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Delaney Householder wins 2nd title, Morgantown girls finish runner-up at state swim meet

MORGANTOWN — The second day of the 2024 WVSSAC high school state swimming championships took place on Friday at Mylan Aquatic Center inside the WVU swimming and diving complex.

Both Morgantown and University returned to the water with swimmers from the boys’ and girls’ sides in the morning preliminary races aiming to secure a spot in the championship finals later in the evening, while also helping their team scores in the overall standings.

The MHS girls got it started early with three of the six qualifiers in the finals of the girls’ 500-yard freestyle coming from Morgantown.

Senior Delaney Householder won her second individual title taking first overall with a time of 5:12.38. She was followed by fellow senior and teammate Lillian Linscheid who took runner-up finishing in 5:20.12. MHS sophomore Avery Householder finished sixth at 5:40.91.

“It’s been special to me to be able to swim at Morgantown and go out finally getting a state championship,” Delaney Housholder said. “I’ve been swimming with Lillian for so long and we’ve been beside each other our whole lives. Being able to go out alongside my best friends and my sister, and with my dad as the coach it’s incredible.”

Left to right, Morgantown’s Avery Householder, Delany Householder and Lillian Linscheid pose for a photo together after competing in the girls’s 500-yard freestyle. (Benjamin Powell/The Dominion Post)

The MHS girls relay team of the Householder sisters, Linscheid and freshman Maya Nalcakan took runner-up in the state finals of the 400-yard freestyle relay. Freshman Samantha Lindquist took ninth overall in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:15.15.

Two strong days in the water earned the Mohigans second overall for the state meet on the girls’ side.

“Super proud of the team, everyone swam so hard,” MHS coach Eric Householder said. “We are pleased that we put two swimmers on the all-tournament team with Lilly and Delaney and can’t wait to see them move on in college. We are excited for what we have coming next season also.”

On the boys’ side for MHS, sophomore Christian Hammer finished as state runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:53.50. His older brother, senior Daniel Hammer, took fifth overall in the 100-yard backstroke event. The two of them were joined by junior Colin Bailey and sophomore Lincoln Alugbuo in the 400-yard freestyle relay in a fourth-place finish with a time of 3:29.61. The same relay team took home fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay as well.

The MHS boys finished in sixth place in the team standings.

The Hawks qualified swimmers for five of the consolation heats in the championship finals. Freshman Tyler Zundell took 12th in the state in the 500-yard freestyle. He was joined by sophomore Sam Denne and juniors Nate Lindsay and Owen Cosner in the 200-yard freestyle relay where they finished 11th overall with a time of 1:41.77.

University’s Tyler Zundell competes in the boys’ 500-yard freestyle at the state swim meet on Friday evening. (Benjamin Powell/The Dominion Post)

For the girls’ relay team of freshman Monica Fisher, junior Isabella Ratnour, and seniors Maddie McCoy and Haley Kramer, two relay heats were on the docket.

They finished eighth in the state in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:50.56 and ninth in the 400-yard freestyle relay clocking a 4:06.91. Kramer was the lone individual girls swimmer for UHS on the day and finished 10th in the state in the 100-yard breaststroke.

“I remember first joining the team in my sophomore year and being nervous and scared,” McCoy said, reflecting on her career. “Coach (Nicolle) Davis told me to aim to swim a 29 in my first relay, and to see myself swim a 25 today just shows how far I’ve come and how the work has paid off. Just before the relay today, Haley and I kept saying how it was our final time and we wanted to go out leaving everything in the water.”

Kramer said she took a break from swimming a few years ago and seeing herself get back to the point of qualifying for finals in every event that she entered meant the world to her.

“I’ve built some great relationships here also,” she said. “Everyone on the team means a lot to me and everything I do is for everybody else.”

Coach Nicolle Davis spoke highly of her two seniors.

“These two, and all our swimmers, mean so much to me,” she said. “I’ve had both of them my entire time as a head coach and as Maddy was saying they dropped time in their events, Haley dropped time in her breaststroke. I am so proud of everyone and to be their coach and of the way they continue to strive to improve and work hard every day.”

The UHS girls finished in 15th overall, while the boys finished in 16th.

Huntington finished first overall as a team on the boys’ side, with Elkins earning the top spot for the girls.