Hard to believe, but the winter sports season is offically upon us. The Watauga High boy's and girl's swimming teams opened their respective seasons at the Lenior Aquatic Center in Lenior, N.C., against South Caldwell, the host school, and East Burke.
The WHS girls split their dual meets. They defeated East Burke, 69-25, but lost to South Caldwell, 53-41. The Pioneers won four events. Anne Taylor won two events, the 50-meter freestyle (26.15) and the 100 butterfly (1:05.18); she also teamed up with Maddy Allain, Julianna Silver and Kimberley Vines in two relay events.
WHS won the 400 freestyle in 4:14.21, and they finished second in the 200-medley relay (2:04.13). Silver picked up a win in the 100 breaststroke in 1:19.20.
WHS posted a second-place finish in the 200-freestyle relay (Kurston Stang, Cheyenne Hayler, Lucy Edy and Dakota Wilson), crossing the finish line in 2:07.50. Wilson had a second-place finish (28.88) in the 50 freestyle; Hayler finished third in the girl's 200-freestyle (2:44.13).
Sydney Wiswell finished second in the 500 freestyle (7:21.89). Vines finished second in the 100 backstroke (1:09.87).
The WHS boys, like the girls, earned on split in Wednesday's season opener. They defeated East Burke, 54-40, but lost to South Caldwell, 51-43.
WHS won three events. Ben Watson won the 200 freestyle in 2:17.13, Nick Woody won the 100 butterfly (1:03.57), and WHS won the 400 freestyle relay (Woody, Watson, Joel Brown and Reed Conner) in 3:52.06.
Conner won the 100 backstroke (1:05.22) and he turned in a second-place finish in the 200 IM (2:18.41). Woody finished second in the 50 freestyle (25.01), Brown had a pair of second-place finishes in the 100 freestyle (56.98) and the 100 breaststroke (1:15.44), and Watson finished second in the 500 freestyle (6:28.88).
"For the first meet of the year, we had some strong swims," said WHS coach David Gragg. "Both teams graduated large amounts of swimmers from last year, so we are having to adjust to new events and getting new faces in events faster than we usually do.
"Returners Anne Taylor, Julianna Silver, Ben Watson, and Joel Brown turned in good swims to lead the team. Newcomers Nick Woody, Reed Conner, and Kimberly Vines helped replace some of the points we lost from last year. With the holiday season, we have a quick turn around to our next meet on Monday. Right now, it is just a learning process."
The Pioneers make their way back to the Lenior Aquatic Center for a quad-meet hosted by South Caldwell Monday night.