SALEM—Grafton high school traveled to Salem University on Saturday to compete in the Region three swim meet.
A total of seven swimmers combined for 100 points on the day. The Bearcat ladies were led by freshman Katie Novisky with 24 points and two seventh-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (personal record time of 2:29.05) and 500 freestyle.
As of this season, Katie holds the school record in both events. Junior Frederique Maloley scored 12 points with a 12th place and PR of 30.16 in the 50 free and a 10th place finish and another PR of 1:32.16 in the 100 breaststroke.
Senior captain Skylar Wooddell finished 21st in the 50 free and 27th in the 100 free. Bethany Lipscomb finished 28th in the 50 free, and swam a personal best in her 100 back (1:52.46) to finish in 20th, while Lydia Ward swam the 100 free for the first time this year and finished in 33rd.
Rounding out the scoring for the girls were the relay teams.
Due to last minute substitutions, an already injured Jordan Niggemyer stepped up to replace Jerra Halbritter who was unable to attend.
Jordan had not entered a meet since the beginning of the season due to an ongoing shoulder injury, but swam freestyle in both relays with one arm only. Bethany Lipscomb also stepped up without hesitation and swam the backstroke leg of the medley relay for the first time this season. This prevented us from having to withdraw from these races and the girls recorded 10th and 8th place finishes for a total of 36 points on relays.
Will Angus has been the lone Bearcat swimmer for the boys team this year, and he has been determined to get to the state meet.
He set this goal early on and has worked with our team, as well as his club team in Morgantown to train and prepare to do his best.
He did exactly that on Saturday. Swimming in the 200 IM for only the second time this year, he posted a PR of 2:32.82 for sixth-place and 13 points and another school record.
In his specialty 100 backstroke, he finished in fourth-place with a PR 1:04.43, 15 points and school record.
Since the top three individuals and top two relays in each region automatically qualify, we had to wait it out into the evening to see if his times would get him in as one of the remaining 12 at large qualifiers.
When the results finally came in, I am happy to announce that Will has qualified in eighth overall for backstroke and 22nd for IM, becoming the first Bearcat boy in the state meet. We will be traveling to the new aquatic center in Morgantown on April 20 for the one day event.
I want to thank my assistant coach, Luke Ulizzi, our team and their parents and GHS, as well as Coach Doug Alban (AB) and Coach Swartz at PB for all of the support and patience as we learned to navigate through Covid in this sport for the first time.
We had a great season and I think everyone did a fantastic job following the guidelines and keeping everyone as safe as possible. I am very proud of this young team and what they have accomplished. I am sad to lose Skylar (our only senior, and captain) but I know she is going to have a very bright future!
Now we are looking forward to supporting Will at the state meet as he represents Grafton High!