Times West Virginian
The swimming season is winding down. But the Fairmont Senior boys’ team isn’t going out without making one final splash on the state level.
Several Polar Bears turned in strong performances Thursday at West Virginia University Natatorium to qualify for the finals, which begin today at 4:40 p.m.
The Polar Bears will send three relay teams to the pool today.
The 200-yard medley relay comprised of Brandon Ralston, Ben Stewart, Isaac Kinder and Jeremy Sheppard finished fourth in the preliminaries with a time of 1:27.94.
Stewart, Kinder and Sheppard also teamed up with Taylor Campbell to take fourth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:35.06.
And Ralston, Joseph Austin, Sheppard and Campbell qualified seventh for the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:38.78.
Individually, Kinder, Campbell, Ralston and Stewart earned their right to race on the final day of the season.
Campbell qualified individually for the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. He touched the wall at 22.31 in the 50-yard freestyle to earn fourth and finished the 100-yard freestyle in 48.92 seconds, the second-fastest time of the night. His 100-yard freestyle time broke Fairmont Senior’s school record, which was previously held by Andrew Bonasso (49.16.)
Kinder will join Campbell in the 100-yard freestyle. His time of 53.20 was good enough for 10th. The sophomore also took 10th in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:58.84.
Ralston qualified for the final of the 100-yard backstroke. His time of 1:02.18 earned him eighth. And Stewart touched the wall 10th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:08.40.
Fairmont Senior swimming coach Michelle Bright said the big stage didn’t seem to phase her team.
“They handled it like champs,” she said. “They’re a very mature group. They’re very competitive. They know what they have to do and they get it done.”