Area swimmers shine in meet

BUCKHANNON – Reigning state champion Samantha Hall will get a crack at defending her 100 and 50-yard freestyle titles this week in Morgantown.

Hall, along with seven other members of the Elkins High School swim team, qualified for the state competition during the Region III Championships Saturday at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

“I’m very proud of the entire team,” EHS coach Joelle Kenney said. “We had several kids perform very well, but just didn’t qualify for the state meet. Everyone did their best and I can’t ask for anything more. They all swam like winners, whether they qualified for states or not.”

Those qualifying in individual events were: Hall, 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle; Tyler Kenney, 100-yard backstroke; Kayla Gainer, 50-yard freestyle; Lauren Cain, 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke; Skout Barger, 100-yard freestyle; Skylee Watson, 200-yard freestyle. Relay team state qualifiers include: Tayler Lee, Barger, Gainer and Cain, 200-yard medley; Gainer, Cain, Barger and Hall, 200-yard freestyle; and Gainer, Lee, Barger and Hall, 400-yard freestyle. Hailea Harper was chose as the alternate for the relay teams.

Hall, a junior, is a two-time state champion in the 50-yard freestyle and also captured last year’s 100-yard freestyle title. She has six state titles to her credit, including relay championships.

Hall, along with Gainer, Cain and Barger are also contending for the state title in the 200-yard relay.

Hall and Gainer were on last title-winning team.

During the Region III Championships, Bridgeport’s girls and Notre Dame’s boys earned the regional team titles.

In the girls division, Bridgeport topped its opponents with 114 points. Other girls’ team scores included: Buckhannon-Upshur, 95 points; Elkins, 91 points; Notre Dame, 57 points; Robert C. Byrd, 49; Philip Barbour, 46; Liberty, 28; Woodrow Wilson, 13 points; and PikeView, 10 points.

In the boys division, Notre Dame led the pack with 128 points.

Other boys’ team scores included: Bridgeport, 115; Philip Barbour, 59; B-U, 48 points; Woodrow Wilson, 44 points; Robert C. Byrd, 35 points; Elkins, 29; Shady Spring, 19; and Lincoln.

Individually, B-U’s Maggie Miller knocked her older sister, Courtney Miller, out of the record book by finishing the 100-yard backstroke in 56.52 seconds.

The time was fast enough to earn the junior All-American status.

The qualifiers will advance to the state meet scheduled for Thursday and Friday at West Virginia University’s Natatorium.