MORGANTOWN - It was a day of mixed emotions for Wheeling Park senior Katlyn Curnes on Friday at the West Virginia state swim meet at the WVU Natatorium.
On one hand, she did finish her prep career with a total of 16 state medals, the most any swimmer could possibly obtain. (Swimmers can only qualify for four events, two individuals and two relays, per year). However, she wasn't able to repeat as a gold medalist in the 100 Breastroke.
Curnes finished second with a time of 1:07.26, .82 tenths of a second behind George Washington sophomore Emily Hageboeck.
Photo by TONY VIOLA
Wheeling Park senior Katlyn Curnes competes in the 100-meter Breaststroke during state championship action Friday at West Virginia University.
''I was very disappointed,'' Curnes said. ''I started to cry, but I go over it.''
She had to in a hurry. After all, her 400 Freestyle relay team needed her in the very next event.
''It wasn't so bad,'' she said of the back-to-back races. ''I had about a 10-minute break.''
The relay team, comprised of Curnes, sophomore Emilee Heilman and juniors Hannah Butts and Cristin Dolan, finished sixth with a time of 3:58.57 to help the Park girls earn a sixth-place finish. George Washington won both the boys' and girls' titles.
Curnes also earned medals in the 200 IM as she finished fourth with a time of 2:17.94, and the 200 Medley Relay as she teamed with Heilman, Butts and sophomore Katherine Stamper to finish fifth.
Curnes, though, wasn't the only one who swam her last prep race in Morgantown.
John Marshall senior Jade Worrels also saw her high school career come to an end.
''I've had so many great memories and great swims,'' Worrels said. ''I'm sad to see it end. It's not completely over, yet. I am going to swim in college.''
Worrels earned her second bronze medal in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:10.66. The senior also finished third a year ago. In her other event, the 100 Freestyle, she finished fourth with a time of 57.05.
''I went out there and did the best I could and got some pretty good times,'' she said. ''I can't complain. It was a pretty good day. I'm happy.''
Worrels, the only female Monarchs swimmer to qualify for the meet, guided her team to a 13th-place finish out of 25 teams.
''That's pretty crazy,'' she said. ''That's a great accomplishment. It's something to be proud of.''
While the two seniors were making their last memories at the prep level, several younger swimmers were just making their initial ones.
Brooke junior Jessie Wayne earned two sixth-place medals, one in the 200 Freestyle and the other in the 500 Freestyle. It was the first time Wayne received an individual state medal.
''I've done double (practices) every day,'' she said. ''It's a lot of hard work, but I really wanted to medal.''
Heilman earned her first individual state medal as well in the 100 Backstroke (1:06.21).
''I'm very happy with my finish and what I accomplished,'' the sophomore said. ''I still have two years left, so I'm excited about the future.''
Heilman also finished ninth in the 100 Freestyle (58.84) and Stamper tied for 10th in the 50 Freestyle (26.63).
Brooke's Emiley Czestyicki was ninth in the 100 Butterfly (1:07.51) as the Bruins ended the meet in 14th place.
Wheeling Park's 200 Free Relay team of Katie Friday, Stamper, Butts and Dolan finished ninth.
On the boys' side, Patriots senior and four-time state qualifier Noah Salvatore picked up two Top-10 finishes as Park finished the meet 13th. Salvatore finished eighth in the 200 Freestyle (1:55.71) and 10th in the 500 Freestyle (5:20.76).
Other Park boys finishes included Trent Connor (10th, 200 IM) and Zach Sherrman (12th, 50 Freestyle).
The Patriots' 200 Freestyle and 400 Freestyle relays, comprised of Michael Mueller, Sherman, Connor and Salvatore, both finished eighth.
John Marshall senior Aaron Mull ended his prep career with a ninth-place finish in the 100 Breaststroke (1:07.05).