GRAFTON—On Saturday, the Grafton Bearcats swim team had the opportunity to participate in the Mohawk Invitational for the first time, held at the new Mylan Park Aquatic Center in Morgantown. The meet included teams from all over West Virginia, including several AAA swimming powerhouses.
The Bearcat boys were impressive in both relays and continue to improve as a group, as head coach Heather England has been trying out different combinations to see which one will work the best for her team.
In just one race, senior Luke Nibert scored 11 of the boys’ 31 points by swimming a personal best in the 50 freestyle and finishing in 8th place out of 79 swimmers. Nibert was also a major factor in the 200-freestyle relay which saw him finish 10th of out 23 teams to score 14 points. Other members of that relay team are freshmen Layne England, Levi Miller, and Zachary Nibert.
The boys’ 200 medley relay team of Will Angus, Layne England, and Luke and Zach Nibert also scored six points by finishing 14th out of 24 teams. Other notable performances for the boys included England placing 23rd out of 79 swimmers in the 50 freestyle and 17th out of 32 swimmers in the breaststroke, achieving personal best times in each race. Levi Miller also stepped up in the 50-free exhibition race, cutting two seconds off of his previous best.
On the girls’ side, freshman Leah Jackson was Saturday’s standout with her 16th place finish out of 33 participants in the 100 breastroke. She also swam a personal best in her 50 freestyle event, finishing in 24th place out of 95 swimmers.
“This was a great experience for our young team,” said Bearcat head coach Heather England. “Morgantown should feel very proud to have a facility like this to host the next state swim meet. It’s completely breathtaking. Hopefully we can qualify some kids this year and come back in February.”
The Bearcats will be busy this week as they travel to West Virginia Wesleyan College tonight for a meet hosted by Buckhannon Upshur High School, and then they will head to Salem University on Friday for a tri-meet with Doddridge County and Philip-Barbour.