Top 8 finishes
possible for WHS
By Steve Behr
Watauga’s swim team coach David Gragg knows that the Pioneers will not compete with Raleigh Enloe for a team championship.
However, Gragg is hopeful that the Pioneers who are making the trip to Chapel Hill Saturday morning are competitive enough to grab a top eight finish in their event. The Pioneers’ combination of Jonathan Edwards, William Rayner, Minori Ohashi and Konrad Kosmala can reach the finals of their three relays.
The four Pioneers will be swimming in the 200 medley relay, the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay. Rayner will also swim the 100 backstroke. The preliminaries begin at 9:15 a.m., while the finals are at 5 p.m.
Enloe will have more team depth, but Gragg would like to see his team be competitive in their events.
“I think we should be able to make the top 16 in two and we’ll be close in two others,” Gragg said.
Watauga’s strongest event is the 200 relay. The Pioneers finished with a time of 1:33.03 in the Western 4-A Regional meet held in Charlotte last Saturday. It was good enough for third place and the Pioneers are seeded 10th overall.
“They’re really excited, especially about the 200 relay,” Gragg said. “I think there’s an outside chance of a top eight finish.”
The Pioneers are also seeded 10th in the medley relay and 18th in the 400 relay. Rayner is seeded 17th in the 100 backstroke.
Opposing swimmers is not the Pioneers’ only roadblock. Rayner and Kosmala caught the flu bug that was going around, but both are expected to swim Saturday. Gragg said some rest during the week helped them get ready for the meet.