Cougars take Panhandle swim titles

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Jefferson turned aside challenges from Musselman, Washington, Hedgesville, Martinsburg, and Hampshire to win both divisions of the annual Eastern Panhandle Championships swim competition.

The Jefferson boys amassed 173 points to outdistance Musselman (103), Washington (73), Hedgesville (67), Hampshire (64), and Martinsburg (34).

Keegan Simmons was his usual double-winning self taking both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. Also giving the Cougars two wins in individual races (500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke) was Henry deBuchananne.

Jefferson had firsts in the 400 freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay.

Washington got an individual win from Shawn Gee, who set a meet record in the 100 backstroke.

The Jefferson girls totaled 172 points to turn aside the challenges from Hedgesville (135), Washington (93), Martinsburg (93), Musselman (45), and Hampshire (28).

Luisa Holland, who has dominated the swimmers from the five other Eastern Panhandle schools, placed first in both the 200 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke.

Mia Holland gave Jefferson a win in the 200 individual medley and Kaley Hoffman provided the Lady Cougars with an individual victory in the 100 butterfly.

Jefferson’s two relay wins in the girls division came in the 400 freestyle and the 200 medley relay.

Both Jefferson and Washington won’t have to travel to Fairmont for this year’s Region II Meet. For the first time ever, that meet will be held at the Shepherd Wellness Center. That swim meet will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. with as many as 11 schools participating.

All six Eastern Panhandle schools could be joined by Fairmont Senior, East Fairmont, Preston County, North Marion, and Doodridge County.

Fairmont Senior, East Fairmont, and North Marion are now Class AA schools and Doddridge County is a Class A school. Preston County remains a Class AAA school.

The Cougars have meets tonight at the Hagerstown (Md.) YMCA against St. Maria Goretti.

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