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.