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SWIMMING: Bruins Tops At Brooke Invite

Buckhannon-Upshur girls are victorious in annual event

December 29, 2011
By SCOTT MCCLOSKEY , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WELLSBURG - The Brooke boys' swimming team took first place at the Brooke Winter Invitational on Wednesday with 89 points. Buckhannon-Upshur won the girls' side with 98 points in a meet that played host to 10 teams from around the state.

Brooke coach Gina Reitter said she thought the meet was phenomenal.

''It's always great to host teams with competition ... you know Austin Green is just a phenomenal swimmer from South Charleston, and my hat is off to him for his performance,'' Reitter said.

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Wheeling Park’s Cecelia Jebbia was the winner in the 200 Freestyle during the Brooke Invitational.

The junior broke two individual event meet records as he placed first in the 50 Yard Freestyle with a time of 22.07, and won the 100 Yard Breaststroke, clocking in at 1:00.41.

''I'm really proud of my boys and the way they stepped up,'' Reitter said. ''We don't have very many boys and we are a young squad, and to be able to come in and take first place in a meet like this says something about our kids and their ability to step up and perform.''

While the Bruins didn't set any meet records they did improve on their times, according to Reitter. ''Our entire team came together and performed as a unit and that is why we won the meet,'' she said.

The Bruins boys were strong in several individual events as well. Senior Alec Salakovich placed first in the 100 Yard Butterfly with a time of 1:03.52, as senior Josh Harrick won the 100 Yard Freestyle, clocking in at 51:63. Brooke's girls' team came in seventh place with 29 points.

Buckhannon-Upshur coach Sarah Chenoweth said she was interested in seeing how the meet played out as she had plans of moving her swimmers around to different events. She said she was extremely pleased with the first-place finish among her girls team - especially since some of them didn't swim in their strongest events.

''The girls are very versatile ... We really moved them around a lot,'' she said. ''We just told our kids to focus on beating their best times. The girls knew that they were really close and they had that opportunity and they really pushed themselves.''

Buckhannon-Upshur's broke two meet records - the 200 Yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:56.30, and the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay clocking in at 1:45.63. Chenoweth said another exciting moment came when senior Courtney Miller broke a meet record in the 100 Yard Backstroke with a time of 59.28.

Chenoweth said she was proud of her boys team as well for placing fifth overall with 37 points.

''All of our swimmers did amazing, and we are very proud of all of them,'' she added.

Wheeling Park coach Pat Durkin said he felt both his boys' and girls' teams represented the school well as the girls placed fourth with 63 points and the boys placed seventh with 21 points.

The Patriots had several first-place finishes in individual events. Sophomore Cecelia Jebbia had a very strong meet, winning two events including the 200 Yard Freestyle with a time of 2:02.91, and the 500 Yard Freestyle with a time of 5:34.33. Sophomore Katlyn Curnes won the 100 Yard Breaststroke clocking in at 1:12.55, as sophomore Noah Salvatore won the 500 Yard Freestyle on the boys side with a time of 5:34.91.

While Brooke won the boys side, Parkersburg South placed second with 68 points, while South Charleston High School placed third with 64 points. On the girls' side, Morgantown came in second place with 73 points and Fairmont Senior placed third with 65 points. Locally, John Marshall boys placed eighth with 13 points, while the girls' team placed sixth with 29 points.

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