The Dominion Post  

MHS, UHS swimmers set up shots at state crowns

Created on:   Fri, Feb 16, 2018   12:18 AM

Last modified:   Fri, Feb 16, 2018   12:18 AM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — When Morgantown High senior Abigail Riggs hit the final 25 yard stretch in the 500 yard freestyle during the Feb. 15 state swimming championship preliminaries, there was no one within 20 seconds of her.

As she hit the finish line, she glanced at the scoreboard in the upper left corner of the WVU Natatorium. The time read “5:19.57,” good enough for a season best and her second first-place finish of the morning.

“It was pretty exciting,” Riggs said of her performance. “As a senior, it’s almost all you can ask for to be seeded first in finals in two individual events. I’m just grateful to have qualified.”

Riggs opened her individual slate with a first-place finish in the 200 individual medley, shattering her personal best by four seconds with a time of 2:14.42. The mark was a school record for MHS.

“That was definitely my highlight swim of the day,” Riggs said. “I was really excited about the time, because I didn’t expect to drop that much.”

Riggs’ stout performance paced MHS, which turned in five top six finishes (to make the championship finals) and seven top 12 finishes (to make the consolation finals) individually. In addition, both MHS relay teams that competed advanced to the championship finals.

Complementing Riggs was sophomore McKenna Moore, who turned in a third-place finish to advance to the championship finals in the 200 freestyle, and a seventh to advance to the consolation finals in the 100 butterfly.

“It’s super cool that I finished top three. I’ve never done that before,” Moore said. “Its super nerve racking [entering third], but I’ve swum against these people and I know what they can do. Now I just have to go off what I know I can do.”

Sophomore Riley Pierce also advanced to championship finals, in the 50 freestyle and 100 free-style, finishing third and first, respectively.

Senior Abby Voorhees qualified for consolation finals in the 100 backstroke with a 10th place finish, and the team of Moore, Pierce, Riggs and Voorhees rounded off the day by advancing to championship finals in both the 200 and 400 free-style relays, finishing third and second, respectively.


University High junior Jacqueline McCutchan turned in a landmark performance Thursday, breaking school records in both the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke, finishing first and third, respectively, and advancing to the championship finals. McCutchan dropped 2.53 seconds in the backstroke, recording a mark of 59.32, while she recorded a .38 second personal best in the freestyle with a time of 24.46.

“It’s very important to me because I train hard year-round,” McCutchan said. “I love swimming, and it’s nice to see the payoff at the end of the year. It’s also nice to get recognition for something I train hard for.”

McCutchan will be joined in champoionship finals by freshman Mia Rice, who placed fifth in both the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke.

“It means a lot,” Rice said of the performance. “I haven’t been swimming that long, so it just proves me hard work. It’s incredible — it feels good.”

McCutchan and Rice also paced the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay alongside sophomore Emma Kitzmiller and freshman Victoria Maumbe. The squads finished eighth and seventh, respectively, setting team bests in both races and qualifying for consolation finals.

200 medley relay: 8th, UHS, Jacqueline McCutchan, Mia Rice, Emma Kitzmiller, Victoria Maumbe (2:03.47).

200 freestyle: 3rd, MHS, McKenna Moore (2:02.23); 5th, UHS, Mia Rice (2:09.03).

200 individual medley: 1st, MHS, Abigail Riggs (2:14.42).

50 freestyle: 1st, UHS, Jacqueline McCutchan (24.46); 3rd, MHS Riley Pierce (24.86); 18th, MHS, Abby Voorhees (27.19)

100 butterfly: 7th, MHS, McKenna Moore (1:04.24); 19th, UHS, Emma Kitzmiller (1:11.59).

100 freestyle: 1st, MHS, Riley Pierce (54.11).

500 freestyle: 1st, MHS, Abigail Riggs (5:19.57).

200 freestyle relay: 3rd, MHS, McKenna Moore, Abby Voorhees, Abigail Riggs, Riley Pierce (1:44.27); 7th, UHS, Jacqueline McCutchan, Victoria Maumbe, Emma Kitzmiller, Mia Rice (1:49.48).

100 backstroke: 3rd, UHS, Jacqueline McCutcha (59.32); 10th, MHS Abby Voorhees (1:06.68).

100 breaststroke: 5th, UHS Mia Rice (1:15.04).

400 freestyle relay: 2nd, MHS, McKenna Moore, Abby Voorhees, Abigail Riggs, Riley Pierce (3:47).