By MIKE MATHISON
For the News-Register
STEUBENVILLE - The Linsly boys and Morgantown girls swim teams dominated Saturday at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championships at Steubenville High School's natatorium.
Linsly’s Cameron Thompson
The Cadets finished with 357 points to easily outdistance second-place Brooke (254) for the overall title.
''Our kids had an excellent day,'' Cadets coach Bill Brubaker said. ''This is one meet we point toward since we can't go any further with most of them, although we will have kids going to the Eastern Interscholastic Swim Championships in February.
''We set goals at the beginning of the season seeing where we can improve and we did that.''
That they did.
Linsly won five of the 11 events and junior Zach Hamm had a hand in four of them.
He won the 100 fly (55.81) and 100 back (57.99) and teamed with senior Michael Joseph, junior Chris Reardon and freshman Drew Bastian to capture the 200 medley relay (1:48.67) and the 200 free relay (1:36.20).
Freshman Cameron Thompson won the 200 free (1:55.61) by more than 6 seconds.
''We had some really great swims by a lot of kids,'' Brubaker said. ''I have to give a special mention to senior Adam Uraco, who's had a great year for us. Unfortunately, he was the bridesmaid today, getting fourth in three events (200 free, 500 free, 400 free relay). He's worked really hard since he started as a freshman. He had never swam before and has progressed every year.''
Rounding out the top 10 were: Parkersburg South (208), St. Clairsville (193), Wheeling Park (160), Steubenville (145), Beaver Local (140), Cambridge (133) and Wheeling Central and University (130).
The Maroon Knights finished second to Linsly in the small school division.
Brooke won the large school division for the third year in a row.
''It's a dynasty now,'' Bruins head coach Gina Reitter said with a smile, minutes before being dunked in the pool for the third straight year.
''Our kids swam well. This is a stepping stone for us as we get ready for regionals in two weeks. It's always an honor to win an OVAC championship.''
Brooke's Kevin Rowland, Brad Wilcox, Jordan Harlan and Alex Salakovich touched the wall first in the 400 free relay in 3:41.58, nearly four seconds in front of Big Red's Dominic DiCarlo, Zach Moustaader, Alex Nagy and Cliff Larsen.
It was Brooke's only victory in 11 races.
Josh Harrick finished second in the 100 free (51.25) to St. Clairsville's Michael Eaton (50.93) and second in the 100 back (58.59) to Hamm.
''Sometimes it's not your day individually, but it was our day as a team and it feels great,'' Reitter said. ''I was happy with the way everybody performed (Saturday)."
Morgantown swam away with the girls competition with its 358 points, 104 more than Wheeling Park.
Rounding out the top 10 were: Linsly (185), Parkersburg South (166), Steubenville Catholic (153.5), Weir (146), Brooke (129), John Marshall (124.5), Wheeling Central (124) and University (109).
The Cadets won the small school title and the Crusaders were runners-up.
The Patriots' Cecelia Jebbia grabbed the 200 free (2:00.39) and the 500 free (5:22.63). Teammate Kaitlyn Curnes won the 100 breaststroke (1:11.61). The pair teamed with Madie Friday and Stacy Chaplin to win the 200 medley relay (2:00.01).
Weir senior Kelsey Ferguson closed her OVAC career with a victory in the 200 IM and teamed with Alexis Virtue, Dominique Gilbert and Allyson Martin to place second in the 200 medley relay (2:01.18) and third in the 200 free relay (1:51.21) and 400 free relay (4:05.36). School records were set in the 200 medley and 400 free relays.
''I love swimming with my team,'' said Ferguson, whose 2:11.06 in the IM broke her school record. ''Swimming with my team is a lot more fun than swimming my individual events.
''I knew we had a good chance to podium in all three. I would much rather have a third place with them than a first place by myself. It worked out perfectly. It's a great thing to share with each other.''
Parkersburg South's Audrey Sweeney won the 50 free (25.46) and 100 free (55.35).
Linsly's Zoe Scarpone won the 100 fly (1:01.59).
Morgantown's Ileana Ille, Olivia Holehouse, Jenna Pierce and Katie Murto captured the 200 free relay in 1:46.43, which set a meet and pool record.
Pierce, Holehouse, Murto and Rachel Adams won the 400 free relay in 3:53.01, which set a meet, pool and open record.