South boys capture regional

WELLSBURG – Talk about performing a double-double.

That’s what the boys swim team from Parkersburg South did on Saturday at the Region One Meet conducted at Brooke High School.

The Patriots, who already had doubled up as the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference champions, won their second straight regional title on Saturday, coming out on top of a day-long dual with rival Parkersburg High, 123 to 110.

The Big Reds placed second in both competitions as the Morgantown girls rolled to a 140 to 108 win over runnerup Parkersburg. Wheeling Park was third followed by Brooke, Parkersburg South, University, Wheeling Central, John Marshall, Williamstown and Weir.

“It was a good day,” said South head coach Steve Lutz, who watched his boys break six team records during the meet.

It was a good day for individual swimmers as the six top scorers -who composed the all-regional team -included Patriots Joe Miller, Garrett Fink and Lane Burton and Big Reds Preston Padden and Sean Snider.

Miller and Padden were double winners in individual events with Miller taking the 200 and 500 freestyle races and Padden winning the 50 and 100 freestyle sprints.

Burton won the 100 backstroke and was second in the 200 individual medley while Fink won the 100 butterfly and was second in the 50 freestyle. Snider was second in the 200 and 500 freestyle races.

South also got a first from Garrett DePergola in the 100 breaststroke and a pair of third from Kinzie Bailey.

Although PHS swept the relays, South finished second in all three races, staying right with their city rivals.

“PHS has a good team,” said Lutz. “We feed off of each other. If you laid it out on paper, we went in as an underdog. But the kids earned it today. They’ve worked hard all season.”

South won in a way that is unusual for the Patriots. In past meets, they had tried to overwhelm foes with quantity, piling up lots of points without winning many events. On Saturday, the Patriots also got their share of firsts.

The Big Red girls didn’t win any events but got a second from Tara Foster in the 50 freestyle and a third from Claire Collett in the 200 freestyle as both earned a spot on the all-regional team. PHS also qualified all three of its relays. South placed fourth in all three relay races and while only the the top three automatically qualified for the state, it’s likely those finishes will earn the Patriots berths in the final meet of the year, set for the WVU Natatorium in Morgantown next Thursday and Friday.