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Otters make a splash at meet

Elkins finishes second at Stealey Invitational

July 26, 2012
By Edgar Kelley - Sports Editor ( , The Inter-Mountain

CLARKSBURG?- The Elkins Otters swim team placed second at the Stealey Invitational last weekend.

Elkins finished with a score of 460.5, behind West Virginia Aquatics and its final tally of 721.

Stealey (387.5), Buckhannon (344) and Fairmont (287) rounded out the top five overall standings.

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"I was very pleased with how we finished," Elkins coach Sarah Schmidt said. "The only team that beat us is a year-round squad, where we're just a summer program. But our kids came out and performed very well."

Elkins scored a 308 to lead all other boys squads. The Elkins girls team finished in fifth place with 152.5.

"I was really shocked with how well our boys team did," Schmidt said. "They had a fantastic meet."

Conner Gill led the Elkins boys team by capturing four first-place medals in the 15 to 16 year-old age group. Gill earned top honors in the 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter freestyle.

"Conner is the only senior we have on the team and he came out and did very well," Schmidt said.

Braxton Kenney won two events for Elkins in the 8-year-old and under division.

Kenney earned top honors in the 25-meter backstroke and the 50-meter backstroke.

Robert Hall rounded out the individual winners for Elkins by taking first place in the 50-meter breaststroke.

Elkins also had four boys relay teams garner victories. The Otters' 13-14 year-old 200-meter freestyle relay team (Dylan White, Josh Stephenson, Brendan Wallace, Brendan Cain), 15-18 year-old 200-meter freestyle relay team (Robert Hall, Jonathan Gainer, Tyler Kenney, Gill), 15-18 year-old 200-meter medley relay team (Hall, Gill, Gainer, Brian Cox) and its 8-and- under 100-meter medley relay team (Braxton Kenney, Andrew Shiflett, Luke Anger, Tyler Ludwig) all placed first.

On the girls side, Samantha Hall shined for Elkins in the 13-14 year-old division. Like Gill, Hall placed first in four events. She took top honors in the 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle.

"Samantha did very well at the meet," Schmidt said. "Hopefully she will continue to excel and come back even better next season."

Kayla Gainer also earned a first place finish for Elkins in the 15-18 year-old 50-meter breaststroke.

Elkins' 13-14 year-old 200-meter girls freestyle relay team also placed first at the competition. Hall, Tayler Lee, Abby Bowley and Skout Barger make up the unit.

The second place finish was the first time the Otters weren't victorious this season. Elkins finishes the campaign with a 10-1 record.

"We were very close to winning the Stealey and finishing 10-0," Schmidt said. "I'm very pleased with how this team performed all season long, especially with all the younger kids we had. Hopefully we'll be just as strong if not stronger next season."



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