CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The George Washington boys swim team has really hit a groove in its past few trips to Morgantown, winning three state championships in four years -including two in a row - and finishing second in 2009.
The girls squad has offered a solid complement to the boys' success, but six runner-up finishes and no titles over the past eight years has left GW coach Melissa Case and her swimmers hungrier than ever.
A boys/girls sweep has only happened once (Fairmont Senior in 2006) since swimming championships began in 1999, and GW has that goal in mind as the state meet begins at 8:30 this morning in Morgantown with preliminary heats. The boys will compete in the early session while the girls will start at 4:30 p.m. The finals are set for Friday with boys and girls starting at the same time as today.
The George Washington girls will be looking for their first state championship since the school claimed back-to-back state titles in 2003 and 2004.
Case said that desire won't be the issue if her girls can't get over the hump.
"The girls are highly motivated to win a state championship," Case said. "Can we do it? We'll find out. If we can keep up doing what we're doing, we certainly have a shot and I like that idea."
Senior Anna Davis has experienced the bittersweet taste of second place twice already, and being one of only two seniors on the squad, is trying to lead a talented group of youngsters.
Davis said that while the boys squad has won the ultimate prize a few times recently, they offer encouragement to their female teammates.
"They're really supportive of us actually," Davis said. "They all high-five us and give us hugs."
"We're just like a family," freshman Jordyn O'Dell added.
O'Dell turned heads at the Region 4 meet in Huntington on Saturday by breaking a 13-year old record in the 100-yard backstroke by almost a full second.
Afterwards, O'Dell admitted she was a bit nervous about heading to the state meet for the first time, and undoubtedly those feelings will probably grow stronger right up until the event kicks off today.