BUCKHANNON—The GHS Swim teams competed in the Region III Swim Championships ,this past Saturday, at WV Wesleyan College, for a chance to advance to the WV State High School Swim Meet ,later in the month.
The team finished seventh, out of 13 teams overall, with the Bearcat boys finishing in tenth place, and the Lady Bearcats bringing home a fourth-place finish.
“All of our athletes had a great showing in their individual and relay events,” said first year head coach Heather England.
“Some noteworthy accomplishments included Logan Wood shaving off nearly eight seconds, in her 200 Free race, and our boys’ 200 Medley Relay team (Calvin Wise, Blaise Nibert, Braeden Nose, Luke Nibert) taking close to four seconds off of their best time, after working on some different technique drills this week in practice,” she added.
STATE QUALIFIERS: The Lady Bearcat 200 Free and 200 Medley Relay teams (Kortney Welch, Payton England, MaKenna Nose and Natalie Satterfield) turned in season best times, and thirdplace finishes in both races.
“ We had a really good chance to automatically qualify in second-place in our 200 Free Relay, and did swim a season best time of 1:57.39, but Philip Barbour’s team had different plans, as they shaved five seconds off of their season best, and finished second with a time of 1:55.97,” said Coac England.
“As there are only two automatic bids per region for relays, and then the next ten best times from the state, our 1:57 was not enough to get us into the Top 18 this year. The girls were impressed with PB’s finish, but also knew that they had done their very best! I couldn’t be more proud of their effort,” added England.
“We witnessed an extremely exciting finish during the ladies’ 200 Medley Relay....after our first three swimmers had maintained 4th place behind Bridgeport, B-UHS and Notre Dame for most of the race, Grafton’s Natalie Satterfield came off the blocks for her anchor freestyle leg, and swam the race of her life,” said England. “After her turn at the wall, and nearly a full body length to make up between her and Notre Dame...Natalie caught up, and out-touched her competitor at the finish, to turn in the team›s season best, AND state qualifying time of 2:11.47 ahead of Notre Dame›s 2:11.54. How’s that for a tight finish,” England exclaimed.
In individual races, the top three finishers from each of the four regions qualify automatically, and then the next 12 best times in the state are taken to complete the field of 24.
With a fifth-place time of 1:13.44, Senior Co-Captain, Kortney Welch will be swimming in her first state swim meet, competing in the 100 backstroke. Her time of 2:46.41 in the 200 Individual Medley would have put her in 24th “wildcard” spot, but due to the three automatic qualifiers per region, she was bumped out by a third place qualifier from a different region.
Senior Co-Captain, MaKenna Nose, was the very first Bearcat to qualify for States in the sport of swimming last year, and has added to her resume by qualifying in both of her individual events this year.
MaKenna will be representing GHS in the 100 butterfly with a fourth-place, season best time of 1:12.94, and also in the 100 breaststroke, with a fifth-place, season best 1:23.49.
The State Meet will be held Feb 16 and 17, at the WVU Natatorium in Morgantown.