Cadets Swim By Riders

Linsly’s Kevin Pietz competes in the 100 butterfly during his team’s meet Thursday at Stifel Pool against Weir.

WHEELING — As the snow fell outside, the show went on inside at Stifel Pool and the Linsly Cadets did not disappoint, upending Weir 102-54 in girls action and 106-62 on the boys side.

Carol Gao, Carleigh West and Sydney West all recorded two individual wins for the girls, while Kevin Pietz collected two individual wins to lead the boys.

“A lot of people swam really well for us,” Linsly coach Bill Brubaker said. “Those who came in over Christmas break and worked really hard had good performances. There are still a lot of little things to work on with just two more meets to get ready for OVAC’s but overall we did really well (Thursday).

Pietz took top honors in the 100 butterfly (55.63) and the 100 backstroke (58.37) both of which he holds school records for.

Pietz is also the defending OVAC butterfly champion and record holder.

“I have coached Kevin since he was four,” Brubaker said. “He started at the “Y” and I’ve seen him grow up and become a very mature individual and an outstanding swimmer.

“He is taking his role of senior leader very seriously this year and his work ethic is second to none.”

When Pietz was not winning in the pool on Thursday, he was motivating his teammates who were in the pool to do their very best.

Also claiming first place for the Linsly boys were Marc Lifson in the 200 (2:24.20) and Kaleb Nuckles-Polen in the 500 (5:58.85).

Team victories by Linsly included the 200 relay team (1:39.46) consisting of Michael Schwarz, Nuckles-Polen, Alejandro Rodriguez and Pietz, along with the 200 medley relay squad of Nuckles-Polen, Robert Targosky, Pietz and Schwarz (1:51.68).

Weir was led by Tyler Virtue, who picked up multiple victories that included the 50 (23.87), which is a new school record, and the 100 (53.76).

“Tyler is the captain of the team,” Weir coach John McGowan said. “He has come a long way since his freshman year. He just worked and worked and broke the school record in the 50 today. He is doing really well.”

Weir’s boys also received individual wins from Wil Visnic for the 200 IM (2:14.66) and Michael Miller in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.29).

The 400 relay team of Visnic, Isaac Piatt, Virtue and Miller also delivered a team win for Weir.

“We were up and down (Thursday),” McGowan said. “We were trying to get kids in certain events for OVAC’s, so some kids had to swim out of events just to get kids in events but I was pleased with most of them.”

Gao picked up victories in the 50 (28.31) and the 100 (1:03.90), while Carleigh West supplied wins in the 200 IM (2:26.29) and the 500 (5:44.15) and Sydney West took first place in the 100 backstroke (1:06.84), which she holds the school record for, and the 100 breaststroke (1:12.13) to pace the girls.

Other individual winners for the Linsly girls were Eve Ridenhour in the 200 (2:18.68) and Sian Longley in the 100 butterfly (1:10.44).

“We had some underclassmen do well for us,” Brubaker said. “Ridenhour made the OVAC cut in the 500, Josh Schultz’s 500 time dropped (6:28.46) and so did Bernie Suchoza’s (7:00.15), who had some real good swims.”

Team wins for the Linsly girls came in the 200 medley relay (2:05.23) with Carleigh West, Sydney West, Longley and Gao, the 200 relay team of Sydney West, Longley, Ridenhour and Zoe Bizzari (1:52.70) and the 400 relay team consisting of Carleigh West, Bizzari, Ridenhour and Gao (4:17.63).

There was plenty of sportsmanship following the meet as well, as McGowan recognized Brubaker for a job well done.

“(Brubaker) has done a tremendous job for swimming in the valley,” McGowan said of his counterpart. “He started the state meet before the state did and its meant a lot for swimming in the valley.”

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