Promise in the pool as Gators open 2022 season in Morgantown


MORGANTOWN— The Grafton Gators swim team opened their season on Tuesday, at the WVU Aquatic Center, diving into the pool against Club Mountaineer Aquatics and saw a strong and promising start. 

Giving the Gators a solid start to the meet was the girls eight and under 100-yard freestyle relay team of Bowie Efaw, Lylah Weaver, Katherine Holley and Bria Moore. 

The group recorded a first-place time of 2:10.34, after their opponent only sent two swimmers into the pool and was unable to finish the event. 

In the boys 13-14 50-yard free event, Patrick Foley was the only Gator to enter the pool against three members of Club Mountaineer and sliced through the water to claim first place with a finishing time of 29.08. 

Foley also took on Club Mountaineer’s Alexander Mihalovich and Connor Glass in the boys 13-14 50-yard backstroke. Foley would fall just short of first, securing second place with an impressive time of 36.18. 

Gators Madison Brown and Bailey Fernatt were entered into the girls 13-14 50-yard backstroke event. Competing against just each other, Brown would come in first with a time of 45.53 to earn five points for her team, and Fernatt added three points with her 58.85 finish. 

The duo also competed in the 13-14 50-yard freestyle event, adding a combined eight points for their team.

Fernatt would go on to earn five additional points for the Lady Gators in the girls 13-14 50-yard breaststroke with her completion time of 1:06.94. 

The Grafton Gators also solely filled spots in the girls 15-18 50-yard backstroke event, with seasoned swimmer Bella Lemon taking the lead and recording a first-place time of 35.75. 

Savannah Lyons would follow, landing in second with a time of 49.12, while Jenna Casto added a point for the third place slot with her time of 53.84 and Lydia Ward rounded out the event recording a time of 58.29. 

These four Lady Gators also took to the pool in the 15-18 50-yard free filling the first through fourth place spots, with Lemon coming in first at a time of 30.41. 

Lyons (54.65) and Ward (1:10.18) also collected a combined eight points in the girls 15-18 50-yard breaststroke, while Casto (37.68) and Lemon (57.09) would add another eight of their own while swimming in the 15-18 50-yard butterfly. 

In the girls 13-14 50-yard butterfly Brown claimed first-place in a time of 51.93. 

Eight-year-old Ella Moore also added points for the Lady Gators, recording a third-place finish in the eight and under 50-yard free event with a finishing time of 58.17, and in the eight and under 25-yard backstroke with a time of 32.83. 

B. Moore also competed in the eight and under 25-yard back event and came in second place with a time of 30.51. 

Jude Squires collected three second place finishes for the Gators in the boys eight and under 50-yard free, as well as in the boys eight and under 25-yard backstroke and the 25-yard free. 

With eight individuals from both clubs entered the girls 11-12 50-yard backstroke event, Lady Gator Victoria Drainer swam her way to second place with a time of 54.30. 

On the boys’ side of the event, 11-year-old Dylan Stead recorded a time of 40.83 for the second-place finish, while fellow Gator Bryton Andrews followed in third with his time of 45.11 and Raymond Sarceno placed fourth with a time of 51.66 in the event. 

Stead went on to earn additional second place finishes in the boys 11-12 100-yard IM, as well as in the boys 11-12 50-yard breaststroke, and Andrews captured second for the boys 11-12 50-yard freestyle event, recording a time of 35.78. 

Also contributing points to the Gators were Tyler Smith and Colton Sine. The pair competed in the boys 9-10 25-yard freestyle event, with Smith coming in second in a time of 23.50 and Sine following to secure third with a time of 24.03. 

The Grafton Gators did fall short of winning the meet, with the girls totaling 90 points and the boys 41. However, there was a lot of promise in the pool early in the season.

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