CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Success in the pool has been the norm for the George Washington swimming program with the Patriot boys and girls teams both annual fixtures among the top of the leader board at the state meet.
So far this season, GW again looks to be among the top teams in the state, with results to rival any other team through the prep swim season's first month and a half.
"We've been a strong program for a long time," GW coach Melissa Case said. "The kids all love to swim."
The Patriot boys are the two-time defending state champions, winners of three of the last four titles and are one of only three schools (along with Fairmont Senior and Bridgeport) that have won state championships since the sport was officially recognized in the 1998-99 school year.
The GW girls have two state championships (2003 and 2004) but since then have finished as runner-up six times in eight years.
"Some of them remember that and have experienced it," Case said. "They're really, really hungry to win a state title."
This season's version of the GW swim team features a group that is light on seniors but deep with talented underclassmen. The boys team has three seniors listed on its roster - Michael Baek, Charlie Hageboeck and Jacob Nason - with Anna Davis and Carli Sears the lone 12th-graders on the girls roster.
"Our sophomores came on last year as a strong group of freshmen," Case said. "We've got another strong group of freshmen which is really nice because we do only have a few seniors. These freshmen work hard and are definitely pushing the sophomores to try harder."