BRISTOL, Va. — Graham and Tazewell High swimmers found success Wednesday at the combined Class 1 and 2 Region D Swim and Dive Championships.
The schools combined to send 18 swimmers to the state meet which will occur February 19 in Richmond, Va.
Graham’s Conor Douthat defended his region title in the 100-yard breaststroke with a victory this time breaking the regional record he set last year. He also will be advancing to the state tournament after a third-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle.
For the third straight year Tazewell’s Margaret Anne Ridlehuber will be heading to the state tournament after placing second in the 200-yard individual medley and third in the 100-yard backstroke.
Teammate Brooke Day in her first year on the team placed second i the 100-yard freestyle and third in the 50-yard freestyle setting personal bests to qualify for the state meet.
Bulldogs sophomore Darcy Taylor set a personal record to finish second in the 100-yard breaststroke along with a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley.
Brady Jones of Graham will be competing at the state meet after placing third in the region for the 50-yard freestyle.
Teammate Ashley Cline came in fourth for the 50-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle.
Sisters Katie and Kara Benson both qualified for the state meet Wednesday. Katie placed fifth in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke with season best times. Kara swam to a third-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle.
The Tazewell senior trio of Miranda Brewster, Daniel Mullins and Claira Whitt will be competing in the state meet for the fourth consecutive year after strong races at the region meet.
Brewster set personal records in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard freestyle with fourth and fifth-place finishes, respectively. Whitt will be competing in the state meet after pacing fourth in the 500-yard freestyle in Bristol.
Mullins swam to a third-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly along with fifth-place in the 100-yard backstroke.
All five relay teams for Graham will advance to the state meet along with two from Tazewell.
Tazewell’s 200-yard freestyle girls relay team broke the region record which it set in 2018 to win the event and qualify for the state tournament. That relay team consisted of Day, Taylor, Brewster and Ridlehuber.
The 200-yard medley race saw both the Graham and Tazewell teams qualify for the state meet. Graham’s relay consisted of Lindsey Billips, the Benson sister and Cline while Tazewell placed third with Ridlehuber, Taylor, Brewster and Whitt.
The medley relay group for Graham also qualified for the state meet in the 200-yard freestyle relay while the 400-yard freestyle relay of Emma Donchetz, Payton Rice, Hannah White and Lexi Taylor-Willis will also be heading to Richmond.
Graham’s first boys relay team in school history of Jacob White, Aiden Stout, Douthat and Jones will compete in both the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay at the state meet.
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