TMP places heading into state play
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
It wasn't first place, but the Thomas More Prep-Marian High School chess team still got into the top three of its last tournament heading into the regular-season finale Saturday at Hillsboro.
The Monarchs, who won their first five meets of the season, placed third at a large tourney at Wichita's Pleasant Valley School on Feb. 16. Following this weekend's meet, the Class 3A state meet, at which TMP placed second a year ago, is March 9 in Wichita.
Freshman Patrick Kepka and senior Bill Wiebe were the top finishers for the Monarchs at the Pleasant Valley meet, scoring 4.0 and 3.0 points, respectively, to place in the top 20 at 11th and 18th. Those performances helped that team-leading duo reach the 20-point mark this season; both now have 21.5 points each.
The high school division featured 41 competitors from 10 schools, including several large ones.
TMP broke up a sweep of the top three team places being from the Wichita area. Class 5A Valley Center was first with 15 points, 6A Wichita North was second with 12.5, and TMP was close behind with 12. Another 6A school, Wichita Heights, was fourth with 11.
Seventh-graders Ethan Rohr and Jason Kepka from TMP Junior High also fared well in the middle school section of the tourney, scoring 4.0 and 3.5 points, respectively, to finish 20th and 24th individually among the 67-player field.