Camdenton's Meckley and Willis qualify for girls state swim meet

Michael Losch
Lake Sun Leader
Camdenton seniors Irelyn Meckley (left) and Emily Willis (right).

Camdenton seniors Emily Willis and Irelyn Meckley have one more high school swim meet left to compete in.

That is because both seniors qualified for the Class 1 state meet, which will take place on Saturday at the St. Peter's Rec-Plex near St. Louis. In doing so, Willis and Meckley became the first swimmers in program history to reach the state meet all four seasons of their career after the program began in 2016. It is perhaps an even more impressive, considering COVID-19 restrictions reduced the number of qualifiers for each event from 32 to 24 this year.

"Not only did the athletes have to meet state time considerations, they also had to fall within the top 24 places in the state in order to compete. As you can imagine, this is not an easy task," Camdenton coach Stacey Meckley said. "It is quite an incredible accomplishment that both young ladies rose to the challenge and reached such a historic milestone."

The Lakers wrapped up the regular season at the SWMO meet in Springfield on February 5 and the Last Chance Meet was held on February 9 for swimmers to have one final opportunity to turn in their best times of the season. Meckley and Willis just happened to set some new school records in the process.

In the SWMO meet, Meckley set two new program records in the 100 freestyle with a time of 57.83 seconds and the 50 freestyle at 25.86 seconds. Her time in the 50 freestyle was good enough for a trip to state as she finished with the 22nd best time overall. Willis set a new record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:03.76 and she is heading to state after claiming the 23rd best time overall in the event. Willis also secured the 23rd spot in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:04.88.

Camdenton's trio of relay teams all finished 35th or better for the season as they wrapped up the year. The 200 individual medley team of freshman Taylor Fleming, senior Amanda Ferguson, Willis and Meckley finished 30th overall at 2:03.79. The 200 free relay team of Willis, junior Raquel Potteiger, sophomore Ayden Meckley and Irelyn finished 30th as well at 1:50.28 and the 400 free relay team of Irelyn, Potteiger, Fleming and Ayden captured 35th at 4:14.14.

"Clearly, it has been a very successful and rewarding season for all of the Lady Lakers," Meckley said of her team.

There is just one meet left to complete when Irelyn and Willis dive in on Saturday at state.

Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at mlosch@lakesunonline.com or 573-346-2132