Bearcat swimmers take to the pool for their first meet of the season

Novisky breaks previous record her first time in the pool as a Bearcat swimmer

PHILIPPI—The Grafton High School (GHS) swim team competed in their first meet of the season last Tuesday at Alderson Broaddus University, battling Philip Barbour and Robert C. Byrd.   

In the girls’ 200 medley relay, the team of Jerra Halbritter, Fred Maloley, Skylar Wooddell, and Katie Novisky finished in first place with a time of 2:35.35.

And in her very first individual race as a Bearcat swimmer, freshman Katie Novisky crushed the previous GHS record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:35.41 to also finish in first place.

As the events unfolded throughout the day, sophomore Will Angus finished in third place in the men’s 200 free, besting the previous GHS record with a time of 2:13.45.

In the girls’ 50 freestyle, junior Frederique Maloley led the Bearcats with a third-place finish (30.76), followed by Jerra Halbritter in fifth (35.64), Skylar Wooddell in eighth (36.57), Jordan Niggemyer in tenth (39.74), Bethany Lipscomb in eleventh (40.95), and Lydia Ward in twelfth (45.19).

Senior Skylar Wooddell finished fourth in the 100 freestyle (1:25.35), while the 200 free relay team of Maloley, Wooddell, Halbritter, and Novisky finished second with a time of 2:12.46.

Bethany Lipscomb finished fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:57.27), while Will Angus was again able to secure a new school record, beating his own previous record with a time of 1:04.53 swimming in the boys’ 100 backstroke. In the last race for the Bearcats, Fred Maloley finished third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:35.48.   

“I was very pleased with the team’s effort in this meet,” said Grafton head coach Heather England. “For a few of them, this was completely new, and for some, it was also a much-anticipated chance to get back to doing what they love. We have a small team this season, but we have a lot of heart and determination. These kids work hard in the pool and now they each have their own personal best times to beat as the season progresses.”

The Bearcats will have a busy week coming up, as they made a trip to Salem on March 23 to swim against Doddridge Co, and then they’ll host Elkins today at home at Alderson Broaddus.

It was also announced that the Big Ten Conference meet has been confirmed for March 27 in Clarksburg.


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