GW sweeps Region 4 swim meet, looks to states
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."
Speaking of dynamic duos, South Charleston's accomplished pair of senior Austin Green and sophomore Adam Poe sure didn't disappoint either.
Both finished in a four-way logjam for the boys' high-point award with 18 points, with each winning a pair of individual events and taking part in SC's winning 200 freestyle relay team that set a meet mark with a time of 1:32.11.
Green's time of 50.15 in the 100 butterfly also represented a new meet best.
"Our team for South Charleston High School is really strong this year," Green said. "Our relays are doing great. We're really trying to win that 200 freestyle relay and hopefully even the 200 medley, I think we have a shot. We'll go to Morgantown, represent our school and try our hardest. It's just great to finish off senior year like I have - going after as many records as I can, breaking my own or people before me. All the people I used to look up to, now my name is going to be up there and it's a great feeling."
While Green is entering his last state meet, Poe should have a couple left, but he is focused solely on this year for now.
"I'm really excited to go and compete next week," Poe said. "I'm really happy with my times. I got first in two things and that's always good. I'm ready to come out next week, swim hard, and get better."
In addition to Green, Charleston Catholic's Nate Carr is also winding down a decorated career and he added to that on Saturday, tying Green, Poe and GW's Zach Kidd for high-point honors while setting meet records in the 100 individual medley (1:55.7) and the 100 backstroke (52.91).
Nate also got to relax and watch younger sister Morgan Carr set her own record in the girls 100 butterfly with a time of 58.98.
"It's good because we've kind of got that brother-sister back-and-forth that's always going to be there," Nate Carr said. "But I love watching her swim. She's so talented and she's great to have around all the time."
Other records set on Saturday were by the GW boys 200 medley relay team (1:43) and Winfield's Lyons, who posted a time of 5:08.59 in the girls 500 freestyle.
Morgan Carr and GW's O'Dell, Emily Hageboeck and Allison Moore joined Davis and Lyons on the girls all-region team while Hurricane's Jack Wright and GW's Jacob Nason shared the boys honor with Kidd, Poe, Nate Carr and Green. (For complete results, see Page 2D.)
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him at twitter.com/Rpritt.