West Virginia State Swim Meet on Tap for Tuesday
WHEELING — As freshmen, Jenna Bopp and Abby Turner broke on the scene shattering records left and right– now as seniors, the defending state champions are looking to go out on top at the state swim meet.
On Tuesday, the state meet will be held at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown, which will be a one-day timed final for the rights to take home the gold, instead of the usual two-day event.
Bopp won the 100 breaststroke at state a year ago and is once again a top candidate to take home the crown, while Turner is coming off a state title in the 100 freestyle, where she looks to do the same this year.
“That would be phenomenal for them,”î Park girls’ coach Meredith Hahn said of the possibility of Bopp and Turner finishing their careers as state champions. It’s been a tough year for everybody but for these girls to finish their high school careers with state titles would be incredible.
“But we’ll be swimming against the fastest swimmers in all of West Virginia and we are excited about that. We’re excited to see George Washington again, Morgantown — we only beat them by one point at regionals and we’re excited to see what Buckhannon-Upshur and Bridgeport do. They really have some strong girls teams.”î
Bopp will also compete in the 200 IM and Turner will battle for top honors in the 200 freestyle.
Joining Bopp and Turner for the Park girls at state will be Victoria Anderson in the 200 free and 500 free, Maddie Ross in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly, Abby Heilman in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM, Rosalyn Hill in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM and Gracie VanLaar in the 100 freestyle.
Park’s 200 free, 200 medley and 400 relay teams are also competing in the girls’ event.
“We’ve had a great week of practice and the kids have come in and have been focused and doing all of their workouts,”î Hahn said. “We’re tapering to get the kids ready for the big meet.”î
John Marshall sophomore and defending state champion in the 100 backstroke Victoria Kidney is back and looking for more hardware, as well.
She is also competing in the 200 IM and leads a strong group of Monarchs to state where she is joined by Laura Siler in the 50 free and 100 free, Kaitlyn Cochran in the 50 free and 100 free, and Zara Zervos in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM.
The 200 free, 200 medley and 400 relay teams at JM have qualified, as well.
“Our swimmers have been fine tuning technique and tapering to get ready for the state meet,î” JM coach Katie Games said. “I expect the kids to just try their best. I hope to see a lot of time dropped next week.
“Most of all, I just want the swimmers to have an enjoyable time down at state. They really deserve it after working so hard this season.”
Wheeling Central is represented by Lauren Garan in the 50 free and 100 free, Abie Riedel in the 200 free and 100 breaststroke and JulieAnne Humpe in the 100 backstroke and 200 IM.
The Central 200 medley and 400 relay teams have also qualified for state.
Veronica Mann leads the way for Brooke in the 50 free and 500 free, while Ella McCullough joins her in the 500 free and looks to leave her mark in the 200 IM. Paige DiGiovanni also represents the Bruins in the 100 butterfly.
Brooke’s 200 free and 200 medley relay teams round out the state qualifiers for the Bruins.
Weir’s Jules Glodowski will compete in the 50 free and teammate Sarah Burskey takes part in the 100 breaststroke.
Oak Glen’s lone qualifier is Talia Kosnovich in the 100 free.
For the boys, Wheeling Park junior Owen Leary will certainly make a splash at state this year.
He’s a top candidate for the gold medal in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle, while teammate Isaac McCabe will also look to bring home gold in the 50 and 100 breaststroke.
Max Hill has put together a very impressive season for the Patriots and will race in the 500 free and the 100 butterfly.
Other Park boys in the state meet are Ethan Bryant in the 100 free, Ethan Waldeck in the 100 backstroke and Grant Schehl in the 100 breaststroke.
Park’s boys will compete in the 200 free, 200 medley and 400 relays, as well.
Wheeling Central’s Caden Ondrejko is a 50 free and 100 butterfly qualifier for state and teammates Kelly Riedel (100 free, 500 free), Joseph Secrist (100 free, 500 free), and Nate Nixon (500 free, 100 backstroke) are also making the trip to Morgantown.
The Maroon Knights will also take part in the 200 medley and 400 relays.
Brooke has a strong crew heading to state, led by Ethan Robey in the 500 free and 100 breaststroke. He’s joined by Nicholas Barney in the 100 free and 500 free, Jacob Donley in the 500 free and 200 IM, Thomas Olenick in the 500 free and 200 IM, and John Francis in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM.
The Bruins also qualified for state in the 200 free, 200 medley and 400 relays.
Morgan Miller is John Marshall’s lone qualifier on the boys’ side in the 100 free and 500 free and Weir’s only competitor for the boys is Ryan Speirs in the 100 free and 100 backstroke.