2019 West Virginia High School State Championships (Boys & Girls)
- February 14th-15th, 2019
- WVU Natatorium, Morgantown, West Virginia
- 1 Class, 25y, prelims/finals, A-B final, 6 per final
- Meet Results
The Bridgeport boys won their first West Virginia High School State Championships since 210 (and 2nd ever), while Parkersburg High defended their girls’ state title last year for their 2nd consecutive, and all-time, title.
Top 5 Girls’ Team Scores:
- Parkersburg – 170
- Bridgeport – 163
- Wheeling Park – 143
- Fairmont Senior High – 108
- Hurricane High School – 95
Top 5 Boys’ Team Scores:
- Bridgeport High – 185
- George Washington High – 161
- Wheeling Park – 146.5
- Parkersburg High – 141
- Parkersburg South – 128
Girls’ Meet Recap
In a nail-biter finish, Parkersburg trailed Bridgeport by 1 point heading into the 400 free relay. Basically, they needed to beat Bridgeport in the relay to wrap up a 2nd-straight state title.
Not only did they beat Bridgeport, they beat everyone to winn the title in 3:43.28. That gave them a 6-second margin of victory over runners-up George Washington and almost 9-seconds of padding over Bridgeport to secure the championship.
That 400 free relay was the team’s 3rd event win, and 2nd relay win, of the meet. The Parkersburg 200 medley relay of Mary Strobl, Jaden Welsh, Grace Cox, and Emma Padden combined for a 1:50.52 that is a new State Record. The old mark was set in 2016 by George Washington. Parkersburg had the fastest middle legs (breast and fly) of the field, and that made the difference. All 4 members of that relay were underclassmen (something that the Bridgeport 3rd-placae relay could also claim).
Grace Cox made it back-to-back wins to open the meet for Parkersburg by winning the 200 free by almost 2 seconds in 1:54.73.
After Bridgeport won the 200 free relay, Parkersburg got their biggest wins in the biggest moments of the meet. Sophomore Jaden Welsh won the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.79, which broke her own State Record set last year in 1:05.87; and then the re.lay to finish off the title.
Other Event Winners:
- Bridgeport anchor Cheyanne Rohde showed fortitude as a freshman at the end of the 200 free relay. She split 24.87, and was able to get a hand on the wall before Wheeling Park sophomore anchor Abby Turner (24.17), to lock up a big win for her team in 1:44.08. Wheeling Park took 2nd in 1:44.22. Other members of the winning relay: Maria Lacaria (26.80), Sarah Stallman (26.22), and Darian Spencer (26.19)
- Spring Valley’s Elin Sodersten won the girls’ 200 IM in 2:09.46, beating the aforementioned Welsh by 3 seconds. She later won, going away, in the 500 free in 5:08.25. She won the 500 by an even bigger gap – almost 18 seconds.
- Wheeling Park sophomore Abby Turner, the aforementioned relay anchor who nearly ran down Bridgeport in the relay won the 50 free individually in 24.44. She later added a win in the 100 free in 52.90.
- In the girls’ 100 fly, another sophomore, Brooke Blom of Cabell Midland, played her hand perfectly. After cruising to a 3rd-place qualification in prelims in 59.36, she had a huge drop down to 56.82 in the final to secure the win. That allowed her to pass runner-up Jacqueline McCutchan, who dropped .16 to finish 2nd in the final in 57.78; and Cox, who added 4-tenths to finish 3rd in 58.36.
- Wheeling Park’s Sarah Heilman won the 100 back in 58.98. She was 3rd last season.
Boys’ Meet Recap
The Bridgeport boys overcame the 2-time defending champions George Washington to win their 2nd-ever state title (to go with 7 runner-up finishes since 1999). George Washington, who had won 7 of the last 8 boys’ state titles, took 2nd with 161 points. While they mathematically would’ve needed a Bridgeport disqualification in the closing 400 free relay for even a chance at winning, what’s miraculous about George Washington’s runner-up performance is that the young team only had two top 3 finishes in the entire meet, including no relays.
That wasn’t the case for the Bridgeport boys, who opened the meet with an emphatic win in the 200 medley relay in 1:39.17. The relay of Bruce Keener (24.02), Luke Pinti (28.27), John Carter (23.96), and Kyle Malcolm (22.92) combined to win by almost 2 seconds. They had the fastest split of the A final on the fly and free legs; their freshman backstroker Keener was the 2nd-best split; as was their sophomore breaststroke Pinti.
That was the first of 3 wins for Bridgeport. The 2nd came when the freshman Keener won the 200 IM in 1:59.08, leading a trio of young swimmers who were all under 2 minutes. Freshman Frank McCutchan was 2nd in 1:59.68, and sophomore Ian Adler was 3rd in 1:59.95.
Adler won the 100 breaststsroke in 1:00.93 – almost 3 seconds better than the field – for George Washington’s only win of the meet. He is the focal point around which the team is rebuilding.
McCutchan, meanwhile, also picked up a win in what was a very young meet. He topped the 500 free in 4:53.07, knocking off the defending state champion Charles Schellhase (4:57.68). Schellhase was almost 4 seconds faster than when he won last season, but McCutchan’s debut took the win.
Bridgeport’s 3rd win of the meet came in a much closer battle: they won the 200 free relay in 1:33.51, beating out a senior-heavy Winfield relay for 2nd. John Carter had the fastest split in the field of 22.08 on Bridgeport’s anchor leg.
Other Event Winners:
- Parkersburg senior David Snider won the boys’ 100 fly in 50.10, beating out Parkersburg South senior Jorge Rojo Sato, who was 2nd in 52.88. The title will be Huntington freshman Henry Sheils’ to lose next season: he took 3rd in 54.93, which was the only other time under 57 seconds. Rojo Sato also won the 50 free in 22.29 – beating out another senior, John Carter from Bridgeport, who was 2nd in 22.46.
- Snider won again in the 100 back, finishing in 50.86. He beat the old State Record of 50.86 that was set in 2013 by Nate Carr, who would go on to swim as an NCAA Championship Qualifier at West Virginia after graduation.
- Parkersburg won the day’s final relay in 3:23.10 with 3 seniors on deck, including a 46.82 anchor from Snider. Parkersburg South took 2nd in 3:24.14.