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State swim meet begins today

Elkins, B-U and Philip Barbour all represented

Submitted photo Members of the Elkins High School swim teams competing in the state meet include front row, left to right, Rachel Shryock, Isabelle Judy, Addie Berdine, Hannah Phillips and Joslyn DeWeese; back row, Ivan Looney-Sanders, Tyler Ludwig, Austin Whetsell, Izaak Whetsell, Luke Anger and Braxton Kenney.

MORGANTOWN — The area will be well-represented in the state swim meet scheduled to get underway today at Mylan Park Aquatic Center.

Elkins High School, Buckhannon-Upshur and Philip Barbour will all have swimmers competing in the two-day event, which is traditionally held in February but pushed back this year due to the season starting late because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Competing individually for the Elkins girls, who finished second in regionals, will be Rachel Shryock (100 freestyle, 200 freestyle), Hannah Phillips (500 freestyle, 200 freestyle), Isabelle Judy (100 butterfly, 200 IM), Addie Berdine (100 freestyle) and Joslyn DeWeese (100 butterfly).

Judy, Berdine, Phillips and Shryock are also qualified in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

Individual qualifiers for the EHS boys, who were third at regionals, are Luke Anger (100 butterfly), Ivan Looney Sanders (200 freestyle), Austin Whetsell (200 IM, 100 freestyle) and Braxton Kenney (100 backstroke).

The Tigers will also have the 200 freestyle relay (Austin Whetsell, Tyler Ludwig, Looney-Sanders and Anger), 200 medley relay (Kenney, Izaak Whetsell, Looney-Sanders and Ludwig) and 400 freestyle relay (Austin Whetsell, Ludwig, Looney-Sanders and Anger) hitting the pool.

“We are impressed by the leadership of all of our students during this unprecedented year,” EHS head coach Aimee Cain said. ” I know that these students will continue to show leadership through the remainder of our time together.”

“We have an incredibly deep team this year, their talent and hard work has shown all season long,” added EHS assistant coach Seth Blake. “I can’t wait to see what these 11 can accomplish (at states).”

The B-U girls will be led into the competition by talented freshman Cadence Vincent, who is the favorites in both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.

Vincent posted the fastest regional qualifying time in both events with an effort of 23.55 (50 freestyle) and 51.43 (100 freestyle).

Teammate Cameron Zuliani also had top five qualifying times in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.91) and 100 butterfly (1:00.18).

Alayna Whitehair, meanwhile, is entered in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke and McKenzie Reynolds in the 50 freestyle.

Whitehair, Reynolds, Zuliani and Vincent will compete in both the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.

Both units are projected to finish among the top five.

For the B-U boys, competing individually at states will be Preston Bennett (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Sam Squires (50 freestyle, 100 backstroke) and Reis Leonard (100 freestyle, 50 freestyle).

Bennett captured the regional crown in both the 200 freestyle (1:52.11) and 500 freestyle (5:01.34).

His regional time in the 200 freestyle is third in the state, while his effort in the 500 freestyle is second.

The 200 freestyle relay (Owen Caynor, Leonard, Squires and Bennett) and 200 medley relay (Leonard, Squires, Bennett and Caynor) are also among the field.

Philip Barbour’s state qualifiers include Magnolia Shiflett in the 200 IM, Madison Weese in the 50 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay comprised of Weese, Angel Watson, Emily Durst and Shiflett.

The state meet begins with today’s preliminaries, with the boys in action at 9:30 a.m., followed by the girls at 4 p.m. The finals are set for Wednesday.

The George Washington boys and girls are the defending state champions.

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