin. “He has really rededicated himself in the pool from the summer when he had a stellar long course season and he is one of the older kids on the team, so he is definitely a leader and a phenomenal young man.”

Grimm, who finished seventh in state last year  in the 500 freestyle and was 12th in 200 IM, has been nothing short of amazing in meets so far this fall.

The junior had top performances in the 100 backstroke [55.96], 200 IM [1:58.93], and 500 freestyle [4:47.06] during the first week of the season in August.

In September, he continued to dominate individual events for the Jaguars with standout performances in the 50 freestyle [22.73], 100 butterfly [52.88], 100 freestyle [49.93] and 200 freestyle [1:46.96].

Grimm also swims the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.

Improving his underwater pull on his stroke and adding full body weight training has helped him become a more complete swimmer.

“Just working on technique and also with doing weights, I feel like that has helped as well,” Grimm said. “All of my workouts are very stroke specific.”

Grimm, who swims in the summer for the Rec-Plex Sharks in St. Peters, qualified for Junior Nationals last summer and expects to do so in 2017, but he says he has some unfinished business before then.

“Our team success has been great and I’m hoping that we win both of the relays I’m in in conference and the same for the individual events,” Grimm said.

Girls high school golf

Francis Howell and Fort Zumwalt South were among the top four finishers in the team portion of the Class 2 District Golf Tournament held on Sept. 28 at The Links of Dardenne Golf Course.

Howell won the team portion of the event with 365 points followed by Lafayette [374], Marquette [375] and Fort Zumwalt South [378]. Fort Zumwalt North, Francis Howell Central and Francis Howell North rounded out the top seven teams in the 10-team district field.

Fort Zumwalt South’s Erika Martin tied at 79 with Momo Kukuchi of Pattonville for Co-Medalist honors in the tournament.

Bridget Schulte led the Vikings with a top score of 84.

Individual sectional qualifiers included Kristen Oderman from Fort Zumwalt North, Martin from Fort Zumwalt South, Emma Wolf of Francis Howell Central, and Jessica Qian and Brianna Schmidt from Francis Howell North.

Six area players qualified for the Class 2 state meet during the Class 2, Sectional 2 match held in Troy on Oct. 3. Those qualifiers included Martin and Shelby Tierney from Fort Zumwalt South, McKenna Chapman from Fort Zumwalt West, Schulte from Francis Howell and Margaret Roberts from Timberland.

Girls volleyball

The Francis Howell volleyball team spent its homecoming weekend in the Kansas City area, but missing the homecoming dance hardly seemed to bother the club.

“They were in their uniforms and they were hoping that the tournament would get over in time, but we started about three hours late with the championship in Kansas City,” Francis Howell coach Stacey Smith said. Still, she said she didn’t hear anyone complain. “It was a very successful weekend and it was the first time we’ve won that tournament, so we were very happy.”

Howell, which entered mid-October at 26-1-1 a week before districts, rolled to an impressive 6-0 finish to win the Blue Spring South Invitational Tournament, which featured a field loaded with regional and national powerhouses.

In pool play, the Vikings defeated Villa Duchesne, Springfield Kickapoo and St. James Academy [Kansas], before getting a second shot at Lutheran South, which beat Howell in the Gateway Match Up a week earlier.

After falling 22-25 in the first set, Howell rebounded nicely by winning the next two sets 25-20 and 25-21 to take the match.

Howell then took down nationally ranked Pleasant Hill [Missouri] in three sets 13-25, 25-22 and 25-12 in the semifinals, before blowing past St. Thomas Aquinas [Kansas] 25-23 and 25-16 to claim the championship.

The Vikings got big contributions from several players at key times.

Kennedy Cordia, a 5-foot-6 setter, had several key blocks and lived on the court during the tournament. Middle hitters Lydia Frederick and Taylor Litteken exhibited strong blocking along the front line.

“I think in the end, we just a had a little bit [more in the] tank there at the end,” Smith said. “We had a little more energy.”

Outside hitters Mikayla Hardy and Emma Witter shared equally the task of running the offense.

“The thing I love about this team is we don’t have just one or two players you can focus on,” Smith said. “We have someone stepping up all the time.”

The Vikings finished their regular season with a non-conference match at home against Lafayette.

Prep girls tennis

Mid-September saw the Fort Zumwalt South girls tennis team finish near the top of the Gateway Athletic Conference South standings and have another successful fall campaign.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season with an 8-4 mark.

Zumwalt South blanked St. Charles 5-0, in its final regular season match on Sept. 15 and recorded victories over the likes of Fort Zumwalt North, Fort Zumwalt East, Fort Zumwalt West and St. Charles West.

The Bulldogs have been led in singles by senior Nikhita Kichili at No. 1, Sahiti Katragadda at No. 2, sophomore Madalyn Smith at No. 3, senior Emi Gautier at No. 4, senior Tanmayee Pydimukkala at No. 5, and senior Cat Klix at No. 6.

In the doubles flights, Kichili and Katragadda teamed up at No. 1, Gautier and Smith played in the No. 2 slot, and Pydimukkala and Klix played at No. 3 doubles.

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