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Marietta, Warren swimmers compete at South’s Fast Water Invitational | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo by Kerry Patrick
Members of Marietta’s 200 medley relay cheer for their teammate during Saturday’s Fast Water Invitational at the Boys and Girls Club in Parkersburg. Pictured are, from left: Emily Arnold, Lucy Scott and Kayla Stewart.

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg South coaching staff went back looking into the archives trying to remember the last time a Patriots’ girls squad won an invitational.

For the first time in at least 10 years, South’s girls snapped the drought after winning five events and piling up 475 points for the team championship during Saturday’s Fast Water Invitational at the Boys and Girls Club.

Jordan Claypoole won two individual events (50 free and 100 back), and was a member of two first-place relays (200 medley relay and 400 free relay).

South captain Alia Ott also swam on the two victorious relays and took first place in the 200 freestyle.

“Recently, our coaches have been working hard to get us trained — it’s been very hard,” Claypoole said. “All of us are very tired but swimming very well at the same time. Mentally we are good and physically we are just as strong.”

Joining the South girls in the winner’s circle were their male counterparts, who accumulated 511 points compared to 332 for runner–up Newark. Quade Harris was the picture of perfection after posting wins in both his two individual events (200 individual medley and 100 backstroke) and his two relays (200 medley relay and 400 free relay).

South coach Ryan Radcliff threw a few wrinkles in the lineup, including a first time attempt in the 200 IM for Harris. Teammate Jackson Dearth added a fourth win for the Patriot boys after capturing the 50 free.

“What impressed me were some of the newer kids who were dropping times,” South assistant coach Don Bailey said. “They may not have been way up in the scoring but these young kids are on the rise.”

The Fast Water Invite featured six schools, and a seventh represented on the boys side with Wood County Christian sophomore Isaiah Boardman placing fifth in the 100 free and sixth in the 100 breaststroke. Boardman is also a member of the Wildcat boys basketball team.

Marietta and Warren sent a full contingent of swimmers, while Doddridge County fielded seven girls and one boy — Kaden Stewart placing third in the 100 backstroke an fourth in the 100 fly.

“With the 100 backstroke, Kaden is in a good place right now,” Doddridge County coach Melanie Jett said. “He’s been struggling a little bit in the butterfly. This is his first year in this event.

“I’m impressed with my girls. They are progressing together. The are knocking off time little by little.”

Warren’s girls placed runner-up in the girls team standings with 332 points on the strength of individual victories by Ashley Miller (200 IM), Fiona McHenry (500 free) and Lily Herriott (100 breast). Three years since the inception of the swim program, the Warriors’ numbers have climbed to 22 this season, with 14 considered first-year swimmers.

“As far as getting numbers, a lot of it is by word of mouth — we have a lot of cross country and track kids that are doing it as well,” Warren coach Jenny Miller said. “Everybody is working hard. They tell me they are dying, yet they come back for more.”

On the boys side for Warren, freshman Mason Francis brought home the lone victory after nipping Dearth by 22-hundredths of a second. As a team, the Warriors scored 207 points — good for a fourth-place showing.

The Marietta boys finished one slot higher than Warren as the Tigers posted a 244-point showing thanks in part to Owen Zundell, who won the 200 free and 100 breaststroke while joining the 200 free relay for one of Marietta’s four victories. Teammate Taten Ayers captured the 500 free.

Zundell is among a host of Marietta seniors and embraces his role as a team captain.

“I’ve been on this team for four years, and had some great guys come before me along with girls who were team captains,” Zundell said. “It’s an honor to have this position as a captain.

“It was nice swimming out there today — we had some competition and I’m glad I could squeeze out a couple of wins,” Zundell said. “My times at these meets last year were faster but I am getting where I want to be.”

The Marietta girls were credited a pair of wins — one by Kayla Stewart in the 100 fly and the foursome of Emily Arnold, Lucy Scott, Alexandria Friemann and Stewart in the 200 free relay.

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