Wheeling Park Boys Swimming Wins Again

Photo by Cody Tomer Wheeling Park’s Max Kellas competes in the 400 relay during Saturday’s meet in the Wheeling Park Pool.

WHEELING–The Wheeling Park boys’ swim team is hitting its stride.

The Patriots put up 75 points Saturday to defeat runner-up Parkersburg (63) and Parkersburg South (32) in a boys’ competition at Wheeling Park.

Park has not lost a contest since it opened the season with a three-point loss.

“They showed they are a good team,” Park coach Patrick Durkin said of his boys’ squad. “They are a sleeper team right now. They have only lost their first meet of the season and haven’t lost since.

“Parkersburg and Parkersburg South are both really good teams but our boys were solid again (Saturday).”

The Wheeling Park girls were also impressive in the water as they turned in a runner-up finish, 12 points behind Parkersburg by an 82-70 count. South was third with 16 points.

“I think both of our teams swam well (Saturday),” Durkin said. “Our girls were down a couple of swimmers because of illness but I still think we are sitting pretty close to where we want to be.

“If we could drop some times, it would be better but I think overall, the girls swam pretty well.”

Leading the Park boys to victory was the junior leader Charles Schellhase, who supplied wins in both the 200 and 500 freestyle races.

Schellhase completed the 200 in just 1:58.80 and finished the 500 at a time of 5:18.57.

Alongside of Schellhase was a trio of winners for the Patriots.

Caleb Lucas earned top honors in the 200 IM (2:16.53), Max Kellas claimed the top spot in the 100 butterfly (1:05.74) and Alexander Dague was victorious in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.27).

“We did make some mistakes in the water but they are all things that we can improve,” Durkin said. “We can clean those things up and their times will drop.

“Christmas break practice was kind of tough but I think it’s time to get ready for the OVACs.”

In the girls’ event, it was Sarah Heilman paving the way with wins in the 100 butterfly at a 1:02.25 mark and the 100 backstroke at a 1:04.03 pace.

Abby Turner, Jenna Bopp and the 200 medley relay team followed Heilman’s lead with victories, as well.

Turner was first in the 100 freestyle with a finish of 57.87 and Bopp dominated the 100 breaststroke at a 1:10.55 tear.

The 200 medley relay squad consisted of Heilman, Bopp, Victoria White and Turner as they touched the wall at a 1:57.43 mark.