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Indians sweep Harrison Co. swim titles

by Rob Peirce

SPORTS WRITER

The Bridgeport girls swim team is known for its four consecutive state championships. Now the boys are starting to make a name for themselves -- especially the breast strokers.

While the Indians girls team won the county meet Friday at the Harrison County YMCA by 51 points, the boys team edged out Robert C. Byrd for the county title by one stroke, 109-108.

Bridgeport coach Jan Grisso said she knew her girls team had a decent chance of winning, but the boys would have a harder time.

"I kind of had it calculated that if everything went right, we'd win by four points," Grisso said. "But everything didn't go right, so I'll take the one point. We lost a few crucial races. In about the middle of the meet, I was a little concerned. But in the end, our breast strokers probably pulled it out for us."

Liberty scored nine points and South Harrison five to round out scoring on the boys side. RCB also finished second in the girls competition with 76 points. Liberty and South Harrison followed with 54 and 14 points, respectively.

Despite the boys loss, the Eagles fought valiantly, although losing by one is painful, RCB coach Bobbi Jo Tucker said.

"It's worse than losing by 50 or 60 points," she said. "I think my kids will agree. But this is probably one of the best meets we've had all season."

Together, RCB and Bridgeport dominated the meet on both sides. Either an Indian or an Eagle won every single event. On the girls side, Bridgeport came in first in every event but one.

"I think we're peaking at the right time," Grisso said. "We still need to make some relay adjustments. That's going to be the key."

But don't think the Bridgeport girls will have it easy, as they look for their fifth straight state title.

"It's going to be tough (in regionals)," Grisso said. "There are a lot of good teams out there this year."

Meanwhile, it might be relatively easy for RCB's boys team to bounce back in the regional meet, considering the fuel losing by such a narrow margin will provide, Tucker said.

"It pushes them 10 times harder," she said. "My boys don't like to lose at all."

Regional competition is Wednesday in Buckhannon at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Sports writer Rob Peirce can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at sports@exponent-telegram.com.

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