Area swimmers headed to states

BUCKHANNON – Elkins High School’s girls swam to a runner-up finish in Saturday afternoon’s Region III swimming championships contested in the West Virginia Wesleyan pool.

Several Tigers qualified for this week’s state meet, including a pair of individual and relay victories that were posted in the regional.

“I’m thrilled with how many swimmers we had advance to states,” Elkins head coach Jean Schmitt said. “There were some we were expecting, but we also had some pleasant surprises.”

Samantha Hall rolled to victories in both the 50 and 100-freestyle races in 25.15 and 54.52, respectively. She also helped the 200 (1:43.98) and 400 (3:54.48) freestyle relays to titles, joined by Delaney Johnson, Kayla Gainer and Tenny DeMarco on the 200 squad, and Johnson, Gainer, and Skout Barger on the 400. Individually, Johnson added runner-up finishes in the 50 and 100 fly races.

Additional state qualifiers for the Tigers included Gainer in the 50 free, DeMarco in the 100 breast and Barger in the grueling 500 free. Also advancing was the medley relay team of Gainer, DeMarco, Barger and Lauren Cain.

“When you have strong swimmers like Samantha and Delaney who race very consistently, that puts you in a good position,” Schmitt said. “We had several kids really step up for us both in the relays and in the individual races. This was a good overall team performance.”

Bridgeport captured both team titles, scoring 126 points on the girls side and 144 on the boys side. Elkins grabbed the girls runner-spot with 107 points, followed closely by a strong Buckhannon-Upshur effort at 94 points. Philip Barbour was eighth with 19 points.

Patricia Loughney and Maggie Miller each recorded multiple wins for the Lady Bucs. Loughney, one of the most versatile swimmer in the region, produced a win in the 200 IM (2:24.31) and 100 breast (1:15.12). Miller won the 100 free (54.64) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.96). Loughney and Miller teamed up with Maddie and Caroline Nanners to bring home a win in the medley relay (2:03.05).

In the boys division, B-U placed third behind runner-up Notre Dame with 72 points. Philip Barbour was a close fourth with 62, with Elkins placing seventh with 18.

Philip Barbour’s Quentin Mouser registered runner-up finishes in both the 50 and 100 backstroke races, while the top Elkins individual race was Robert Hall, taking second in the 100 free.

Competition at the state meet begins Thursday at the WVU Natatorium.

Boys preliminary heats start at 8:30 a.m. with the girls’ prelims at 4:30 p.m.. The finals are set with the same starting times on Friday..