Ready to splash

The Buckhannon-Upshur and Philip Barbour will return a strong nucleus of swimmers this season.

Both schools will begin the season at Saturday’s Autumn Invitational at Davis & Elkins College.

The B-U girls finished seventh at last year’s state meet, will once again look to junior Maggie Miller to lead the team.

Miller has three state titles to her credit, sharing the 50-yard freestyle with Elkins’ Samantha Hall as a freshman, while taking the 100 freestyle that same year and winning the 100 backstroke as a sophomore.

Miller also is expected to team with fellow juniors Patricia Loughney and Maddie Nanners to give B-U state-title caliber relay teams.

The trio, along with graduated senior Caroline Nanners, placed fourth in the 200 medley relay last year at the state meet.

In individual competition, Loughney was sixth in last year’s state meet in the 200 individual medley and seventh in the 100 breaststroke.

Shannon Smith also qualified for the state meet as a junior in the 500 freestyle.

The B-U boys, meanwhile, return just one individual participant in last season’s state meet, senior Steven Wilson, who competed in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, while junior Servando Arredondo was part of the 200 freestyle relay team.

Wilson also was a member of the 200 medley relay unit that placed 11th.

The Colts, who were ninth as a team at last year’s state meet, must replace state-meet regular Quentin Mouser, who is now swimming for Fairmont State.

Mouser was sixth in both the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle last year.

Two swimmers with state experience are slated to return in senior Jonathan Franke and sophomore Bryce McGee.

The Philip Barbour girls will look to Jordan Bowers, who became the first freshman female in school history to qualify for states last year as she competed in the 200 individual medley.