The Dominion Post  

State swimming: Pierce, Riggs state champs

Created on:   Fri, Feb 16, 2018   11:50 PM

Last modified:   Fri, Feb 16, 2018   11:49 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — As Morgantown sophomore Riley Pierce turned to swim the final stretch in the 100-yard freestyle, she was neck-and-neck with St Albans’ Regan Raines.

The two posted marks within .02 seconds of each other in the preliminary round and had been battling for the lead throughout the state swimming championships, on Feb. 16, at the WVU Natatorium.

“I was just thinking the whole time, I’ve got to keep pushing,” Pierce said.

The crowd roared, as the two quickly swam for the finish. As the pair hit the wall, it was too close to call.

All eyes quickly turned to the scoreboard in wait of the official time, which was a tie, at
53.52 seconds.

“It was unbelievable,” Pierce said. “I don’t even remember what happened, it was so fast.”

The win was Pierce’s second championship win of the day, her first coming with a 24.45 in the
50-yard freestyle.

Pierce also rewrote the history books at MHS with the wins, breaking the 50 freestyle school record by .4 seconds, and the 100 freestyle school record by .5 seconds.

“It’s crazy, I can’t even process it,” Pierce said. “It’s a great experience, and I’m just so grateful to be a part of this team.”

Pierce, however, wasn’t the only Mohigan to leave the meet with gold.

She was joined by senior Abigail Riggs, who scored a first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle.

“I was super excited about my 500. I felt good about it,” Riggs said. “I switched up my race strategy today, and it got me a state title. I’m glad I was able to represent MHS.”

Riggs also earned a third-place finish in the 200-yard Individual Medley, while sophomore McKenna Moore took third in the 200-yard freestyle and seventh in the 100-yard butterfly.

Senior Abby Voorhees notched a 12th-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke, and joined Moore, Pierce, and Riggs in the 400-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard freestyle relays.

Overall, MHS scored 122.5 points at the meet, good for fifth place among 22 teams.


University junior Jacqueline McCutchan hit the wall to finish second during the 100-yard freestyle, but she earned a personal victory — she set her second school record of the weekend, recording a mark of 59.12.

“It’s very exciting,” McCutchan said. “It feels good to see my hard work pay off and that my school, coaches, and teammates are so supportive of me.”

McCutchan also earned runner-up honors in the 50-yard freestyle, in which she set a school record on Thursday with the fastest time in preliminaries.

“It feels very good,” McCutchan said of her weekend performance. “I have the club state championship meet week in two weeks and this helped me get ready for that, which is exciting.”