Gold medal for Snider

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Thanks in part to state champion Sean Snider’s big day, the boys swim team from Parkersburg High School finished sixth at the state meet, which concluded Friday at West Virginia University’s Natatorium.

George Washington swept the team titles. The GW boys won for the third straight year while the Patriot girls topped Morgantown to keep the Mohigans from three-peating.

Snider, a junior for the Big Reds, nearly claimed two individual state titles. He topped the field in the 500 freestyle with a winning effort of 4:52.31 and had to settle for runner-up honors in the 200 freestyle to Jefferson senior Keegan Simmons. Simmons touched the wall in 1:44.86, which was just 27-tenths of a second faster than Snider.

“I wouldn’t say I’m upset about it (not winning twice),” said Snider, who earned all-state honors by finishing as one of the top six boys’ point scorers, where he actually tied Simmons for fourth overall. “I gave that race (200 freestyle) everything I had. In the end, Keegan Simmons was just a bit better than I was this year.

“I got all best times today so I’m pretty proud of what I did. I was pretty confident coming in I could place pretty high in both and my goal was to win both. I came up a little short, but I got all-state and did pretty well. All-state is a big honor.”

Freshman teammate Preston Padden was a runner-up in the 100 freestyle (47.03) and took third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.83. Snider and Padden joined fellow Big Reds Nic Cheuvront and Peyton Hughes to take a pair of fourths in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, respectively.

“I think we would’ve liked to have finished a little higher as a team,” added Snider, who just edged Simmons last year when the Big Red finished second in the 200 freestyle. “The relays this year were much faster than last year.”

Parkersburg’s girls also took sixth place as a team for Big Red head coach Linda Alt.

“The kids were very happy. Everybody that scored for us is back except for Alexa Standley,” said Alt, whose top individual finish for the girls came from Claire Collett taking fourth in the 200 freestyle.

Collett also finished seventh in the 500 freestyle. Also placing for the red and white as individuals were Sarah Snider (11th, 200 freestyle), Alexa Standley (10th, 50 freestyle), Jen Standley (7th, 100 freestyle) and Hannah Wareheim (9th, 100 breaststroke; 12th, 500 freestyle).

Parkersburg’s top team effort came in the 200 freestyle relay where the quartet of Jen Standley, Tara Foster, Lacey Dulaney and Alexa Standley finished fourth. Snider, Dulaney, Collett and Jen Standley, the lead swimmer, took fifth in the 400 freestyle relay. The red and white managed a sixth place showing in the 200 medley relay thanks to Collett, Wareheim, Alexa Standley and the anchor Foster.

The Parkersburg South boys, who finished 16th in the team race, were led by Garrett Fink’s time of 1:54.98 in the 200 freestyle, which landed him in seventh place. Teammate Joe Miller clocked in at 1:58.46 and took 11th in the same event.

Miller finished one spot behind teammate Kinzie Bailey, who was 11th, in the 500 freestyle. The Patriots’ only other individual placer was Garrett DePergola in the 200 individual medley where his time of 2:17.36 was good for 10th.

Parkersburg South’s top relay effort was eighth in the 400 freestyle. The team was comprised of lead man Corey Johnson, Bailey, Miller and Fink. Johnson, Miller, DePergola and Ryan Pritchard finished 11th in the 200 freestyle relay.

The Patriot girls, who scored three points and finished in a tie for 25th with Hedgesville in the team standings, had one individual placer. Freshman Emily Gersper’s time of 1:17.98 allowed her to take 12th in the 100 breaststroke. Gersper was one of the legs on the Patriots’ 12th place 200 freestyle relay team and was joined by Rachel Kirk, Ryan Hesselrode and Anna Pasternak.