Record day for area swimmers

MORGANTOWN – Maggie Miller capped off her record-breaking performance at the state swim meet by capturing two state titles Friday at WVU’s Natatorium.

The Buckhannon-Upshur junior eclipsed both of her state-meet records, set a day earlier in qualifying heats, in the 100-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke.

Her time of 52.22 in the 100 freestyle was .29 of a second better than her time on Thursday, while she crossed the finish line in 55.01 in the backstroke after a 55.44 effort in preliminary action.

“I thought I had a good shot at breaking (the record) in the backstroke but I was really surprised I was able to get the (100) freestyle,” Miller said. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet of what I’ve accomplished. It will probably take a couple of days to realize what I’ve done.”

Miller also teamed with Patricia Loughney, Haley Williams and Shannon Smith to turn in a second-place showing in the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:56.23.

Miller wasn’t the only area swimmer to enter the records books on Friday, as Elkins’ Samantha Hall set a new mark in the 50 freestyle. Hall’s time of 24.01 was just .3 of a second faster than Doddridge County’s Jennie Spencer’s effort in 2003.

Hall, who now holds seven state titles – including relay events – finished behind Miller and Morgantown freshman Courtney Deem in a closely-contested 100 freestyle battle. The trio were separated by just .21 of a second, as Deem turned in a time of 52.36 and Hall 52.66.

“I thought whoever won the 100 would set a record,” Miller said. “It was such a competitive race and I was glad to come out on top against two great competitors like Sam and Courtney.”

Paired with Kayla Gainer, Lauren Cain and Skout Barger, Hall also was part of the Tigers’ 200 freestyle relay that placed third in a time of 1:45.96.

The Bucs’ foursome of Loughney, Maddie Nanners, Smith and Miller placed sixth in that event.

Loughney also placed fifth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 breaststroke, Gainer was ninth in the 50 freestyle, the EHS 400 freestyle relay team (Gainer, Tayler Lee, Skout Barger, Hall) finished seventh and the Philip Barbour 400 freestyle relay team (Cheyenne Taylor, Jordan Bowers, Skylar Foster, Abigail Blankenship) placed 12th.

“I was very proud of our team,” Elkins coach Joelle Kenney said. “Sam was able to set a state record, our 200 relay team placed third and the entire squad put forth a great effort.”

In the team standings, George Washington took its second straight crown with 209 points, followed by Morgantown (189.5), Parkersburg (147), Hurricane (100), B-U (95), Wheeling Park (86.5), Elkins (78), Charleston Catholic (71), Bridgeport (69) and Huntington (56) to round out the top 10.

In the boys’ meet, George Washington captured its fifth straight title, racking up 231.5 points to easily outdistance runner-up Notre Dame (136).?They were followed by Parkersburg (127), Hurricane (125), Parkersburg South (124.5), Fairmont Senior (95), University (66), Morgantown (61), Washington (58) and South Charleston (51).

B-U’s Steve Wilson had the top area performance, placing fourth in the 100 backstroke. He also was ninth in the 100 freestyle.

Philip Barbour’s Jonathan Franke placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM, while teammate Bryce McGee was 10th in the 100 butterfly.