BRIDGEPORT—While the Grafton Gators continue to face bigger and more seasoned teams during meets, the team is holding their own and making great strides in the pool.
Recently, the Gators took on the Bridgeport Swim Team, and while the meet didn’t end in their favor, the team walked away with 68 top five or better finishes, and saw many personal achievements accomplished.
Boasting a standout performance for the Gators was Bryton Andrews.
Andrews was chosen by his coaches to swim the butterfly in event 14, which was the Boys 9-10 50 Meter Free, and surpassed all expectations.
“We put Bryton in to swim a 50 butterfly so that he could get a seed time for the North Central West Virginia Championship meet in a couple of weeks,” said the Gator coaching staff.
They shared that when they told Andrews that he was entered he was nervous and wasn’t expecting a top finish.
However, he wowed the crowd and blew all expectations, including his own, out of the water, not only placing in the top five, but rather he swam his way to a first-place finish with an impressive time of 58.28.
Also earning top spots for Grafton was the Girls 9-10 100 Meter Free Relay, the Girls 11-12 200 Meter Free Relay and the Boys 15-18 200 Meter Free Relay, all coming in first against the formidable Bridgeport Competition.
Individually, several Gators also cut through the waters ahead on their opponents to claim victory.
In the Girls 11-12 100 Meter Free, Julia Shay claimed first with a time of 1:30, nearly six seconds ahead of the runner-up, while fellow teammate Caroline Stead followed closely behind coming in third place in the event and Madison Brown rounded out the event placing fifth.
Also making great splashes for the Gators were Trenton Smith, who took first in the Boys 11-12 100 Meter Free, Katelyn Novisky claiming first in the girls 15-18 200 Meter Free and in the Girls 15-18 100 Meter Backstroke, Bowie Efaw gliding her way to the top in the Girls 6 and under 25 Meter Backstroke and the 25 Meter Free, Dylan Stead with a first-place finish in the Boys 10 under 100 Meter IM, the Boys 9-10 25 Meter Breaststroke event and took first in the Boys 9-10 25 Meter Free, as well.
In addition, Caroline Stead led the Girls 11-12 50 Meter Breaststroke with a winning time of 55.6, while Julia Shay closely followed finishing in second in the event.
Additional first place finishes belonged to, Addi Pace, Jonathan Maier, Brooklyn Haddix and Jenna Maier, while Serafina Spadafore, Chase Maier, Layne England, Colton Sine, Madison Brown, Will Angus, Victoria Drainer, Lydia Ward and Noah Dye earned the team valuable points with first or second place wins.
“We have some young talent,” voiced the Gator coaches. “They work hard, and we’re excited to watch them progress in this sport!”
The Gators were scheduled to be back at home on Thursday, but due to the weather the meet was cancelled.