Swimmers Ready to Vie for OVAC Championships

WHEELING – If you flip through the psych sheet for this year’s OVAC Swim Meet, you’ll notice some things never change.

Linsly’s all over it.

It’s only fitting. After all, the Cadets have by far the most overall titles (55) and won 45 consecutive from 1948-92.

”Back in those days it was just a small amount of teams,” veteran Linsly coach and long-time meet director Bill Brubaker said. ”Now a days more people have teams. You have a lot of good swimmers at Wheeling Park, Morgantown and Parkersburg.”

Last year, meet officials even changed the name of the meet to honor the Cadets coach, who has won 29 titles since he’s been at the school.

”This is my 34th year that I’ve run the meet,” Brubaker said. ”When I first got to Linsly in 1980, there were five schools with swimming. After some schools started to build swimming pools, (the meet has) grown and has done quite well.

”I would say the first meet we were lucky if we had 100 swimmers. Last year we had 480.”

Brubaker’s boys’ teams have won the past five Small School titles, while the girls have taken four of the past five.

Of the 22 events in this year meet, a Cadet is seeded first in eight.

Zoe Scarpone leads the Linsly girls as she is seeded first overall in both the 200 IM and the 100 Butterfly.

The senior will be looking for a three-peat in both events after she took the gold her sophomore and junior seasons.

The Cadets girls’ 200 Medley Relay is also seeded first with a preliminary time of 2:02.83. Wheeling Park is seeded second at 2:03.89.

Brubaker wouldn’t name the girls he will place on the relay, stating it’s one little bit of strategy swim coaches have.

Three underclassmen lead the Linsly boys’ squad.

Sophomore Reese Boyd is the one to beat in both the 200 and 500 Freestyle, while freshman Kevin Pietz (100 Back) is also a top seed.

”Kevin has had a very good freshman year,” Brubaker said.

”I coach the Y team, so I’ve known a lot of these swimmers for a long time, (including Pietz). He did well last year, but the amount of time he dropped this year has been a pleasant surprise.”

Junior Drew Bastian will try to win back-to-back gold medals in the 200 IM.

The Cadets’ 200 Medley Relay team also holds the top seed. Brubaker declined to name what swimmers would be on that relay as well.

In Big School action, Wheeling Park senior Katlyn Curnes and John Marshall senior Jade Worrels will look to make a splash during their final OVAC meet.

Curnes is seeded first in the 100 Breaststroke, while Worrels is second by two seconds.

Worrels is also the top seed in the 50 Freestyle.

Martins Ferry freshman Alyssa Kalinski will look to make a name for herself in her first OVAC meet. She’s seeded first in the 500 Freestyle and second in the 200.

Morgantwon has won the past two Big School girls’ titles.

For the boys, St. Clairsville senior Michael Eaton is the top seed in the 100 Freestyle and the 100 Breaststroke.

Due to the cancellation of the preliminary meet, the top 24 swimmers in each individual event will swim. All relays will swim as well.

The meet is scheduled to start at 11:10 Saturday morning in Steubenville’s Crimson Center.