WELLSBURG -Three Brooke boys earned All-Regional honors as the Bruins captured the West Virginia Region One championship for the second straight season Saturday at the Brooke High School Wellness Center.
Parkersburg and Parkersburg South placed second and third, respectively, with Wheeling Park in fourth.
Jordan Harlan and Alec Salakovich both were named to the All-Region team with Josh Harrick coming in a three-way tie for high point.
Brooke’s Jessie Wayne competes in the 500-yard freestyle at Saturday’s Region One meet at Brooke High School.
Photo by Tony Viola
"Josh Harrick really impressed me," Brooke coach Gina Reitter said. "He had four first-place finishes. To me, that says something about the goals he set in October and what he wants to do next weekend down at states. But he's not the only one. We're a team here, and he couldn't have done it without his teammates. I think they all stepped up individually and as a team. I'm really proud of them."
Harrick placed first in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke before teaming up with Harlan, Salakovich and Kevin Rowland to win the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay.
"I've worked hard all season for this," Harrick said. "OVACs was just a big disappointment for me. I was seeded first in two of my events and I just swam bad. I'm glad that (Saturday), in both of my events, I was able to swim close to my best times and come in first. I'm happy too because this is the first year that three Brooke swimmers made it on the All-Regional team. That is the first time in Brooke's history that that's happened. I'm pretty excited about it."
Salakovich and Harlan finished first and third, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle to qualify for the state tournament. Salakovich also finished third in 100-yard butterfly to automatically qualify while freshman Dante Rosso will compete in the 200-yard IM in his first state meet.
In order to qualify for the state meet, which will take place Thursday and Friday in Morgantown, a swimmer must finish in the top four of their event. Once all four regions have turned in their top times, the next eight fastest times will be added to the state entry list. The same goes for relays, except only the top three teams from each region automatically qualify.
The Patriots will be sending a total of five swimmers from their boys' team to Morgantown.
Sophomore Noah Salvatore came away from regionals with two second-place finishes in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles. Salvatore teamed up with Brandon McLaughin, Donte Defazio and Josh Garrett to place third in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Garrett also finished second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.57. He then joined Jordan Carman, Defazio and McLaughin to finish second in the 200-yard medley relay.
University rounded out the top five teams with Wheeling Central, Morgantown and John Marshall following.
The Maroon Knights will send two swimmers to Morgantown as Anthony Lusardi and Roger Targosky finished first and second, respectively, in the 100-yard breaststroke. Morgantown's Hunter Montgomery placed third in the event. He will joining Jack Gorski, third in the 200-yard freestyle, at the state meet.
Several members of the Morgantown girls' team will be accompanying Montgomery and Gorski at the WVU Natatorium. The Mohigans girls won the region with Ileana Ille finishing in a three-way tie for high point.
"Anytime you win, you're happy," Morgantown coach Karl Bramer said. "We can get better. We have states in four days and we're not quite finished with our taper yet, but the relays were good. Overall as a team we're really deep and that showed itself, but I'll be happier once all the state results come in. We have a couple of people on the edge, so we have to see if they can make it on a wild card."
"Our goal is states," Bramer continued. "This was just a stepping stone. I like winning trophies, but this was just another meet."
A meet in which he saw his team come away with four first-place finishes, two by Ille in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke.
"Ileana had two first places in her individual events, and I expected that," her coach said.
Ille joined Katie Murto, Jenna Pierce and Olivia Holehouse to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:45.62. Murto, Pierce and Holehouse then teamed up with Rachael Adams to capture the 400-yard freestyle relay. Bekah Shephard will also swim at the state meet. The sophomore finished third in the 500-yard freestyle behind Murto.
Parkersburg High finished the meet second with Wheeling Park in third.
Patriots sophomore Katlyn Curnes joined Ille in the three-way high point tie. Curnes finished second in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard IM. Fellow sophomore Cece Jebbia won the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:29.92 while also finishing third in the 200-yard freestyle. The two girls joined Madie Friday and Stacy Chaplin to win the 200-yard medley relay, hitting the wall at 1:59.57. Curnes, Jebbia and Chaplin then teamed up with Marisa Custer to place second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Parkersburg South and Weir rounded out the top five girls teams.
Red Riders senior Kelsey Ferguson was also a part of the high-point tie. Ferguson tied the Region One and pool records with a time of 1:08.56 in the 100-yard breaststroke after winning the 200-yard IM in 2:15.66.
"I came in and swam what I wanted to and needed to to make it to states," Ferguson said. "So mission accomplished.''
Ferguson also finished second in the 200-medley relay with the help of teammates Dominique Gilbert, Allyson Martin and Alexis Virtue. The four girls finished fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay as well.
Brooke finished in sixth place followed by Wheeling Central and John Marshall.
Junior Sara Riggs qualified in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke for the Bruins with freshman Jessie Wayne making it in the 500-yard freestyle. Joee Humpe and Shelby Grendel will be representing the Maroon Knights in the 50-yard freestyle. Humpe also will compete in the 100-yard freestyle. Jade Worrels was the only Monarch to automatically qualify. She will be swimming the 100-yard breaststroke.