B Teams Come Up Big for Wheeling Park
Park boys, girls earn close wins vs. St. C.
WHEELING–Every team has its standout athletes but what makes a team successful is the supporting cast.
Wheeling Park has proven all season that its relay A teams are among the best in the state, but on Tuesday, it was the B teams that stepped up and lifted the Patriots to victory.
The Park boys edged visiting St. Clairsville by one point in a 71-70 contest, while the girls defeated the Red Devils 80-73.
The meet came down to the 200 and 400 relay races as Park’s B teams defeated St. Clairsville’s and Beaver Local’s A teams to earn crucial points.
Park’s 200 relay B team of Manaved Kuttan, Alexander Dague, Max Kellas and Zach Seals earned runner-up honors with a time of 1:43.03, just behind the Patriots’ A team of Caleb Lucas, Cole Franko, Nicholas DeFazio and Charles Schellhase who finished in (1:41.95).
The 400 relay B team also made a huge difference as Garrett Rogerson, Kellas, Issac McCabe and DeFazio turned in a third-place result in 3:57.12, less than a second ahead of Beaver Local’s A team to secure two points and the victory in the final race of the night.
“I think in the 200 and 400 free relays, it was the B teams that really stepped up,” Park coach Pat Durkin said. “They both beat two A relays from Beaver Local and St. Clairsville and those points made the difference.
“They were seeded 10 seconds slower but they made it up and looked good.”
Charles Schellhase continued his outstanding year with wins in both the 200 (2:00.42) and 500 (5:14.32) to lead Park.
Lucas also picked up a win in the 100 at a pace of 53.96, while Dague claimed top honors in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.09).
The girls were led to victory behind big days from Sarah Heilman and Abby Turner.
Heilman provided her squad with wins in the 100 butterfly (1:04.94) and the 100 backstroke (1:06.00), while Turner was ahead of the pack in the 50 (26.59) and the 100 (59.69).
Also chipping in with wins for Park included Victoria White in the 500 (5:50.10), Jenna Bopp in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.88).
The 200 and 400 relay crews of Heilman, Bopp, White and Turner won their events with times of 1:58.66 and 4:03.12, respectively.
“I think both the boys and girls looked good,” Durkin said. “We still need to drop some times and there is room for improvement but we still have two weeks before OVACs, so hopefully we’ll make a good showing of it.”
The Red Devils made a good showing Tuesday as they battled and fell just short of picking up a pair of wins.
“St. Clairsville has a nice team,” Durkin said. “They swam well but our boys and girls just stepped up and did what they needed to do.”
The St. Clairsville boys held the lead until the final race. Throughout the meet, they were led by senior Michael DiBetta who won the 50 (24.76) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.96).
Ethan Banks and Nathan Yost also chalked up wins for St. Clairsville with Banks beating the field in the 200 IM (2:20.29) and Yost claiming the 100 butterfly (1:02.96).
The 200 and 400 relay teams of Banks, Yost, DiBetta and Matthew Marling each won their events as well.
“I think they did really well,” St. Clairsville coach Ernie Banks said. “To lose to a school with the size and talent that Wheeling Park has by only one point is really surprising. My kids are surprising me at how good they are doing.”
The Red Devils 200 relay team of Maggie Marody, Hannah Swisk, Yaya Rocchi and Marissa Cupp won with a time of 1:55.45.
Marody and Caroline Smith were individual winners for St. Clairsville as Marody was at the front of the 200 IM (2:24.27) and Smith took charge in the 200 (2:16.11).
“The girls are right in there,” Ernie Banks said. “Only losing to Wheeling Park by seven, again, against a quality school like Park is tough to do. I’m impressed with all of the kids.
“OVACs are coming up in two weeks and I feel confident going up against teams that are more our size. This prepares them and shows us where we are as a team.”
John Marshall girls edge Brooke by one point
WELLSBURG–The Monarchs pulled out a narrow victory over host Brooke behind a pair of wins from Laura Siler.
Siler led John Marshall with victories in the 200 IM (3:01.10) and the 100 (1:06.75).
Brooke 87, John Marshall 60
WELLSBURG–The Bruins’ boys team upended the visiting Monarchs behind a pair of wins from a trio of swimmers.
Ethan Robey claimed top honors in the 200 (2:04.46) and the 500 (5:31.39), while Joe Suidak took home the 100 (57.47) and the 50 (25.76) and Noah Horvath won the 100 backstroke (1:07.36) and the 100 butterfly (1:00.97).