Thom leads Joplin swimmers to win over Nevada

Jan. 5—NEVADA, Mo. — The Joplin Eagles girls swim team started 2024 on a positive note, earning 512 points to Nevada's 387 and winning its first meet of the calendar year on Thursday in Nevada.

"Several girls placed well and earned several points for themselves and the team," Joplin coach Julianna Hughes said. "We are so proud of them, especially for the first meet after the winter break."

Senior Kiki Thom logged three first-place wins, including the 50-yard freestyle, where she met the mark for state consideration with a time of 26.83. Nevada's Payton Bales was second with a time of 29.93 and Avery Ogle, also of Nevada, was third with a time of 29.97.

Thom also led a Joplin 1-2-3 finish in the 100-yard butterfly, winning the race with a time of 1:17.70. Teammate Brylea Smith was second with a time of 1:26.94, and Evelyn Watson completed the sweep for the Eagles with a time of 1:38.09.

Thom also swam the first leg of Joplin's winning 400-yard freestyle relay, with Watson, Izzy Zamanzadeh and Smith turning in a time of 4:58.09 in an uncontested race.

Izzy Zamanzadeh led another sweep for the Eagles, this one in the 200-yard freestyle. She finished with a 2:52.09 time, ahead of Gwen Zamanzadeh (2:55.27) and Emma Marshall (3:01.41).

Gwen Zamanzadeh captured first place in the girls 500-yard freestyle with a time of 8:12.40. Joplin's Marshall was second with a time of 8:18.89.

The Eagles logged another sweep, capturing the top four spots in the 100-yard breaststroke; Smith won the race in 1:27.43, followed by Lydia Barwick (1:33.63), Emma Taylor (1:36.09), and Kennedy Kelley (1:48.62).

In the 200-yard medley relay, the Joplin quartet of Izzy Zamanzadeh, Smith, Thom and Gwen Zamanzadeh was second, with a time of 2:19.26, behind Nevada (Chloe Morris, Ogle, Mary Kate Russell and Bales) with a 2:16.66 time.

Watson (3:14.50) and Barwick (3:15.19) logged second- and third-place finishes, respectively, for Joplin in the 200-yard individual medley behind Nevada's Morris (2:47.59).

Joplin's Emily Dennett was third in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1:23.25, behind Nevada winner Russell (1:05.53) and runner-up Ogle (1:08.64).

Nevada won the 200-freestyle relay (Bales, Morris, Ogle and Russell) with a time of 2:01.96. Joplin (Kennedy, Lylah Fry, Dennett and Watson) was second with a 2:24.26.

Nevada claimed the first two spots in the 100-yard backstroke, with Morris turning in a 1:14.81 time for first, ahead of Bales' 1:23.34. Joplin's Izzy Zamanzadeh was third with a time of 1:24.27.

Up next for the Eagles swim team is a Saturday trip to Springfield for the Ozarks Invitational.