Grafton swim opens with win over Liberty


ELKINS— The Grafton High School (GHS) swim team opened their season on Wednesday on a positive note, beating out Liberty High School, 72-55, to earn a second-place overall team finish. 

The meet was held at Davis and Elkins College and had the Bearcats hitting the pool against Liberty, as well as Elkins High Schools. 

Elkins would come out on top over the meet, beating out Grafton 207-49. However, Head Coach Heather England believes the team’s performances at the opening meet show much promise for the season ahead. 

“It was definitely a good first meet for everyone, and I am looking forward to how they can progress over the season,” she said. 

Leading the Bearcats was lone senior, Frederique Maloley, who England shared earned conference honorable mention in her first season as a Bearcat swimmer last year. 

“She has already been working hard in practice to improve times this year!  She finished third in both of her events on Wednesday, the 50 free and 100 breast,” reported England. 

In addition, she shared that junior captain, Will Angus is looking to continue his dominance in the 100 back and 200 IM, as he claimed first and second place finishes in those events, and will be adding the 200 free to his main events this year.  

Junior Layne England also made his return to the pool for the Bearcats this year and finished strong with first and second place in his 50 free and 100 breast events. 

Putting up another strong performance in the pool for Grafton was sophomore Katie Novisky, who earned second place in the 200 free and fourth in the 50 free.  

“Freshman Bella Lemon is going to be one to watch this season, as she was able to swim a very strong 100 free for second place,” England boasted. “She also swam an exhibition race (for time, not placement) in the 50 free, and with her time of 31 flat, she would have scored in the top five!” 

Along with Lemon, Bella Upton, Savanna Lyons, Bethany Lipscomb and Lydia Ward also swam the 50 free as an exhibition race in order to record a time for the event. 

Rounding out the top finishes for the Bearcat team were Lyons with fifth place in the 100 free and Upton, who took sixth place in the 100 backstroke.

“We do not have all of our swimmers eligible for competition yet, so we do not have our set relays at this point, but we did have two girls relays entered on Wednesday, finishing second in both the 200 medley relay (Lipscomb, Maloley,Novisky, Lemon) and the 200 free relay (Maloley, Lyons, Lemon, Novisky),” England noted. 

The Bearcat swimmers’ next meet will be after the Thanksgiving holiday break, on Tuesday, November 30, at Alderson Broaddus against Philip-Barbour High School.

*Individual results will run as space allows.

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