HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - After her boys and girls swim teams claimed yet another regional title on Saturday, George Washington coach Melissa Case was happy and excited to be heading back to Morgantown for next week's state meet - provided she ever got a ride home from Huntington.
The Patriots dominated the boys and girls team standings and won several events at the Region 4 championships held at Frederick A. Fitch Natatorium at Marshall.
But the day started out anything but smoothly for Case, who had to leave her car in Scott Depot and ride with an assistant coach after a tire problem struck en route to Huntington. She was still making travel plans as she offered her thoughts on the day.
"I guess leaving your car in Scott Depot is not the end of the world," Case said. "The big problem was figuring out what exit I was at.
"Once we got here, we'd already lost one kid who had to stay home with a fever and had a second one get sick here and didn't do quite as well, but all in all the kids are excited and as a group they swam extremely well."
Indeed, the GW girls scored a whopping 177 points, clearing second-place Huntington by 123 and third-place Spring Valley by 129. The boys weren't bad either in putting up a ho-hum 138 points in besting Hurricane (79) and South Charleston (73) among others.
The top three individuals in each event at the regional earned a berth into the state meet, as did the top three relay teams. The next 12 fastest individuals and six relay teams from across the state will also earn entry.
Saturday was a record-breaking day in several events across the board in Region 4.
Maybe the most impressive of the new marks was a meet record set by GW freshman Jordyn O'Dell, who shattered a 13-year-old record in the girls 100-yard backstroke by nearly a full second.
O'Dell's teammate, senior Anna Davis, set a record with a time of 54.71 in the 100 freestyle. The duo also teamed up as part of record-setting performance by GW's 400 freestyle relay team (3:48.25) and Davis finished in a tie with Winfield's Madisyn Lyons for the meet's high-point award with 18.
Together, Davis and O'Dell will try to lead the GW girls back to their first state championship since 2010. The boys team has won two in a row.
"It was good. I was really scared for that 100 freestyle because my mom told me to get the record and I was freaking out," Davis said. "But we both got records today."
"We're just like a family and she's like my big sister," O'Dell said of Davis. "I'm just really excited and [setting a meet record] is going to encourage me to keep swimming."