9 B-UHS swimmers to compete at state championship meet

All 9 state qualifiers, ready to bring home state titles. PHOTO SUBMITTED

BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School swimming teams, under the guidance of head coach Michael Roessing, have had a very successful 2021-22 campaign. At the West Virginia, Region III Championship meet, 9 Buckhannon swimmers qualified for the upcoming WVSSAC High School State Championships held in Morgantown at the Mylan Aquatic Center. The meet, spanning Thursday February 17 and Friday February 18, will be the season’s final test for this talented group of swimmers who have earned the right to compete amongst the state’s best.

Senior Cameron Zuliani leads the list of the state qualifying Buccaneer swimmers. At the 2021 state meet, Zuliani earned a bronze medal finish in the 100-yard breaststroke and narrowly missed out on a top three finish by taking fourth-place in the 100-yard fly last year at states. This year, Zuliani qualified for states in the 100-yard fly, the 100-yard freestyle medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay.

After posting a silver medal finish in the 500-yard freestyle and a bronze medal finish in the 200-yard freestyle at the 2021 state meet as a sophomore, junior star Preston Bennett has been a dominant force in the pool all season long, breaking records in his drive to return to the big stage. Following his outstanding showing at the Region III Championship meet, Bennett qualified for states in the 200-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 500-yard freestyle medley relay.

Returning to the state meet after gaining first place finishes in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle is University of Alabama swimming commit and West Virginia’s #1-ranked (#162-ranked nationally) junior Candence Vincent. The star swimmer qualified for states in both events, as well as the 200-yard freestyle.

After a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke and a seventh place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke last year, junior Alayna Whitehair will be competing in the 200-yard IM, 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard freestyle relay

This week, junior Owen Caynor will make his second appearance at states after competing in the 50-yard freestyle last year. This year, Caynor qualified for states as part of the boys medley relay team in the 200-yard freestyle.

Coming off a sixth place finish at regionals in the 500-yard freestyle, sophomore Lillian Fetty qualified for states in the 500-yard freestyle.

Last year, junior Reis Leonard took sixth-place at states in both the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, this year he returns to compete in the 100-yard breaststroke and as part the boys 200-yard freestyle relay team.

Freshmen Riley Vincent and Carter Zuliani have put together strong debut high school swimming seasons culminating in the duo making their first appearance in the state championship meet. Vincent qualified in the 100-yard backstroke and as part of the girls 200-yard freestyle relay team, while Zuliani qualified for the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and as part of the boys 200-yard freestyle relay team.

From everyone at The Record Delta, good luck B-UHS swimmers!

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