Dover swims to Ohio Valley titles
STEUBENVILLE — The prep swimming season hasn’t been truncated by the coronavirus pandemic because it started on time and is progressing as scheduled.
However, area teams have fought plenty of COVID-related challenges this winter.
A sense of normalcy occurred Saturday at the Steubenville High School natatorium when all of the Ohio-side OVAC member swim teams gathered for the inaugural Ohio Valley Swim Invite.
Dover won the girls and boys team titles, accumulating 475 and 505 points, respectively. St. Clairsville’s talented girls squad finished second with 353 points, while the New Philadelphia boys were a distant second with 248 tallies.
The Steubenville girls finished third overall with 180 points. Catholic Central was 10th (63), Indian Creek 11th (59) and Edison 13th (41).
On the boys side, Creek was third (183 points), Steubenville ninth (95), Edison 10th (51) and CCHS 11th (34).
St. Clairsville, though it finished second overall, won the most individual events during the course of the meet. All told, the Red Devils claimed seven titles.
Individually, the Red Devils received a pair of wins from both senior standout Maggie Marody and junior dandy Casadie DiBetta.
Marody was the first St. C. individual who grab a title. She posted an impressive 1:58.93 to win the 200 free.
The Niagara University signee steamrolled the competition in her specialty, the 500 freestyle. She posted a 5:17.63, which was 34 seconds better than Dover’s Olivia Noretto. Actually, DiBetta would have won the boys title by nearly three full seconds.
DiBetta, the reigning Division II state runner-up in the 100 breaststroke, claimed her specialty in a swim away. She touched the wall in 1:06.99, which was almost 10 seconds faster than her nearest competitor.
Earlier in the meet, DiBetta won the 100 fly in 60.05, which was nearly two seconds better than her teammate and classmate Olivia Moyer, who also added a bronze medal in the 100 backstroke.
Junior speedster Kylie McKeegan posted a 26-flat to win the 50 freestyle. She added a silver in the 100 free in 57.07.
St. C. ignited its winning ways when the team of Moyer, DiBetta, McKeegan and Brenna Planey, who was also third in the 50 free, joined forces for a 1:54.21 to win the 200 medley relay.
The Red Devils capped the meet with a victory in the final event. The team of McKeegan, Planey, Marody and DiBetta swam 3:50.19 to win the 400 free relay.
The only individual to win a title on the boys side who wasn’t from Tuscarawas County was Cambridge’s Alex Shockley, who posted a 23.95 to win the 50 free. He was also second in the 100 freestyle.
St. Clairsville, which boasts just four male swimmers, finished fourth in the team standings with 182 points.
Individually, the Red Devils were led by Jack Gasber, who was third in the 200 free; Nathan Yost, who was third in the 100 fly and second in the 100 backstroke; Evan Yost, who placed third in the 100 backstroke; Jack Gasber, who was second in the 100 breast.
The Red Devils team of Evan Yost, Jack Gasber, Nathan Yost and Brendan Miller finished second in the 200 medfey relay with a 1:52.10. They later finished second in the 400 free with a 3:42.30.