WHEELING - The Wheeling Park boys' and girls' swimming teams finished strong in the inaugural Wheeling Park High School Invitational Swim Meet on Saturday - playing host to167 swimmers from eight different high schools at Park's newly "revamped" natatorium.
The Park boys scored a total of 131 points, narrowly edging out Parkersburg South (128) to win the boys' title.
The Park girls finished second with 140 points, just behind Fairmont Senior, which scored 178 points to take first.
Wheeling Park’s Katlyn Curnes makes her way through the pool during the inaugural Wheeling Park Invitational on Saturday at Wheeling Park High School.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
John Marshall’s Alex Vannest makes plenty of waves with his performance.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
Wheeling Park coach Pat Durkin said he was extremely proud of both the boys' and girls' performances.
"We have two good sophomores in Katlyn Curnes, and Cece Jebbia ... We have some really great senior leadership with Stacie Chapman and Marisa Custer," Durkin said.
Curnes and Custer - part of the Patriots' young core of returning talent - helped bring a first-place time of 2:05.13 in the girls' 200 medley relay. Curnes also posted a 1:12.42 time in the 100 breaststroke.
"I think the boys relay teams did really well, they scored in all three events ... and the same for the girls,'' Durkin said. ''We went up against a Fairmont Senior team who has a really outstanding young ladies team, but we held our own for most of the meet.''
Fairmont Senior coach Susan Sandor said she felt her squad had a solid meet, with senior team captain Brionna Minney leading the charge.
"She did well ... her head is always in the game," Sandor said.
She added senior Daren Wadsworth posted her best time in the 100 breaststroke finals, with a time of 1:18.63.
"Our team is solid as a whole ... we're solid through the middle, and that's what helps us.''
John Marshall's girls placed third, with 76 points, with the boys coming in fifth with 49 points.
"We're not scoring in the top because my team is so small, but all of my swimmers are scoring points,'' Monarchs coach Jayne Frye said. "We just want our sport to be recognized ... the kids are very competitive.''
Durkin said he was extremely excited to be the host for seven other schools for the school's first invitational meet. He said they have had dual and tri-meets in the past, but never an Invitational.
He said they were just excited to show off some of the new features of Park's pool facility, including a new scoreboard and new bleachers.
"The school has really put a lot of money into our program, and we re-vamped the pool and made it one of the nicest facilities around now," Durkin said.
The other schools represented at the meet besides Wheeling Park, John Marshall and Fairmont Senior were Bellaire, Parkersburg South, Williamstown, Spring Valley, and East Richland Christian.