WHEELING - Wheeling Park and Morgantown swim coaches credited strong performances in relay events as keys to success Saturday at the at the 2nd annual Jingle Bell Invitational hosted by Wheeling Central at Wheeling Jesuit University's Alma Grace McDonough Center.
Wheeling Park's won the boys' title with 176 total points, finishing just ahead of Wheeling Central, which scored 147 points.
Morgantown - the defending state champion - won the girls' crown with 194 points, with Steubenville Catholic second with 100.
Wheeling Central standout Joee Humpe competes in Saturday’s Jingle Bell Invitational at the Wheeling Jesuit pool.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
"I think everybody really swam well and swam good times,'' Wheeling Park coach Pat Durkin said. "I think the biggest difference was our relays. We took a first in the fifth, a first in the third, and a second in the fourth.''
Some of the Park boys placing first in individual events included Noah Salvatore in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:05.46, Josh Garrett in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.14, Jordan Carman in the 100-yard backstroke clocking in at 1:09.54, and Salvatore again in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:43.23.
Morgantown coach Karl Bramer said his girls team also swam extremely strong in all relay events.
"We have great depth this year,'' he said. ''We brought 40 girls to this meet. From top to bottom we were getting some of our best times."
Morgantown's Katie Murto swam her season-best in the 500-yard Freestyle with a time of 5:30.11. She also won the 200-yard freestyle at 2:03.47.
Other season-best times for the Mohigans included Ileana Ille, who won both the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.04, and the 100-yard freestyle clocking in at 57.32, while Jenna Pierce won the 100-yard backstroke in 1:07.02.
Wheeling Central coach Jeani Humpe said she thought both the Central boys and girls did a great job placing second and third.
"It was a good meet,'' she said. ''We had the girls' 400 free relay break a school record.''
While they placed second to Morgantown in that relay, the 4:19.46 time was still enough to set the school mark.
Finishing first for Wheeling Central were Roger Targosky in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:15.39), and Luke Drnach in the 100-yard freestyle (1:01.03).