12th grader, Daniel Kuropka, swam two events on Wednesday, August 30th, at the Belton High Blue Community Center for his new school, William Chrisman. Daniel is joining the Bears this year as an AFS student from Slovakia as a senior. He previously swam competitively in Slovakia until age 15, but has not been swimming seriously for 3 years. After Daniel arrived in the United States, his host parents encouraged him to take up swimming again and the results are in. Daniel’s first appearance was at Belton in his best event, the 200 Individual Medley, where he swam a time of 2:07.85 missing the state automatic standard of 2:06.09. Later in the afternoon, he swam the 100 Butterfly, also nearly qualifying with a time of :57.12, missing state by less than a second. Coach Trevor Tomney was encouraged to see Daniel swim his first meet and was quoted as saying “Daniel hasn’t been swimming competitively for three years, so there’s no telling what this season holds for him!” If things go well, the “Slovakian Express” might be headed to St. Peters in November to represent the Bears at the MSHAA state competition. According to the record board, Daniel’s first competition earned him two new school records in both individual events. Both of the previous records were held by Ric Stuck and were older than Daniel himself, previously being set in 1993. Daniel hopes to improve in these events, qualify for the state competition, and possibly break some other school records in the process. The next meet for Chrisman is Wednesday, Sep. 6 at the Henley Aquatic Center, adjacent to Bridger Middle School at 4:00 PM.