MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - George Washington took home its fourth consecutive tite Friday at the 2014 State Swimming Championships Meet, leaving seniors Josh Barnette and Zach Kidd with mixed emotions at the WVU Natatorium..
The duo began its final high school meet with an near-record-breaking 1:40.99 win in the 200 medley relay, where they were joined by juniors David Nason and Nick Peyatte.
"Honestly, we came in here wanting to beat the record, but it ultimately doesn't matter," Kidd said. "We came out and tried our hardest and pulled out the win and that's all you can ask for."
Kidd earlier in the evening took first place in the 500 freestyle with a 4:47.31, leaving second-place Parkersburg swimmer Sean Snider 7 seconds behind him.
Kidd and Barnette were a crucial part of the 400 freestyle relay final event. David Nason and Matt Nelson starting the relay for George Washington were nearly a second behind Notre Dame's team of Andrew Boyles, Woody Cavallo, Grant Cunningham, and Jake Preaskorn.
Once Kidd jumped in the water with 200 yards to go, they took a small lead on the Irish, and Barnette finished the last 100 yards of his final prep race with a yet-again nearly record-breaking 3:19.41.
"It was a very emotional race for me," Barnette said. "I had to hold in some emotions because it was my last race. It's unbelievable to win four titles but it was nerve racking," says Barnette. "It's difficult to sit around all day and wait for your events. It builds up nerves. You start to think too much about your races and toward the end you feel pressure because I knew this was my last race and chance for a title."
But emotions weren't only for the seniors. GW coach Melissa Case was on cloud nine taking home two championships on the day. The GW girls claimed their second consecutive team title in the morning session.
"It feels phenomenal. I surely will miss the seniors, but I'm glad they finished with a big win," Case said
While George Washington celebrated a euphoric win, Notre Dame gave the Patriots stiff competition, finishing as runner-up and almost bringing upsets in the relays.
The smallest school with a swim team in the state, Notre Dame finished the 200 medley relay only .36 seconds behind GW with a 1:41.35 and later with the same team of Boyles, Cunningham, Cavallo, and Preaskorn lead half of the 400 freestyle relay but finished just less than 3 seconds behind the Patriots with a time of 3:22.16.
Notre Dame's Jake Preaskorn took the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:53.36 adding some points for the Irish, which list just nine swimmers their entire roster.
They finished the final meet with 136 points while George Washington held a high 231.5 points. But as George Washington goes onto rebuild and replace some championship swimmers, Notre Dame comes back next season with losing no seniors.