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Weir High, Brooke swimmers advance to championship finals

SWIMMING — Brookes Ethan Robey competes in the 100 breaststroke during Thursday’s preliminary finals at the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission State Swimming Championship. -John McCabe

MORGANTOWN — Brooke’s Veronica Mann will swim for a state title today, as she is seeded sixth in the 200 freestyle (2:04.37) after the opening day of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission State Swimming Championship.

Mann also will swim consolation finals in the 100 free (57.82, 10th overall).

Brooke coach Kelsie Smith commended Mann for her hard work this season and expects her to put forth a strong effort in the finals.

“I’m looking for another second time drop from Veronica and to watch her get a medal,” she said.

The Bruins’ boys 200 medley relay team qualified for the championship finals with a fourth-place finish at 1:48.46. Individually, than Robey qualified for the championship finals by finishing sixth in the 500 freestyle at 5:12.03. Robey also will swim the consolation finals after finishing ninth in the 100 breast (1:05.59).

Brooke’s 400 free relay team finished eighth, while Jacob Donley qualified for the consolation finals in the 500 free (5:38.29, 11th).

Brooke’s Smith said her boys are “pumped” after their swims Thursday. “The 200 medley relay broke the school record, so they’re ready to drop that time even more tomorrow. Everyone gave their best performance and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Weir High’s Chris Hoover will swim one championship final and one consolation final today. He finished fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:52.98) and seventh in the 100 freestyle (51.8).

In other swims from the region, Jenna Bopp and Abby Turner wasted no time Thursday rewriting the record books at Wheeling Park High School.

Bopp and Turner, both juniors, were part of six school records set by Wheeling Park’s girls (the Park boys added two additional school records later in the day) during the opening session of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission State Swimming Championships at Mylan Park.

Along with a school record in the 100 breaststroke, Bopp also set a state swim meet record in the event with a 1:05.13, topping the mark set last year by Parkersburg’s Jayden Welsh. She will enter today’s finals as the top seeded swimmer in the 100 breast, with Welsh seeded second after swimming a 1:06.76 in the preliminary round.

Earlier in the meet, Bopp finished third in the 200 Individual Medley with a 2:13.56, also a school record.

Turner, not to be outdone, broke her own school records in the 50 freestyle (24.05) and the 100 freestyle (52.23). She is seeded second in both events heading into today’s finals.

The duo teamed up with Maddie Ross and Lacie Langmyer to also set school marks in the 200 medley relay (1:53.19, seeded third Friday) and the 400 freestyle relay (fourth seed Friday).

Langmyer, a freshman, nabbed two championship finals appearances today, as she is seeded fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:26.57) and fourth in the 200 freestyle (2:00.9). Ross qualified for the consolation finals Friday in the 100 backstroke (1:06.77, 11th overall).

Wheeling Park coach Pat Durkin said his girls came to swim Thursday, and noted there’s still work to be done in the finals.

“From the very first swim this morning, our girls went out and they wanted it, they broke records, they set personal bests,” Durkin said. “There’s still work to do, with Jenna and Abby, and Lacie. I’m just really excited for how we swam today and what I expect on Friday.”

John Marshall freshman Victoria Kidney had a strong opening day, qualifying first in the 100 backstroke (57.51) and second in the 200 IM (2:09.79). Junior Zara Zervos also qualified for the consolation finals in the 100 breaststroke (1:15.98, ninth overall). The school’s 200 freestyle relay team also finished ninth Thursday, and will swim Friday in the consolation finals.

John Marshall coach Courtney Wheeling commended her swimmers for a great day in the water.

“They did excellent, we had a lot of best times, Victoria is seeded first and second in her events, and the relay and Zara in the breast, they all did really awesome,” she said.

Wheeling Central will send Abie Riedel to the consolation finals Friday as she finished ninth in the 100 breaststroke at 1:15.98, tying Zervos and also breaking a Central school record. Central’s 200 medley relay team also will swim Friday after finishing eighth overall.

“The girls did great, we have the medley relay coming back and Abie breaking a school record, that’s incredible,” Central coach Jeanie Humpe said.

Boys

It was a record-setting day for the Park boys as well, as senior Devanand Kuttan broke his own school record in the 100 backstroke (57.85, seeded fourth in today’s finals) and also was part of the 200 medley relay team with senior Max Kellas, junior Isaac McCabe and sophomore Owen Leary that finished third overall in the preliminaries at 1:44.25, another school record.

Kuttan also will swim for a state championship in the 200 IM, qualifying third.

McCabe joins Kuttan in an opportunity today to swim for multiple individual state championships. He qualified sixth in the 100 freestyle (51.73) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.09).

Kuttan, McCabe, Kellas and Leary also finished fourth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:37.01) and will swim in the championship finals today.

Kellas and Leary will swim in the consolation finals in the 100 butterfly, where Kellas finished eighth in the preliminaries (58.04) and Leary finished 11th at 58.2.

Park’s 200 freestyle relay of Leary, Kellas, Justin Riggs and Garrett qualified for the consolation finals, as well.

“Devan broke his own record today, and the boys broke the medley relay record. That’s what we wanted to see in the preliminaries,” Durkin said.

“I think all the boys did a great job. Any time you’re breaking school records, it’s a good day. We’ve got a great group of kids, and it shows with the performances they put up today.”

John Marshall’s Alex Postle qualified for the consolation finals in the 100 breast by finishing 12th at 1:07.87. JM’s 400 freestyle relay team also finished 12th and will swim the consolation finals today.

For Wheeling Central, Cole Saseen qualified for the consolation finals by finishing 12th in the 100 backstroke (1:03.6).

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