Wheeling Park Girls Win Own Event in Swimming
Parkersburg South Prevails in Boys
WHEELING — The Patriots ruled the day as Wheeling Park won the girls’ competition and Parkersburg South took the top spot in the boys’ contest Saturday at the Wheeling Park Holiday Invitational Swim Meet.
Wheeling Park tallied 133 points in the girls’ contest, with Morgantown coming next with 76, followed by St. Clairsville with 65.
Parkersburg South produced 85 points, while the hosts accounted for 64 and University generated 61 in the boys’ competition.
Wheeling Park had two teams finish in the top three of the 200 medley relay and Parkersburg South received two of the top three individual performances in the 100 breaststroke to help each team claim top honors in the event.
In the first event of the day, the Park girls made a statement as the 200 medley relay A team consisting of Sarah Heilman, Lydia Bischof, Victoria White and Kat Donzella raced through the water, finishing with a time of 2:00.71 in the third heat, just less than 13 seconds ahead of runner-up University.
The Wheeling Park B team of Allison Holmstrand, Alexa Hickman, Bischof and Sydney Moffett recorded the third-best time during its second heat run, finishing in 2:14.32 to earn the Patriots 26 points in the opening event.
Parkersburg South picked up 14 points late in the meet as Devan Wilson (1:12.81) and Seth Wright (1:13.17) finished first and second in the 100 breaststroke to put some distance between itself and Wheeling Park.
Although both coaches were proud of their teams, to them it was more about the experience, atmosphere and the joy of swimming.
“We really enjoy putting together a nice meet like this,” Park coach Patrick Durkin said. “We did lose some teams due to the inclement weather but we still had close to 260 swimmers here and it was a good meet with nice competition and it was fun.
“We have been hosting this meet for eight or nine years and it is growing every year because people want to come. No matter if our teams win or lose, as long as the kids have a good swim and everyone has a good time, it makes for a successful day.”
There was originally scheduled to be a total of 20 teams participating in the meet but eight canceled because of icy road conditions. One team that did not just show up but impressed as well, was Parkersburg South.
“Our team did a really good job,” South coach Steve Lutz said. “They had solid times and are getting better. The girls swam some good times and our boys are just a little bit stronger right now, but I thought the whole team did a good job.
“We love coming. Wheeling. Park is a great host with a great facility and this meet is a good barometer of the OVAC. If we can do well here, it tells us we are in pretty good shape. Wheeling Park, University and Morgantown are all really good teams and this tells us we are in the mix for the OVAC.”
Heilman had a day to remember with two wins in the butterfly (1:05.70) and the backstroke (1:02.60). She also had a big hand in the 400 relay team’s second-place finish in the last girls’ event of the day.
Also playing a part in the 400 relay for Park were Donzella, Bischoff and White.
White was victorious in the 200 IM (2:25.27) to help lead Park. In addition, she earned runner-up honors in the 500 with a time of 5:41.09.
Another Patriots victory was turned in by Bischof in the breaststroke in a time of 1:16.87, along with a third-place finish in the 200 (2:09.82).
Donzella also collected a third-place spot in the 50 (27.28).
The Park 200 relay team garnered runner-up honors as Donzella, Moffett, Maggie Kloss and Alexa Hickman combined for a time of 1:56.03.
The Wheeling Park boys’ team was led by Charles Schellhase who took home victories in both the 200 (2:01.21) and the 500 (5:26.47), while Caleb Lucas was third in the 200 IM (2:26.41).
St. Clairsville was led by Hannah Swisk who supplied the Red Devils only runner-up finish in the 100 Butterfly (1:13.72), while adding a third-place medal to her collection in the 100 backstroke (1:13.09).
Katelynne Davenport earned a pair of third-place finishes in the 200 IM (2:39.50) and the 100 breaststroke (1:18.67) for St. Clairsville.
Marissa Cupp and the Devils’ 400 Relay team also claimed third.
Dominic Collins paced Parkersburg South in the boys’ column with wins in the 50 (22.98) and the 100 (52.62).
Austin Schramm paced Wheeling Central with a win in the backstroke (59.89) and runner-up honors in the 50 (23.44), while John Marshall was well represented by Brian Kotson in the breaststroke (1:15.17).
“I can’t say enough about how great all of the coaches are in this meet,” Durkin said. “There is great comradery among the coaches and we all just want to see the kids swim well.”