BUCKHANNON – Freshman Preston Bennett claimed two first places and broke a meet record for the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers in the Region III Championships that the Bucs hosted Saturday at the West Virginia Wesleyan College pool.
Bennett broke the Region III meet record in the 500-yard freestyle taking first place with a time of 5:07.22.
The old record was set in 2014 by Bridgeport’s Matt Lowther at 5:09.43.
Bennett also picked up a first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:53.19.
For his efforts, Bennett was named to the All-Region III swim team.
Bennett’s two finishes helped the Bucs to a third-place finish as a team in the eight-team event.
The Bucs amassed 69 points while Bridgeport won the regional title with 167 points while Robert C. Byrd was second with 80 points.
The Bucs accomplished this with just seven swimmers.
Sam Squires finished the event with a pair of thirds in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard freestyle.
He had a time of 1:07.55 in the 100-yard breaststroke and a clocking of 51.76 in the 100-yard freestyle.
Garrett Butler took sixth place in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:19.36.
Dane Ammons swam to a pair of seventh place finishes with a time of 1:07.79 in the 100-yard backstroke and a clocking of 57.75 in the 100-yard freestyle.
Reis Leonard and Owen Caynor had the other two individual finishes for the Bucs as Leonard took ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:11.52 and Caynor was 10th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:20.40.
All three Buccaneer relay teams had top five finishes.
The foursome of Ammons, Squires, Bennett and Leonard took second in the 200-yard medley relay (1:55.74), the team of Rhett Ammons, Leonard, Caynor and Butler finished fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay (4:20.81) and the quartet of Butler, Ammons, Bennett and Squires placed fifth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.59).
“Overall, I could not have possibly asked for a better meet from the whole team,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Will Squires. “We had some kids swim amazing times. Bennett had two very impressive swims and Squires competed and qualified in an event he has only swam once this season.”
While it wasn’t expected to become official until Monday night by the WVSSAC, the Bucs should have four swimmers qualify for the state meet – Bennett, Squires, Dane Ammons and Leonard.
The state meet will be held Feb. 20-21 at the Mylan Park Aquatic Center in Morgantown.
“We are excited about what is to come at the state meet,” stated Squires. “We definitely have more business to take care of in Morgantown. The student-athletes deserve every bit of success they've had this season. Their work ethic since the end of October has paid off thus far.”
1. Bridgeport 167; 2. Robert C. Byrd 80; 3. Buckhannon-Upshur 69; 4. Elkins 67; 5. Notre Dame 38; 6. Grafton 24; 7. PikeView 9; 8. Woodrow Wilson 1.
50-yard freestyle – Owen Caynor (16th) 28.01; Reis Leonard (17th) 28.20; Rhett Ammons (24th) 31.82.
100-yard backstroke – Dane Ammons (7th) 1:07.79; Reis Leonard (9th) 1:11.52.
100-yard breaststroke – Sam Squires (3rd) 1:07.55; Owen Caynor (10th) 1:20.40.
100-yard butterfly – None.
100-yard freestyle – Sam Squires (3rd) 51.76; Dane Ammons (7th) 57.75; Garrett Butler (13th) 1:02.14; Rhett Ammons (23rd) 1:11.06.
200-yard freestyle – Preston Bennett (1st) 1:53.19; Garrett Butler (6th) 2:19.36.
200-yard IM – None.
500-yard freestyle – Preston Bennett (1st) 5:07.22.
200-yard freestyle relay – Garrett Butler, Dane Ammons, Preston Bennett, Sam Squires (5th) 1:42.59.
200-yard medley relay – Dane Ammons, Sam Squires, Preston Bennett, Reis Leonard (2nd) 1:55.74.
400-yard freestyle relay – Rhett Ammons, Reis Leonard, Owen Caynor, Garrett Butler (4th) 4:20.81.