WELLSBURG — It was a year of repeats at the 2022 OVAC Bill Brubaker Swim Championships Saturday at Brooke.
For the third straight year and 62nd time overall, the Linsly boys won the Class 1-4A title, while the St. Clairsville girls captured the small school crown for the fifth consecutive year.
In Class 5A, Dovers’ boys and girls swept the event for the third straight season.
The Linsly boys recorded 242 points to defeat runner-up St. Clairsville, which finished with 203.50 points. Cambridge was third (91.50) and Wheeling Central was fourth (64).
Lorenzo Serotini paced the Cadets by winning the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.24.
The senior was also a member of the 200 medley relay team, along with Asier Doval, John Papadimitriou and Parker Griffith, which won in a time of 1:44.93.
“A lot of hard work has gone into this over the last two-and-a-half months,” Linsly coach and OVAC swim director Bill Brubaker said. “Those kids sacrificed their Christmas breaks to work hard and practice so they would get better. There is just a lot of determination on the part of a lot of swimmers.
“They all had to step up. St. Clairsville has eight quality boys and it was really tight going down to the end and our last two freestyle relays scored where they needed to in order to keep the lead heading into our last event.”
The Red Devils’ girls’ team continued to dominate with 364 points, followed by Linsly with 238, Wheeling Central with 103 and Martins Ferry with 88.
The St. Clairsville girls’ 200 freestyle relay team set a new meet record with a time of 1:43.26. That squad consists of four standout seniors in Kylie McKeegan, Olivia Moyer, Brenna Planey and Casadie DiBetta.
The same squad won 200 medley relay with a time of 1:51.53, while DiBetta captured gold in the breaststroke (1:05.26).
“The girls did great,” St. Clairsville coach Ernie Banks said. “Every single girl on the team performed admirably. It shows a lot about our leadership. Our senior and junior girls have brought up the ones that are freshmen and sophomores. These girls are the perfect storm and I’ve enjoyed it but the core team — I am very proud of them.”
The Wheeling Park boys’ and girls’ teams each finished third.
Leading the Park boys was defending state champion Owen Leary, who set a new meet record in the 100 freestyle at a pace of 48.45.
He also won the 50 freestyle in 22.14.
“It’s fantastic,” Leary said. “This is my senior year and my last shot. Last year we didn’t actually have a meet so I’m just grateful for the opportunity and happy that I made the most of it.
“It’s great to see all of our hard work pay off. We go through some really brutal practices and this was a great opportunity to see that hard work come to fruition.”
Also capturing a pair of gold medals was John Marshall’s Victoria Kidney in the 200 IM (2:14.32) and the backstroke (59.60).
“This is really exciting,” Kidney said. “It’s nice to kind of see where I am. With state and regionals coming up, this is kind of where I need to be so this was reassuring for me.
“It’s another stepping stone in the path to state and it’s really special. We have a lot of newcomers on the team so it’s nice to see them excited and enjoying the experience and it’s nice to have a meet this year after it was canceled last year. I’m excited today but we’ll practice tomorrow.”
St. Clairsville’s Jack Gasber was also impressive with a win in the breaststroke (1:03.34).
The Dover boys won five events, which included a meet record in the 400 relay. The Tornados were led by Lucas Lane, who beat his own meet record in the 500 (4:41.99). He also set a new pool record in the 200 (1:41.85).