Bennett shatters another B-UHS swim record during Elkins meet


ELKINS — Back on Wednesday, January 19, the Buckhannon-Upshur swim teams traveled to Elkins for a dual, their last tune-up meet before the Big 10 Conference championship. Both of the B-UHS swim teams have been performing at peak efficient as they near the postseason.

The girl’s 200-yard medley relay team consisting of Seniors Cameron Zuliani and Abby Loudin and Juniors Alayna Whitehair and Cadence Vincent continued their run of dominance in the event, posting a combined time of 2:07.29 to take first place. The foursome looked primed to bring a conference championship to B-UHS if they continue to swim at such a high-level.

The boy’s 200-yard medley relay team consisting of Juniors Preston Bennett, Reis Leonard, and Owen Caynor, as well as freshman standout Carter Zuliani posted a time of 1:52.92 to sweep the nights first two events in favor of the Bucs. 

The girl’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Zuliani, Vincent, Whitehair, and Fetty scored a victory, posting the time of 1:49.57, beating the second-place time of 2:01.54 by comfortable margin. 

The boy’s 400-yard freestyle relay team consisting of senior Dmetriy Ormeno, and a trio of juniors in Owen Caynor, Reis Leonard, and Preston Bennett finished the night out strong in the dual’s last event, winning with a combined time of 4:01.29.

In terms of individual performances, juniors Cadence Vincent and Preston Bennett led the way for the girls and boys respectively. Vincent won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.91, with her closest competitor finishing nearly 6 second behind with a time of 29.00. Vincent also won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:00.33.

Preston Bennett won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.97. Bennett also went on to win the 100-yard backstroke, posting a time of 55.69, beat former Buccaneer Steven Wilson’s previous record time of 56.24 to set a school record. Bennett was the only competitor in the dual to finish the event in under a minute. With this time, Bennett collects his fourth career school, ensuring his legacy as one of the best B-UHS swimmers to grace the pool as only a junior. 

Senior Abby Loudin won the 100-yard backstroke event with a time of 1:26.15, while Whitehair won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:16.56 to round out the meet’s winners for the girl’s swim team.

Cameron Zuliani won the girl’s 100-yard freestyle posting a strong time of 56.87, outpacing her next closest competitors time of 59.13 by nearly 3 full seconds. Zuliani also finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke, right behind Whitehair, with a time of 1:16.91. The teammates clearly pushing each other to compete at their respective bests. It would seem that winning runs in the family as Cameron’s younger brother, freshman Carter Zuliani won the boy’s 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.99.

Junior Reis Leonard won the 100-yard breaststroke with a final time of 1:14.39, edging out teammate Owen Caynor’s second-place time of 1:22.61 to round out the list of meet’s winners for the boy’s swim team. Leonard also recorded a second-place finish in the 50-yard free, right behind his freshman teammate Carter Zuliani, with a time of 25.48. 

Other notable finishes from the B-UHS swim teams against Elkins were, junior Bradley Helmick finished second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:31.64. Sophomore Lillian Fetty finished second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:32.67. Fetty also finished second in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:51.34.

Michael Roessing, the head coach for both B-UHS swim teams, spoke on his team’s last meet before the Big 10 Conference championships, saying, “I was especially pleased with Carter Zuliani and Preston Bennett. Carter had a great 50-yard free and Preston broke the school-record in the 100-yard backstroke. Everyone else in right on track with preparation for the conference and state tournaments.

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