The 2019 NCWV Swimming Championships were held on July 19th and 20th at the Shinnston City Pool and various Grafton Gators found themselves at or near the top of the standings.
“We took 15 kids total, 10 girls and 5 boys, to the NCWV State Swim Meet,” said Gators’ head coach Todd England. “Our girls’ relay team of Alyssa, Brooklyn, Caroline and Riley earned some hardware in both of their relays, but it was our boys’ team who really brought it home in the points department to finish 8th out of 12 teams.”
GHS freshman Layne England scored 14 points on the weekend to finish tied for sixth out of 17 participants in the 13/14-year-old boys’ division, while Bryton Andrews and Dylan Stead made their presence known in the 7/8-year-old division. Bryton scored 13 points in his individual races and came up just one-point shy of the third place high-point award (won by Jonathan Maier last year in his own age group). Stead went a step further and racked up 25 points (one point behind the first-place leader who had 26 points) to bring home the high-point 1st runner-up trophy.
“This is the second year in a row that the Gators have been able to come home with a trophy for a high-point level,” England added. “This is something that is very difficult to do considering the competition of the year-round swimmers we face at this meet. We had a great season and I am really proud of the effort and improvement shown by all of our Gators. I would like to thank the parent volunteers, Busty Weber, and the staff at the Grafton City Pool, as well as Kevin Stead and the City of Grafton for their continued support.”
The meet included 12 teams comprised of local swimmers from the ages of 5-18. Teams taking place in the event were (in their order of overall team points): Elkins Swim Team, Club Mountaineer Aquatics, Shinnston Sharks, Buckhannon Swim Club, FAST (Fairmont Area Swim Team) Rock Lobsters, Clarksburg Country Club, Barbour County Swim Team, Morgantown United Aquatic Club, Bridgeport Swim Team, Bridgeport Country Club, Grafton Gators, and Clarksburg Swim Team.
Elkins won the event for the third straight season with a combined team total of 405 points.