MORGANTOWN - After three years of toiling, Wheeling Park's dynamic junior duo of Cece Jebbia and Katlyn Curnes finally have championship plaques from the West Virginia High School Swimming Championships.
Both girls won individual crowns Friday as the Patriots finished a school-best third in the team standings at a jammed-packed West Virginia University Natatorium.
It was a fantastic finish to another banner year for Coach Pat Durkin's squad, which used a solid combination of veteran leadership and youthful exuberance to conclude a season like no other Patriots team has had.
Wheeling Park juniors Cece Jebbia, left, and Katlyn Curnes, right, display their championship hardware following Friday’s West Virginia High School Swimming Championships in Morgantown. Jebbia won the 200 Freestyle, while Curnes captured the 100 Breaststroke.
"The girls were just outstanding," Durkin said as the final awards of the day were being presented.
"With Cece and Katlyn winning first place and the relays all doing well I think we set five school records.
"We finished third overall. What can you say? We had a great season.
"I want to congratulate GW and Morgantown. They swam excellent."
"Hopefully, well catch up with them next year."
George Washington won with 216 points, while the Mohigans were second with 176. Park collected 122, with Bridgeport (119) and Elkins (117) rounding out the top five.
George Washington also won the boys' crown with 192 points. Bridgeport was second with 156, followed by Notre Dame (118), Charleston Catholic (113) and South Charleston (111).
Jebbia won the 200 Freestyle with a time of 1:59.5, well ahead of runner-up Becka Crandall of Bridgeport (2:02.95).
When Jebbia touched the wall at the end of the race, she looked to her left, her right, then up at the scoreboard. A smile beamed across her face when she realized she won.
"I was looking around because I wanted to make sure no one beat me," she said. "I didn't think I was going to win by that much. I knew it was going to be really, really hard, but I'm glad I did it. I've been working so hard for this."
For Curnes, she felt confident heading into her 100 Breaststroke final.
"I knew I was going to win right before the race," she said. "It's really an accomplishment for (Cece) and I to win (Friday). It's great."
The duo started the day by teaming with freshman Emilee Heilman and senior Maddie Friday to finish second in the 200 Medley Relay.
Later, Jebbia finished fifth in the 100 Freestyle and joined Curnes, Heilman and Hannah Butts on the fourth-place 400 Freestyle Relay squad.
Curnes was third in the 200 IM.
Heilman was eighth in the 100 Freestyle and the 100 backstroke. The foursome of Jeri Carenbauer, Butts, Cristin Dolan and Friday was eighth in the 200 Freestyle Relay.
Brooke's 400 Freestyle team of Sara Riggs, Morgan Zopp, Jessie Wayne and Hannah Cebula was eighth, but the unit set a school record with a time of 4:06.41.
"It's amazing,'' Bruins coach Gina Reitter said. "They've been trying all year to get that and they've always been like a second or two off.
"But those four girls did it. Sara raced the fastest time she ever swam and Hannah raced the fastest time she ever swam.
"I can't be more prouder of those girls. They deserve that."
Cebula was also eighth in the 200 Freestyle, while Riggs was eighth in the 100 Butterfly and ninth in the 100 backstroke. Wayne was ninth in the 500 Freestyle.
John Marshall's Jade Worrels was third in the 100 Breaststroke and fifth in the 50 Freestyle. She also joined Rosemary Targosky, Jenna Ingram and Nicole Nuce on the 200 Medley Relay team that was ninth and the 400 Freestyle Relay foursome that was 11th.
Ingram was also 12th in the 100 Butterfly.
Weir's Allyson Martin was 12th in the 200 IM. Dominique Gilbert was 10th in the 100 Breaststroke, while the 200 Freestyle Relay team of Gilbefrt, Kiara Candelario, Kristen Mastrantoni and Alexis Virtue was 11th.
On the boys' side, Wheeling Park's Noah Salvatore was ninth in the 500 Freestyle and 12th in the 200 Freestyle.
Brooke's Jordan Harlan was ninth in the 100 Freestyle and 10th in the 50 Freestyle.