The Dominion Post  

University swimmer sets school mark in boys’ prelims

Created on:   Fri, Feb 16, 2018   12:22 AM

Last modified:   Fri, Feb 16, 2018   12:21 AM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — University High senior Griffin Nordstrom crossed the line fourth overall in the 200-yard freestyle during the state swimming championships preliminaries Feb. 15. For most, a fourth-place finish isn’t a head turner, but for Nordstrom, it was.

When he finished the race with a mark of 1:53.15, Nordstrom shattered an 11-year-old UHS record in the event. It was his first top six finish of the day, and it earned him a spot in championship finals.

“I’m really happy I’ve got the record,” Nordstrom said. “I’ve swum the 200 at states every year, and last year I was close to getting the record but didn’t make it. It’s nice to have the record in both my individuals and all three relays.”

Nordstrom also qualified for championship finals in the 500 freestyle, where he notched a fourth-place finish as well.

“I was very satisfied. It’s a huge relief,” Nordstrom said. “Getting into finals is a big deal because you’re guaranteed a top six placing no matter your time. Now I know at the worst [today], I’ll be getting sixth.”

UHS junior Nathan Mizener is a professional on the mountain biking trail, but not so much in the pool.

“Swimming is not my main sport, it’s not even like my fifth sport,” Mizener said with a chuckle. “It’s something to keep me active in the winter and to keep me involved in the high school. Unlike the others here, I don’t swim year-round.”

The acclaimed BMX athlete, who rides for Wamsley Cycles of Morgantown, knows his strong suits, and his primary goal was just to advance to the second day of the state championship. His fate was in doubt, however, when he turned up in a tie with another swimmer during the 50 freestyle, lingering near the cutoff line for the consolation final.

“It was too close for comfort,” Mizener said. “We didn’t really know if I was in or out. It was a state of confusion.”

In the end, Mizener ended tied for 11th, which earned him the final spot in today’s race. After the near miss, he was just grateful to advance.

“My goal of making it to tomorrow, it happened,” Mizener said. “if I had to describe the emotions, it’s a lot of hard work paying off.”


Carson Gresak felt acutely alone in his Morgantown attire, as he was the lone representative for MHS in the boys’ state meet. He didn’t let the pressure get to him, though, as he turned in a 10th place performance in the 50 freestyle to advance to the consolation finals today.

“It’s something that, even though I’m the only one out here [for MHS], it’s an honor,” Gresak said.

During last year’s meet, Gresak advanced to the second day of competition on a relay team, and is excited to face the new challenge of competing on the biggest day of the year individually.

“This year, to be out here as an individual, it’s very different,” he said.

Gresak was happy to advance, but feels like he has more in the tank for today’s race.

“I feel like I want to do better today,” he said. “I made consolation finals, which was my primary goal, but I wanted to try and get top eight or top six, and I didn’t.”

Area results:

200 freestyle: 4th, UHS, Griffin Nordstrom (1:53.13).

50 freestyle: 10th, MHS, Carson Gresak (24.34); T-11th, UHS, Nathan Mizener (24.39).

500 freestyle: 4th, UHS, Griffin Nordstrom (5:21.32).